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We recently attended the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems conference in New Orleans and had the opportunity to speak with Sharon Canner, Director of Public Policy for the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, better known as CHIME. CHIME is the professional organization for chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders and enables its members and business partners to; collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally, and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. As Senior Director of public policy, Sharon provides leadership over the government affairs function of CHIME where she leads a two-person team focused on regulatory affairs, educating Congress on the tools of HIT to improve patient care, and promoting the exchange of health information through the CHIME-sponsored StateNet collaboration of CIOs and other HIT stakeholders.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established incentives for healthcare providers to modernize the collection, transmission, and sharing of medical data to increase patient safety and has radically changed the role of today’s CIO. We sat down with Sharon to discuss the dynamic role of today’s CIO, her thoughts on emerging technologies as viable solutions to help address accurate patient identification and data matching, whether a National Patient Identifier makes sense, and some of the top health IT initiatives that healthcare CIO’s face outside of electronic health record adoption. We also asked her about her one takeaway from this year’s HIMSS conference and her opinion on the best technology showcased on the exhibit hall floor.