Involvement in Nutrition and
Health Care Decision Making
Peggy Turner, MS, RD/LD
utter the phrase “HITECH,” most people immediately think about efforts to adopt
electronic health records and protect health information. Although those are
important aspects of the Health Information Technology for Economic and
Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, not many people realize that the act has some
important advantages for patients and consumers as well. If you are thinking
that HITECH only applies to doctors and hospitals, it is time to think again.
but yet often over looked aspect of HITECH is something called “patient engagement”
or “consumer engagement.” The act requires that individuals receiving HITECH
incentives or participating in “meaningful use” also must engage in providing
patients with summaries of their clinical visits. The exciting part is that
patients can request this information electronically and keep this information
in their very own personal health record (PHR).
than ever, is an exciting time for registered dietitians (RDs) and diet technicians,
registered (DTRs) to seize the opportunity to “get engaged themselves” and find
new and exciting ways to help all individuals take ownership of their health care
information and care. If you are going to the Food & Nutrition Conference
& Expo (FNCE) this year, a great place to start is by attending one of the
first sessions on Sunday morning entitled Smart
Phones and Smart Patients: The New Rules of Engagement.
Erin Poetter, who is
a consumer e-health specialist with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC)
for Health Information Technology, will share the many tools and initiatives
that ONC has available to help individuals use health information technology
and become more involved in personal health care decision making. Sunnie Southern, MS, RD, LD, will discuss
the key strategies for successful
engagement of nutrition-focused consumer engagement. Based on her first-hand
experience, she will offer tips and suggestions that attendees are sure to find
beneficial. You are bound to walk away motivated and excited about the many
ways you can help promote consumer engagement.
But I bet
many of you already are involved in engaging patients, clients, and consumers
to improve their nutrition and lead healthier lives. Please feel free to share
the exciting things you have done already to help individuals “engage” and take
ownership of their information.