Monday, September 23, 2013

Reflecting on National Health IT Week

As National Health IT Week came to a close, and my curation of posts for the blog carnival and hectic travel slowed to a more moderate pace, I was struck by the sense of collaboration I am seeing across the healthcare industry. There were an incredible number of submissions received for the 2nd Annual NHIT Week blog carnival. With over seventy posts chosen in a five day span from stakeholders across the spectrum – vendors, providers, government leaders and others, it was outstanding with both the caliber as well as the number of posts. Activity on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms was also impressive. It was a very busy week of events besides blogging, starting the week with the Consumer Health IT Summit (see intro below) and leading into the 12th Annual HIMSS Policy Summit with many other events through the week, both in DC and around the country.

Farzad Mostashari introduces National Health IT Week and the Consumer Health IT Summit


ePatient Dave Debronkart gives a rousing and powerful keynote at the Consumer Health IT Summit


Of course, for me the blog carnival was a massive part of NHIT week. The blog carnival was a true celebration of the value of health IT from everyone’s perspective. While there were several common themes that were addressed including standards, interoperability, patient engagement, and predictive analytics, it is clear that each stakeholder has a slightly different view of IT’s role in healthcare, but it seems we are unified in the end goal: improving the quality of healthcare delivery and the patient experience while lowering costs. Even though the amount of effort which goes into creating a post for a blog carnival is miniscule compared to the coordination needed for all of these stakeholders to collaborate in the actual healthcare system, the common thread between all the posts demonstrates that we are in fact united. There is power in a community that moves as one and, as we continue building awareness of the value of health IT within our own circles, it is important that we leverage this unified voice next year to continue building awareness beyond the industry.

I want to especially thank the awesome team from SHIFT Communications and HIMSS for there absolutely wonderful work during National Health IT Week. Without the support of Cari, Jennifer, Michael and Victoria this could not have happened. I am honored and grateful to have been able to play a small part in making NHIT Week a little bit better, by hopefully getting the word out and engaging and connecting with such a diverse group of stakeholders across the healthcare industry.