Submitted By Kathleen Pellechia, RD
On Monday, September 16, I participated in the webcast version of the Consumer
Health IT Summit, which was part of the 8th annual National Health IT Week celebration
held in Washington, DC. Throughout the week, a variety of in-person and online
presentations and discussions were held, focusing on the importance of national,
system-wide adoption of health information technology (IT). The need for this
technology is even more pressing in the wake of health care reform. According
to the National Health IT Week Web site, more than 375 organizations
participated this year (a 42% increase compared to 2012), which the U.S. Senate
recognized by passing a Resolution declaring
it National Health IT Week.
The Consumer Health IT Summit brought together a panel of speakers for
presentations in the morning, followed by breakout networking sessions in the
afternoon for those who attended on-site.
Some of the speakers included:
· Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, national coordinator
for Health IT, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), Dept
of Health and Human Services (HHS)
· Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, chief medical
officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS
· Karen L. Smith, MD, PA, family physician
and member, Meaningful Use Vanguard Program
· Robert Tagalicod, director of the
Office of E-Health Standards and Services, CMS, HHS
· Len Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical
officer, American Cancer Society
The overviews, case studies, and
examples presented left me with the following “take home” nuggets.
essential. The users of the technology must find it helpful or they will not
and caregivers are overwhelmed by the burden of remembering their health
history. They need one place (online) to access their medical information, and
they want to access that information on a range of technological devices. See
The challenge concept
mobile and e-health developers to create tools to meet the needs of the health IT
community. “Cloud sourcing” or more importantly “cloud brainstorming” is key to
saving time and money. This challenge approach should not only happen at the
federal level, but also in our own regional and local communities. We need to work together to adapt and enhance existing
technology tools and systems.
What can we do?
As registered dietitians, we need to sit
at the discussion table for consumer health IT. We are experts at providing
consumers with tools and resources to encourage and establish healthy eating
and active lifestyle behaviors. Take a few minutes out of your day to explore healthit.gov. Watch webinars and videos
that show best practices, and then bring these ideas to your employer.
Challenge your organization to bring health IT to the forefront—one Web site,
app, or text message at a time.