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Industry Reacts to ONC Mostashari Leaving

August 13, 2013 | By More

High Praise to Outgoing ONC Chief

The big news last week was the announcement of Dr. Farzad Mostashari stepping down this fall. There has been no word on what or where he will be heading. And mum is the word on who is in line for the open position. But like everything else that leaves us wondering there are plenty of opinions and musings. And this time we also have some rather open statements thanking the National Coordinator for his efforts.

The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) released a Statement Regarding Dr. Farzad Mostashari’s Announced Departure from ONC. NeHC works closely with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and is led by some of the nation’s most respected thought leaders in healthcare and health IT. They are “sincerely grateful for Dr. Mostashari’s extraordinary leadership and vision” as the National Coordinator.

CHIME Chief Executive Russell P. Branzell and Chairman George T. Hickman released a joint statement. “Through Dr. Farzad Mostashari’s leadership, we saw the Office of the National Coordinator lead our nation’s providers through the first gates of measured, meaningful use of electronic health records, and address in reality those initial standards that make our health information portable across the U.S. healthcare system.” Read the entire statement and Mark Hagland’s exclusive interview at Healthcare Informatics.

Marc Probst is the CIO of Intermountain Healthcare and a member of the HIT Policy Committee. He commented on the news of Mostashari leaving. “Farzad has been an excellent visionary and leader in taking the initial efforts of Blumenthal and maintaining momentum and excitement regarding health IT. I have been particularly impressed with Farzad’s attention to detail and focus on implementing [health IT] standards, which can dramatically enhance interoperability and innovation. Farzad has been an excellent visionary and leader in taking the initial efforts of Dr. (David) Blumenthal and maintaining momentum and excitement regarding HIT,” said Marc Probst, CIO at Intermountain Healthcare and member of the federal Health IT Policy Committee that advises ONC. “I have been particularly impressed with Farzad’s attention to detail and focus on implementing HIT standards which can dramatically enhance interoperability and innovation in healthcare IT. I am sad to see Farzad move on, but I am confident that a transition can occur without disrupting the progress made to date. ONC has a strong, bright team, and although it may take a few months for a new national coordinator to gain traction, progress in HIT and meaningful use will go on. When Dr. Blumenthal moved on and Farzad took the roll, it was a time of change and concern, but the transition went smoothly and progress continued. I wish Farzad great success – no doubt he will remain a key player in health IT.”

Paul Tang, MD, is the VP and Chief Innovation and Technology Officer for Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the Vice Chair of the HIT Policy Committee, Tang works closely with Mostashari and had these comments. “He is a passionate visionary who never took his eye off the prize, while keeping his feet at least close to the ground. It’s hard to fully comprehend what has been accomplished over the past four years under HITECH and meaningful use; but it has been nothing short of transformative. Having an EHR and PHR is not optional any longer; it’s required to deliver the care Americans need and deserve. Especially in this industry, we owe Farzad a huge thanks for his leadership in getting us to this state.”

John Halamka, MD, is the CIO of Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston and made this comment. “Working with Farzad has been an extraordinary experience. His focus on public health and patient/family engagement has had an enormous impact. My greatest lesson learned from Farzad is to choose policy goals first, then implement IT to support them, rather than implement technology for technology’s sake.”

Check out Diana Manos’ Praise rolls in for Mostashari post for more quotes and comments from industry leaders.

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Category: General Interest

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