Thursday, January 14, 2010

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC): A One Man Show?

Generally, transparency in government means that the public it serves knows who that government is.

Yet the "Office of the National Coordinator: Key Personnel" page at HHS shows only this, the name of the Coordinator himself, Dr. David Blumenthal:

Only one person works at ONC? click to enlarge

What about the others as per the Org Chart?

ONC Org Chart (click to enlarge)

In the case of the Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare IT, there are a number of possibilities for this apparent informational lapse:

  • There is only one person working in this office;
  • Only one person is considered "Key Personnel";
  • This office, responsible for the national program for health IT and Electronic Medical Records in the U.S. that will "revolutionize" healthcare through better record keeping, has been careless in updating its Electronic Personnel Records;
  • The names are buried somewhere not easy to find, or the identities of the personnel are being entirely withheld from the public to prevent the public from knowing who they are and what their past and present affiliations might be.

Why might that be an issue? Pro-IT industry conflicts of interest, qualifications, and anti-physician biases come to mind as just a few possibilities.

Where's the transparency?

Just asking.

-- SS


Anonymous said...

So is John Glaser's six-month stint as advisor to David Blumenthal over? Glaser is FHIMSS, and VP and CIO of Partners HealthCare in Boston.

Glaser is also listed as HIMSS VP of Government Relations David W. Robert's "friend" in Facebook (as well as John Halamka). Maybe that is how HIMSS was able to get David Blumenthal as a keynote speaker at HIMSS10.

Maybe there are no permanent positions at HHS, only temporary contractors. Still, there should be transparency in listing these contractors.

Perhaps that is why there has been so many closed-door meetings at HHS. Blumenthal is calling ALL the shots.

Anonymous said...

It appears that HIMSS is trying to influence HHS again. HIMSS is sending out its employees (yes, including Mark Leavitt who still appears to take direction from his boss H. Stephen Lieber) and use its influence with John Halamka) to speak at HIMSS Kansas Chapter. See schedule for Jan and Feb 2010. This just happens to be Kathleen Sebelius' home state, where she was former governor of Kansas.

With HIMSS' previous connection to David Brailer, perhaps HIMSS is hoping (praying) Kathleen Sebelius throws out a life line to CCHIT!

MedInformaticsMD said...

Re: anon posts 2:10 and 2:24 -

It would be nice to have the facts about who actually populates the ONC org chart. Having those facts would make speculation unnecessary.

-- SS

Brian Ahier said...

For an updated org chart:

and a more complete listing: