It’s time to get personal during National Health IT Week, October 5-9. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the week dedicated to highlighting efforts to advance health through the best of use of information technology, HIMSS is encouraging all of us to share our personal #IHeartHIT story. The goal is to impact policymakers by inspiring a collective discussion on how to better leverage health IT to enhance care, engage patients and improve health outcomes.
Here, in their own words, are just a few of the ways HIT has made a difference in the lives of CDW Healthcare team members:
Cloud Client Executive, CDW Healthcare
IT and healthcare have converged and touched all aspects of my life, but it has been most impactful for me professionally and personally.
Professionally, I’m proud to work at a company that is so dedicated in supporting its healthcare customers with technology that touches all facets of delivering the best possible patient care and enhancing the patient experience. When I’m visiting customers or attending healthcare technology conferences, I often hear first-hand how technology has improved workflow for clinicians and has enabled them to make more evidence-based decisions at point-of-care. In addition, I know healthcare IT has really hit home for me as I now can no longer pass by a hospital or doctor’s office without thinking “I wonder what kind of infrastructure they have.”
Personally, a cause near and dear to my heart is the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s in Chicago. The house is a haven for families that travel near and far to have their child receive care at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital. I spend a lot of time volunteering at the house and oftentimes speak to the families and friends that are staying in or visiting the house. While their primary focus is around their loved ones, they are comforted in knowing their loved ones are receiving the best possible care, which of course would not be possible without the underlying technology that supports the various clinical applications and tools needed to provide care.
While IT is rarely seen or thought of, it’s truly the heart of operations supporting the patients, doctors, and families.
Nancy L. Ragont
Senior Manager, CDW Healthcare Segment Marketing
As a patient, the impact that technology has on my healthcare is definitely very broad – but I would say that the most important for me is the Patient Portal. I’m part of a large hospital system in Chicago’s northwest suburbs that recently adopted a new EMR system. This has been a very large, time-consuming project for this large health system, but from A to Z they really rolled it out consistently and in an organized fashion. From onsite at each of their locations, on their website, via direct mail/email, over the phone and even using social media – they covered all the bases to ensure patients understood the rollout timing, what to expect when, how to register for and use their portal – along with helping them understand the many benefits of utilization.
The new portal has made a huge difference for me. I have “anywhere access” to all of my health information. I’m able to request appointments, email my doctor(s), get referrals, see test results and make any payments quickly and easily through the system. I can also track previous test results and levels and compare them to current, monitor prescriptions and stay up to date and educated on health-related trends and information. Every time something is updated in my chart, I get a notification, so I never miss anything. While there are still challenges with interoperability as it relates to caregivers outside of my particular system, as time goes by this will hopefully be less of an issue. If your health system is not offering patients this critical resource, tell your caregiver – we need to take control and expect better healthcare experiences and outcomes!
How has HIT helped you or your family? What advice would you offer policymakers, providers and fellow patients to inspire improved experiences with HIT? Share your 300-word story, 60-second video or photo with us on Twitter, tweeting us @CDW_Healthcare using the #IHeartHIT and #NHITWeek hashtags. Together, we can inspire progress. Also check out our other NHIT Week activities!