World Health Care Congress: HHS CTO, Premier CIO Talk Data Liquidity

David Raths | Healthcare Informatics | April 10, 2013

This week’s 10th Annual World Health Care Congress in Washington, D.C., saw a lively discussion April 9 involving a panel of experts on innovation, including Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Joe Pleasant Jr., senior vice president and CIO of the Premier health alliance.  

Sivak said he sees his team’s role in HHS as first, recognizing that data is an undervalued HHS asset and second, liberating that data so that others in the health care system can develop transformative applications around it.

He cited meaningful use as one example of a way that HHS is using its position to encourage use of data for lots of clinical purposes. Before the program began, he said, approximately 15 percent of providers had EHRs; that number is now north of 70 percent. “We initially incentivized adoption,” Sivak said. “Now we are focused on making them useful in bending the cost curve and delivering better outcomes by incentivizing interoperability.”