President Barack Obama has declared the week of September 11-16, 2011, National Health Information Technology Week.

The entire proclamation can be seen at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/12/presidential-procl....

The text of the announcement from the White House states:

National Health Information Technology Week is a time to highlight the importance of efficient information systems that protect the privacy and security of personal health information while improving the delivery of health care in the United States.

We encourage you to help promote National Health Information Technology Week by posting one of ONC’s new web graphics on your website, in a blog post, or tweet. Visit HealthIT.gov for instructions on how to use the new web graphics.

This White House proclamation underscores the importance of using technology to transform the nation’s health care system and improve the privacy and security of personal health information.

We at CMEonline support the efforts of each and every practice that is going through the growing pains of implementation of Electronic Medical Records, which are one of the aspects of Health Information Technology. For those of us who are embarking on the road of "Meaningful Use" it may at times seem to be busy work and an exercise in frustration. I say us because I am also a doctor and have implemented EHR technology in my private practice. Let me assure you that the purpose of this exercise is much more than just the $18,000 incentive payment you can achieve for year 1 of meeting meaningful use. You are laying the ground work for sharing data with other health care providers. Entering information as structured data puts the information into a form that can easily be shared and utilized by other members of the health care community. Stage 2 of meaningful use will have us actively sharing this data, both sending it to other health care providers and receiving the information in our offices. We will have more timely information available to us at the point of care when we need it. We will be in a better position to make the best possible decision on what treatment plan is appropriate for each and every patient we treat. In the future, as we share more and more information, we will truly turn the patients medical record into the PATIENTS health record. I capitalize patient because the information will truly be for the patient to serve them at the time when they need it most.

No matter which EHR technology you select I encourage you to embrace the change, for this change has the capability to truly improve the quality of care that each and every one of us receives as a health care consumer.