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What ONC Needs Now: Another Doc Who Listens

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, February 8, 2011

In a memo to staff, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that during the past two years, the nation has “finally turned the corner” in its journey to the use of health information technology and the adoption of EHRs. “David will leave his post having built a strong foundation, created real momentum for HIT adoption, charted a course for the meaningful use of EHRs, and launched a new phase of cooperative and supportive work with the healthcare community, states, and cities across the nation,” she wrote.

That may be true, but let’s face it—there are a lot more corners to turn.     

As HHS begins its search for Blumenthal’s replacement, it would do well to remember the quality that made Blumenthal respected in the health IT community and effective in his role: He understands the doctors and leaders he’s trying to reach—because he is the doctor and leader he’s trying to reach.

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