Health IT, Policy

ONC policy director Jodi Daniel leaving next month

The longest-tenured senior official in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology will step down Oct. 9.

The longest-tenured senior official in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is leaving.

Jodi Daniel, currently director of ONC’s Office of Policy, confirmed to MedCity News that she is stepping down Oct. 9. Daniel has been with ONC since 2005 and an employee of the Department of Health and Human Services for 15 years; she served as counsel to ONC at the time of the office’s establishment in 2004.

In a statement e-mailed to ONC staff, national health IT coordinator Dr. Karen DeSalvo called the departure a “particularly poignant farewell” because Daniel has served ONC through all five coordinators in the office’s history.

DeSalvo added:

A strategic thinker, Jodi has looked ahead at health IT trends so as to make it possible for policy to keep pace with the dynamic changes in technology. Specifically, having seen the potential for greater consumer engagement in health care, she created the ONC Consumer e-Health Program, which has led to greater support of patient access to electronic health information. She focused on incorporating patient-generated health information into the clinical setting. She ensured that ONC addresses the potential for mobile health, remote devices and telehealth to improve experience, care and outcomes. In coordination with other agencies, she developed HHS’ strategic direction for health IT and patient safety, including creating a framework for oversight of health IT that promotes safety and innovation under the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), and creating the Health IT Safety Program at ONC. Most recently, she led efforts to identify business practices that lead to health information blocking, which interferes with interoperability, and charted a course for HHS to address the problem. As a result, there have already been changes in both legislation and EHR vendor practices. 

Two former coordinators were quick to offer praise.

Daniel did not indicate where she was going. Her deputy, Elise Anthony, will become acting director of the Office of Policy following Daniel’s departure.

Photo: Twitter user Jodi Daniel