2014 AMIA Capitol Hill Day

AMIA Takes the Hill

Twenty AMIA members and staff traveled to Capitol Hill on September 3rd for meetings with members of Congress and their legislative aides to discuss the role of informatics in health care – from research and discovery to delivery and population health. The discussions with Congressional staff focused on our three policy priorities of research, workforce and clinical practice. But the central goal was to make sure that, whenever an issue related to health IT or informatics came up, AMIA should be the first call for insights and expertise. The new subspecialty board certification in clinical informatics was also a hot topic for discussion.

Participants began the day with a breakfast reception in the Capitol Visitor Center hosted by the office of House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee Chairman Fred Upton. Dr. Margo Edmunds, Public Policy Committee Chair, provided an overview of AMIA’s current policy priorities and Robert Horne, senior staff member E&C, discussed the committee’s ongoing 21st-Century Cures initiative. That conversation evolved into a robust discussion that demonstrated how AMIA and our members are the preeminent and trusted resource for legislators and their staff on informatics issues. This became a recurrent theme during meetings throughout the day.

In addition to helping transform the clinical experience for providers and patients, informatics drives another important feature of patient-centered health care, according to AMIA Public Policy Committee Chair Dr. Margo Edmunds. “Quality improvement, measurement and reporting require an interoperable health information infrastructure in which personal clinical information follows patients and flows across organizational boundaries.  Current Federal programs are encouraging adoption of electronic health records within health care organizations, but some organizations still don’t see the value of sharing patients’ clinical information with other entities.  We have come a long way, but interoperability also requires a lot of cultural and organizational changes inside the health care ecosystem.”   

“Hill Day is an excellent opportunity for our members to build relationships with their legislators and raise awareness of our organization and the issues most relevant to the profession,” said Dr. Ross Martin, AMIA Vice President of Policy and Development. “By aligning this year’s Hill Day with our Policy Invitational on Personalizing Medicine, our discussions with policymakers were even more poignant this year – Hill staffers are very interested in hearing the recommendations that will come out of the Invitational."