In a blog post for the IDEA Lab of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) late last month, Susannah Fox recently announced that she will serve as the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the department. This is more than just an organizational shift, since Fox also took the opportunity to reference some of her future hopes for health policy changes, which could impact greater trends.
One specific example given in the post is her support for the Health Datapalooza which closed out this May, specifically the focus on "liberating" data and encouraging "peer to peer" healthcare. She also took the time to cite Bryan Sivak, the departing CTO and a key figure in the development of the HHS IDEA Lab.
Earlier this year, Sylvia Burwell, the HHS Secretary, sent an email to her staff praising Sivak's performance over the past few years.
"Since joining us in 2012, Bryan has been a force for promoting innovation across the department, designing and deploying initiatives that improve the performance of the department for those we serve, and for our employees," she said, according to an article in FCW. "Bryan has championed some of the department's most innovative projects."
Before this appointment, Fox worked for the Pew Research Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. HIMSS Media Executive Editor Tom Sullivan said that Fox, like other HHS CTO's, is a health professional with a "degree of celebrity."
While one position change won't necessarily immediately affect policy, government healthcare organizations should be aware of the changes they need to make to stay compliant. A healthcare IT consulting team will bring regulatory compliance consulting expertise to an organization that needs to reconsider its current operations and set out a definite plan for improvement.