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AMA News Room

Oct. 27, 2014

AMA Statement on Leadership Departures from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

For immediate release:
Oct. 27, 2014

Statement attributed to:
Robert M. Wah, MD
President, American Medical Association

"The American Medical Association (AMA) understands that Karen DeSalvo is leaving her post as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (health IT) to do important work in public health.

"DeSalvo's departure, in addition to those of several other senior staff including the Deputy Director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), Jacob Reider, which was also announced last week, leaves a significant leadership gap which could jeopardize the growing momentum around interoperability.  

"Interoperability and data portability are critical components for transforming clinical practice and improving health outcomes. Evidence of that connection can be found in the Administration's new Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, which supports coordinated care and collaboration among physicians that require high-performing technological systems.

"Unfortunately, physicians have been facing challenges with several poor performing electronic health records (EHRs) that are not interoperable. Without widespread interoperability, the value proposition of EHRs has not been realized and the adoption of new innovative models of care has been hindered.

"The AMA has been calling on ONC to make the Meaningful Use certification requirements more flexible so that vendors have more freedom to innovate and tailor their products to meet physicians' needs. We recently released a Meaningful Use Blueprint to outline ways to improve Stages 1 and 2 of the program and provide suggestions for Stage 3, as well as a framework outlining eight priorities for more usable EHRs.

"The AMA is committed to improving care for our patients and looks forward to continuing to work with ONC, and its sister agency the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to achieve that goal."

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Media Contact:
Randi Kahn
AMA Media & Editorial
(202) 789-7442




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