Jonathan Perlin’s ‘Elevator Pitch to the President’ on Health IT

David Raths | Healthcare Informatics | September 26, 2016

Focus on learning health system, interoperability, cybersecurity, he says

What would you say if you had to make an “elevator pitch” in just three to five minutes to the President of the United States about what to focus on in terms of the nation’s healthcare system? That was the question put to panelists at a Sept. 26 meeting of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Jonathan Perlin, M.D., chief medical officer of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), responded: “It’s all about the data.”

Jonathan Perlin, MDTo inform debate and decision-making, NAM has launched a program called Vital Directions for Health and Health Care. It commissioned expert papers on 19 priority focus areas for U.S. health policy, including health IT. Together, these papers represent the guidance of more than 100 leading researchers, scientists, and policy makers from across the United States. Perlin co-authored a paper with  a cast of well-known health IT experts, including Dixie B. Baker, David J. Brailer, Douglas B. Fridsma, Mark E. Frisse, John D. Halamka, Jeffrey Levi, Kenneth D. Mandl, Janet M. Marchibroda, Richard Platt, and Paul C. Tang.

Representing these authors at the Sept. 26 meeting, Perlin said that knowing that data is central to every strategy for research and discovery and point-to-point healthcare, there is an opportunity that is ripe for the taking. “With meaningful use, the president, if you will, has bought the car and now it is time to drive it,” said Perlin, who before joining HCA in 2006 was CEO of the Veterans Health Administration. “The president's opportunity is not to drive on a slow toll road but to realize the vision of a fast superhighway”...