With so many people leaving the Office of the National Coordinator recently, it's natural for practitioners to be concerned over the future of Dr. Karen DeSalvo, who has served in the National Coordinator role she inherited from Farzad Mostashari last year.
In a recent blog post the ONC announced that DeSalvo will be serving as the country's Acting Assistant Secretary of Health. However, she will not be leaving her position to do so, and will instead perform both roles simultaneously.
Assisting her will be Lisa Lewis, the Acting National Coordinator who has previous experience as Acting Principal Deputy National Coordinator. The statement notes that DeSalvo is serving these dual roles to help counter the Ebola threat in the U.S. The language in this blog post takes specific pains to emphasize that DeSalvo will still be active in matters of policy, while Lewis will tend to the more "day to day" duties.
"She will remain the chair of the Health IT Policy Committee; she will continue to lead on the development and finalization of the Interoperability Roadmap; and she will remain involved in meaningful use policymaking," the release read. "She will also continue to co-chair the HHS cross-departmental work on delivery system reform."
The ONC has also pointed out that the office is made up of several people, not just the most visible one. That might be precisely what worries some people, as four people from the ONC have left within the past four months alone.
No matter who is in this office, organizations should feel confident about developing their IT policies to meet government expectations. Healthcare consulting firms are useful for supplementing your current IT plans and adhering to any new policies that might take effect.