The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hosted a two-day health IT think tank meeting.  The first day featured national speakers from Epic Systems, Cerner Corporation, CCHIT, University of Colorado at Denver, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Cleveland Clinic Health System, Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Tucker Arensberg.  The second day was a brainstorming session with nurses on the topic of health IT.

Kristen McNiff, MPH, Senior Advisor, Quality & Guidelines Department spoke about the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO’s) health IT initiatives.  The objectives of the ASCO HIT workgroup include providing educational resources assisting the selection and implementation of HIT, identifying and advancing HIT functionality necessary to support cancer care, and representing the oncology perspective in national discussions regarding health information technology and healthcare reform policy.  Resources highlighted include the Oncology EHR Field Guide.  She also spoke of the impact of clinical decision support systems within EHR and the quality oncology practice initiative (QOPI) as it relates to EHR.

Nelita Zytkowski gave a presentation on transforming nursing practice through technology and informatics.  Her presentation focused on the HIMSS nursing informatics initiative.  The position statement can be accessed here

Donna DuLong, BSN, FHMISS, PhD student, gave a presentation on preparing the nursing workforce for meaningful use of electronic health records.  She focused on the TIGER initiative and the ONC workforce development programs.  The Health IT Workforce curriculum modules may be accessed at  She also discussed university-based training in health IT.

Anne Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN, presented on the topic of leveraging electronic health records to transform cancer care.  She spoke about her experience at Fletcher Allen Health Care with regard to the transition to electronic health records.  She also discussed what oncology nurses want in an electronic health record system including usability, evidence-based interventions, decision support, chemotherapy and biotherapy guidelines, survivorship care plans, and more.

Lee Kim, JD, gave a presentation which summarized the legal obligations under the HIPAA Privacy, HIPAA Security, and HITECH Act.  She also discussed meaningful use stage 1, including clinical quality measures as they relate to clinical oncology.

Phil Magistro, Director of Health Informatics for Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, gave a presentation on the regional extension centers, including an overview of the regional extension centers, the status of PA REACH West, PA REACH East, and Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs.  He stated that health care providers who enroll with PA REACH may receive assistance up until the point that they attest for meaningful use and that PA REACH assists health care providers in EHR vendor selection and implementation support.