This article is the third and last in our series of articles focusing on the upcoming HIMSS Australia Digital Health Summit (ADHS) breakout tracks. (Refer to the first article on the Data track here and second article on the Innovation track here.)
With the rapid advancement of healthcare technology and the options made available, the demands placed on healthcare providers have inevitably increased as well. In turn, this has stimulated numerous improvements in the capabilities of healthcare systems as well as that of the handling of patients. Empowering patients could be regarded as one of the most significant improvements as it also brings about improved patient outcomes. 
Achieving empowerment through interoperability of data
Interoperability simply refers to a healthcare system which is more connected. By achieving interoperability of data, healthcare information can be transferred easily between people, organisations and systems. This shared information has its meaning preserved from one context to another so that information can always be interpreted in the same way. The topic of interoperability and connected care will be covered in greater detail at the ADHS event by Hal Wolf (President and CEO of HIMSS), Tim Kelsey (CEO of Australian Digital Health Agency) and Mary Foley (Managing Director of Telstra Health) at CXO Fireside Chat- Connected Care.
Achieving empowerment through improved patient data/security
In light of the recent cyber-attacks that hit hospitals and health services in Victoria, much attention has been drawn to the areas of improvement in patient data and security. By being able to closely safeguard patient’s data, the integrity of such information would not be compromised and this would allow them to continue making informed decisions when participating in their own treatments, further reinforcing the empowerment given to them. In addition to that, controlled access can also be given when it comes to the sharing of patient data and patients would be able to nominate representatives who are allowed legal access to their own private medical information.  
During the panel discussion, Patient Data: Access, Privacy and Ownership at the ADHS event, John Daniels, Global VP of HIMSS Analytics will be joined with several other highly esteemed leaders in the healthcare industry to discuss in detail the benefits as well as implications involved when it comes to managing patient data and security.
Better managing chronic illnesses with empowerment
Being afflicted with a chronic illness can undoubtedly prove to be overwhelming and takes a huge toll on one’s emotional as well as physical health. By empowering patients with the relevant knowledge and skills, this would greatly help to mitigate the pain and suffering that they have to endure. When patients are armed with the necessary and reliable healthcare information about the disease and its treatment and management, this allows them to have a greater sense of control over this illness and pushes them a step closer towards conquering it. Also, patients can gain a more profound understanding of their medication and any special instructions which it requires as well as its related side effects to better manage any ensuing pain and fatigue. 
At the ADHS event, Renza Scibilia who is also a manager and diabetes advocate at Diabetes Australia, would address the issues revolving around management of a chronic illness at her session, Can the Reality of Living with a Lifelong Health Condition be Appropriate?
Registration for the ADHS event has commenced and more details can be found here.



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