Dr. David Blumenthal was named as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Blumenthal will "lead the effort for implementation of a nationwide interoperable, privacy-protected health information technology infrastructure" authorized by ARRA and the HITECH Act.
According to the HHS Press Secretary,
As a practicing physician and a leading scholar on health information technology, Dr. Blumenthal is uniquely qualified to help America’s doctors, nurses, hospitals, and patients reap the benefits of a modernized health system. Dr. Blumenthal shares President Obama’s commitment to investing in a health IT infrastructure that will protect patient privacy, and improve both quality and efficiency in our nation’s health care system.
An adviser to Mr. Obama during his presidential campaign, Dr. Blumenthal is unquestionably qualified for this job. Among numerous other accomplishments, he was a physician and director of the Institute for Health Policy at Mass General in Boston; Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; and served as director of the Harvard University Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement.
Dr. Blumenthal's appointment has been well-received by commentators. According to Healthcare IT News, John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess and Harvard Medical School, called it a "great choice" and Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, chief of the Center for Connected Health, stated that "Dr. Blumenthal brings a wealth of relevant experience to the post. The health of our nation will improve due to his involvement."
We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Blumenthal as he takes on this important role.
David Blumenthal named new National Coordinator for Health IT (Healthcare IT News, March 20, 2009).
HHS Names David Blumenthal As National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (HHS Press release, March 20, 2009).