Government News
Psychiatrist Appointed to Top HIT Post
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 10 page 13-13

Psychiatrist Robert Kolodner, M.D., was named national coordinator for health information technology in the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last month. His appointment was effective immediately.

Kolodner, formerly of the Department of Veterans Affairs, had been serving as the interim national coordinator for health information technology (HIT) since last fall (Psychiatric News, January 6). He succeeded David Brailer, M.D.

Kolodner will serve as principal advisor to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt on all HIT initiatives. He will also continue to develop, maintain, and direct the implementation of the strategic plan to guide nationwide adoption of interoperable health information technology. Advocates of electronic records say it will reduce medical errors, improve quality, and produce greater value in health care.

Darrel Regier, M.D., director of APA's Division of Research and the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education, said that Kolodner is the "right man for the job and very well qualified."

Regier continued, "We are delighted with his permanent appointment after this interim period where he could be tested for how he would carry out this function. And we're delighted to have a psychiatrist who can be sensitive to the special concerns that we have for privacy of mental health records. [Kolodner] is also knowledgeable about how mental health can be integrated with the rest of medicine as it had been done at the VA."

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