Oct. 7-10: “Anticipate the future. Prepare the future. Lead the future.” That's what leaders of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development will be preaching during its annual meeting in Seattle. The group, a part of the American Hospital Association, has sessions scheduled on a variety of topics, including consumerism, brand awareness and social media.
Oct. 7-13: While a lot has been made of the canyon-sized gap in caring for patients with mental health conditions, progress has been hard to quantify. During Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance for Mental Illness is championing the theme, “CureStigma.” Roughly 1 in 5 Americans is affected by a mental health condition. As NAMI notes on its website, “Stigma is toxic to mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment.”
Oct. 8-12: Can you feel the excitement? From coast to coast, health IT groupies will be espousing the virtues of technology to anyone who will listen. It's National Health IT Week! All kidding aside, the idea, conceived in 2006 by HIMSS and the Institute for e-Policy, has evolved into a showcase for how technology can impact the delivery system. This year's theme is “Catalyzing Change.” There will be in-person events and webinars on everything from customizing EHRs to personalizing oncology pathways. If you can't get to an event in your city, follow it live on Twitter at #IHeartHIT.
Oct. 12: Taking a page from Peter, Samir and Michael Bolton, let's all scour the office for the lone fax machine, grab a baseball bat and head to a vacant park (if you haven't seen the fax/printer scene in “Office Space,” you're a missing a piece of cinematic glory). Anyway, to close out National Health IT Week, the Office of the National Coordinator has declared Oct. 12 #AxeTheFax day! It's part of the government's push to rid the industry of the last vestiges of the 1990s. Regulators are pushing for the industry to be fax-free by 2020.