By Josh Harvey, CPHIMS; TN HIMSS Advocacy Committee Member; Director, Health IT Policy & Strategy, HCA Healthcare
Since 2006, health IT advocates have raised their voices in unison to demonstrate the power and promise of information and technology to transform our nation’s healthcare system during National Health IT Week.
National Health IT Week is a holiday of sorts unique to our industry; it is equal parts celebration and mobilization. You may notice an uptick in social media activity throughout the week, as well as outreach efforts aimed toward educating policymakers on key issues specific to the labor of love we share. This seems a fitting way to spend the week, given that every year there are both exciting advancements to be celebrated and new challenges to be addressed.
But health IT advocates can be found everywhere. You’ll also notice some who serve in government getting involved in the conversation. This year, Governor Bill Lee has issued a proclamation recognizing and encouraging the observance of National Health IT Week in the State of Tennessee. Members of the Department of Health and Human Services are also known for being quite engaged in the week’s festivities.
Fundamentally, National Health IT Week is about supporting healthy communities. The official points of engagement for this year’s National Health IT Week are, in summary:
- Advancing Public and Population Health
- Modernizing the Public Health Infrastructure
- Accelerating Workforce Development
- Expanding Access to Broadband and Telehealth
- Addressing Social Determinants of Health
As an example of how these goals are being addressed on a local scale, you should check out the Workforce Accelerator program. This 14-week, immersive course was developed by TN HIMSS in conjunction with Belmont University to address the supply and demand gap that exists in our own State by training or retraining members of the workforce with the skills they need to be successful in the health IT field, connecting newly-qualified professionals with the jobs they want and employers with the talent they are seeking.
To learn more about National Health IT Week, visit the official website. Better yet, become an advocate by sharing your story on your preferred social media platform using #IHeartHIT, participating in the virtual march, or attending an event near you. Find something in the points of engagement about which you are passionate, and be the reason someone else learns about it.