Last week I held a final conversation with Farzad Mostashari, MD, before his tenure as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the federal Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) ends. In two years as the nation's health IT czar, Mostashari has become the face of meaningful use and an advocate for health information exchange. Here is part one of our conversation.
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
HealthLeaders: Everybody says you're a hard act to follow. Is there any news on that front?
Mostashari: National search…as has been said, we've had the right national coordinator for the right time, and I have a lot of faith in that.
HealthLeaders: What do you think has been your greatest achievement during your time as the head of ONC?
Mostashari: I guess I would defer a little bit the idea that there's really any individual achievement in this whole thing, because the national coordinator doesn't do anything by themselves. It's 170 people here, and it's tens of thousands of people in the community to whom any achievements really belong. For myself, I think one thing I did, just from my perspective coming into this, was to focus on the outcomes in terms of population health. I think I brought a little more of an appreciation of that to the community, and also thinking about what we're going to need to do around chronic disease management and prevention for populations.
Then the other thing that maybe was a little surprise to myself was the pivot that we did to expand what we focus on to include consumer e-health and personally controlled health records. Those are two things that I may have nudged the direction a little bit more than where we were already going.