For the past 42 years, I have made New Year’s resolutions. It’s become my tradition, these promised actions that will make my life better, healthier and happier; and the commitments to keep in touch, to quit bad habits and to pursue the good things in life. Making the resolutions is the easy part; however, putting them into action and maintaining the momentum to keep these promises to myself throughout the year is the hard part.
This year, I am trying something different. When making this year’s list of resolutions, I am thinking of ways to get my fellow HIMSS members to help me keep and support my resolutions. With so many new ways to connect through social media, I am asking all of you to join forces to help me stay true to my goals. Whether you live near or far, deciding to join forces and making these New Year’s resolutions together increases the odds that we’ll be able to achieve our goal of advancing health IT. Providing accountability for each other presents not only valuable reinforcement, but also, offers the opportunity to stay in touch on a regular basis throughout the year.
So, in no particular order, are my four public resolutions that I want to share with all of you as we work together to advance healthcare reform through the use of health IT.
- First, I will continue to work with all HIMSS Chapters that are planning a health information day this year. HIMSS State Health IT Days are some of the most important HIMSS events each year. Supported by HIMSS Chapters and HIMSS State Government Affairs, State Health IT Days aim to connect subject matter experts in health IT with their state elected officials to foster relationship building and education. Typically conducted when a state legislature is in session, a State Health IT Day may include meetings with legislators, site visits to healthcare facilities and presentations from policy experts. Alternatively, a chapter may use virtual technologies to plan a State Health IT Day or one focused on visiting state legislators within their home districts to ensure mass participation across their state. Learn more about state days.
- My second resolution is to use the Legislative Action Center to stay connected on key policy items and communicate directly with my elected officials. I am going to continue to use the “Issues and Legislation” tool to stay up-to-date on important issues, recent votes, and current legislation concerning health IT. This year, I resolve to use this tool more often to continue to send emails to my elected state representatives, as well as communicate with my Member of Congress. I urge all of you reading this blog to do the same. We, the HIMSS family have succeeded, in the past, in educating our elected officials about the benefits of health IT, and I want to continue to do so in 2013. As we exchange information with our public officials, please make sure to check the HIMSS Public Policy Principals.
- My third resolution is to use the HIMSS State HIT Dashboard more often. The Dashboard is the premier resource of today’s health IT initiatives around the United States. This tool helps me track key initiatives that use health IT, such as HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 7 recipients, HIMSS Davies Award recipients and health information exchanges. I use it to research information about health IT that I want to share with my elected officials who make public policy.
And my final resolution is to lose 15 pounds; but I know I have to do that one myself. I weigh 225 pounds now; how many of you are willing to bet that I can reach 210 pounds by the time I get to New Orleans for HIMSS13?
Happy New Year…I look forward to working with all of you as we continue to advance the role of health IT in our country’s healthcare systems