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Filling in the ONC Org Chart

February 18, 2010
by David Raths
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Ever wonder who is doing all the behind-the-scenes work at the Office of the National Coordinator? I know I do. But looking at their web site, you don’t get much more than an organizational chart of titles with no names attached. But blogger Brian Ahier, who works in health IT at the Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Ore., has put together his own listing of ONC employees with links to an HHS web page that contains contact info and titles, but as he points out, “many of the titles are blank, much of the data are outdated, and there seems to be missing data.”

Check out his list at

I second Brian’s motion that in the name of greater transparency, ONC should list contact information and bios of its employees on its own web site. For an organization asking so much of healthcare providers in terms of technology implementation, how hard could that be?

One job title that has just been filled at ONC is that of chief privacy officer.

Joy Pritts, J.D., formerly was on the faculty at Georgetown University where she held a joint appointment as a senior scholar with the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and as a research associate professor with the Health Policy Institute, where her research focuses on consumers' rights with respect to their health information.

For a 2008 Healthcare Informatics story on privacy policy issues, Pritts told me that U.S. policymakers should study developments in Canada and Europe, which have worked through many of the privacy issues the United States is just starting to grapple with. “The broad lesson we can learn from looking at these other countries is that some degree of control by patients is possible,” she said. “We often hear from the health community here that they can't do it, or it's too complicated or the technology doesn't exist. But they have already been doing it in some countries, such as Canada, for a number of years.”

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