National Health Information Technology Week 2013 has arrived, and with it comes your chance to catch up with the quickly changing pace of digital medical record storage in the United States. While it’s likely that you’ve been hearing a lot about Health Information Technology (or, HIT) lately, it’s probably just as likely that you have some question marks hanging over your head when it comes to determining what, exactly, it means to you and your family. Fortunately, the national HIT initiative is here to fill you in. Here’s what you need to know about National Health Information Technology week:
These days, it’s nearly impossible to not be affected by the Information Age. For years, the United States government has been taking steps to completely update the old (and, many would argue, ineffectual) system of manual recordkeeping in the healthcare system by integrating digital records technology into existing networks. Therefore, any American who relies on healthcare services of any type can benefit from learning more about HIT.
National Health Information Technology week is a time for healthcare consumers (like yourself) to learn about the fundamentals of how HIT works, as well as the myriad ways in which HIT can better their healthcare and, ultimately, their lives. During National Health Information Technology week, you can expect to see an array of healthcare providers and entities working together to provide you with up-to-date information about what HIT means to you. Look for major events, conferences, activities, and presentations offered by HIT-related advocacy groups in your area.
Health IT began getting a lot of attention back in 2009, when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was first passed. However, National Health Information Technology Week has been an annual event since its inception in 2005. Although the designated celebration time for the “holiday” varies from year to year, this year, National Health Information Technology week is slated for September 16 – 20 – right now!
If the move to digital medical recordkeeping is so daunting and time-consuming, then why has the federal government taken such steps to change the longstanding manual system? Simply put, electronic health records (EHRs) are more reliable, easier to share between provider networks, and faster to process, store, and retrieve. This technological upgrade to our old way of doing things has positive implications for patients, doctors, insurance companies, hospital administrators, and all other parties who must rely on timely access to accurate medical records. The move also helps to promote the availability of jobs in the industry; you can find out about some through sites like healthitjobs.com.
As previously mentioned, you can find local events related to National Health Information Technology Week through healthcare sponsors like community advocacy groups and medical/healthcare establishments. However, the bulk of the National HIT week action generally takes place in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
If you’re interested in learning more about the next wave in healthcare and how it will affect you, then the time is now! Take advantage of the influx of information available to you during this year’s National Health Information Technology Week.
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