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David Blumenthal, M.D To Step Down As National Coordinator, Health Information Technology In the Spring

Posted Feb 07 2011 2:22am

The article states that he will be returning to Harvard and this is a tough job to say the least.  All over HHS new responsibilities are delving deeper into the actual need to have some hands on experience to help make sense in figuring out what direction to go next.  This is happening in every industry but healthcare, as busy and growing as it is is a pressure cooker. We have seen some major moves with getting folks like Parks in charge who started Athena Health.  Even the CIOs are not exactly sure if they can keep up in the time elements established to be current with new laws and rules.  I have had a few occasions to chat with some CIOs and folks in positions responsible for big tech decisions and even the ones who are hands on and write code get stressed as the expectations seem to be very high today and yet the average layman has no clue of all the data work and coding that goes along with all of the work with medical records.  It’s a lot and the technology is not cheap and does not grow on trees as far as cost.  If it were not for the stimulus funds I think the would not see the uptick with the adoption of electronic records. 

CIO Confidence In Meaningful Use Drops-The New Left Curve of Technology That Arrives Daily Contributes-Don’t Burn These Folks Out

The pressure is certainly on to take technology and create better care and save money and you would have to be living under a stone to not hear the money side today.  Below you can see where one company is offering a bounty for some algorithms and with this increased pressure on analytics, we need more Algo Men all over the place.  How do you provide good care and not get side swiped with analytics and become less than human at times.  That’s a big challenge.

It will be interesting to see who comes in next.  I would like to see someone like Dr. Halamka from Harvard step in, that is if he wants the responsibility, but he certainly has the ability and then some.  BD 

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal, M.D., will step down from his post this spring. Blumenthal, who will return to the faculty at Harvard University, has headed efforts to enact rules and regulations to carry out the HITECH Act , including the electronic health record incentive program.

"I will be returning to my academic home this spring, as was planned when I accepted the position of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology," he said in a memo to staff.

Many HITECH regulations deal with privacy and security issues. For example, the HITECH EHR incentive program requires hospitals and physicians to conduct a risk assessment and mitigate any risks identified. EHRs certified for the program must contain numerous security functions.

Before assuming his current role at ONC, a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services, in April 2009, Blumenthal was director of the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System in Boston. A practicing physician, he also served as the Samuel O. Their Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. He also served as director of the Harvard University Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement.

Previously, he was senior vice president at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and served as executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Management and as a lecturer on public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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