National HIT Week is designed to bring together all parties involved in health care and information technology to create a unified voice to further the spread of health technology. Pharmaceutical companies, health care providers, vendors, research foundations and professional associations have all been involved in National HIT Week since its inception. While the specific partners can vary from year to year, the overall theme of promoting health care technology remains constant.
Many organizations will typically sponsor various events, presentations and other activities throughout the week to provide information and networking opportunities for key health care stakeholders and constituents in support of health information technology. Numerous conferences and meetings for different advocacy organizations and key constituent groups are typically held in conjunction with National HIT Week. These have included Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Advocacy Day, the Long Term Care Health Information Technology Summit, the Telehealth Leadership Conference and the Annual Center for Information Therapy Conference. While events may take place all throughout the country during National Health Information Technology Week, most activities usually center around Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Health Care Reform
In recent years, as health care reform and the state of care in the United States has been a topic of much discussion within the legislative bodies, the focus of National HIT Week has centered on the role of health information technology within the country's overall health care sphere and budget. Numerous legislators have voiced their support of health information technology in the past, and some use the week to address their constituents and other congressional members to push for additional funding dedicated to health information technology.
Push for Efficiency
The main goal for National Health Information Technology Week is to generate awareness that can lead to a higher quality of care through information technology. The most effective way to incorporate information technology is by using technology to increase efficiency in health care through using electronic tools. These tools can help health care providers work faster and smarter.
Two specific components of health care technology that have spread throughout the country due in part to the success of National HIT Week are electronic medical records and electronic prescriptions. Electronic medical records allow for medical professionals anywhere in the world to easily look up a patients medical history, which is stored electronically and available for any provider to access. Electronic prescriptions allow for a doctor to send a prescription instantly to a pharmacy electronically rather than using written prescriptions. Health technology proponents believe that these systems can lead to a decrease in potentially fatal errors due to human error and inefficient paper record keeping.
National Health Information Technology (HIT) Week, whose dates vary from year to year, was created as an effort to raise awareness of the positive aspects of health information technology. Started in 2005 by a group of health care constituents, National HIT Week has become a collaborative forum aimed at promoting health information technology services and systems to policymakers in an effort to drive government support in the form of funding and legislation.