Hospital CIOs: ONC Leadership Exodus Raises Questions About Federal HIT Priorities

Dan Bowman | Fierce Health IT | October 24, 2014

Hospital CIOs expressed concern that the sudden announced departures of National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo and Deputy National Coordinator Jacob Reider potentially leave federal health IT efforts in limbo.  Indranil Ganguly (pictured right), vice president and CIO of JFK Health System in Edison, New Jersey, called the news surprising, and was intrigued by DeSalvo's shift, in particular.  "Dr. DeSalvo's leaving to take a role in the Ebola response over continuing to drive the nation's health IT agenda raises interesting questions about the administration's view of the value of health IT," Ganguly told FierceHealthIT in an email.

Todd Richardson (pictured left), senior VP and CIO at Wausau, Wisconsin-based Aspirus Inc., agreed, saying the move seemed like "a convenient fast lane out."  Linda Reed, VP and CIO at Morristown, New Jersey-based Atlantic Health System, said the move creates uncertainty about the future of the Meaningful Use program.

"What does this mean for Stage 3?" Reed told FierceHealthIT via email. "Will this send any kind of slow-down message to the health IT vendors? The whole Direct messaging thing is such a mess; who is going to address that?"  To that end, Reed (pictured right) called ONC's choice of Lisa Lewis--a non-physician--as Acting National Coordinator "interesting."...