2012 AMIA Capitol Hill Day

2012 AMIA Capitol Hill Day
(L-R) Dr. Kevin Fickenscher, President-CEO AMIA; Dr. Chris Lehmann, Assoc. Prof., Johns Hopkins Univ.; Dr. Bonnie Westra, Assoc. Prof., Univ. Of Minn./Sch. of Nursing; Meryl Bloomrosen, VP Public Policy & Gov. Relations AMIA

On May 2, members of AMIA’ s Public Policy Committee, AMIA’s Board of Directors (BOD) and AMIA staff convened on Capitol Hill for AMIA’s Annual Hill Day. The event is an opportunity to build and sustain relationships on behalf of the AMIA informatics community by conducting visits with members of Congress and their staff. This year’s Annual Hill Day visit had heightened visibility with the BoD’s presence in the AMIA headquarters offices in Bethesda, Md.

“Having attended past AMIA Hill days, 2012 was the most effective AMIA effort to date. Staffers were educated and enthusiastic about the potential value of health information technology and AMIA's leadership role,” said Dr. Chris Lehmann, Associate Professor in Pediatrics and Health Information Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University and Director for Clinical Information Technology for the Children’s Medical Center.

In addition, AMIA had the opportunity to interact with panelists from several Congressional committees and Federal agencies and discussed a variety of topics including: meaningful use, usability, state level health information exchange, mobile health and regulation of clinical software.

"Participation in Hill Day was a great opportunity to realize how much expertise AMIA has through its members to share with Congress. Visits to congressional staff members was enlightening and just plain fun," said Dr. Bonnie Westra, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

The first panel featured congressional staff members: Nick Bath, Senate Heath, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee – Majority; Karen Fisher, Senate Finance Committee – Majority; and Kristin Welsh, Senate Finance Committee – Minority.

The second panel featured agency representatives: Audie Atienza, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute; Lana Lowry, health IT usability expert, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Bakul Patel, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration; Lee Stevens, State HIE Policy and Scott Weinstein, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, both of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

AMIA met with Congressional staff from 16 offices representing 11 states and the District of Columbia. Meetings with congressional staff members focused on four primary issues: ongoing funding for informatics research, training, innovation, and development; impact of health IT and informatics on patient safety and quality of care; health IT and informatics workforce training needs and shortages; and the assurance of EHR implementation best practices.

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