Open Health Tools, Georgia Tech to spur IT adoption

By Mike Miliard
10:53 AM

Open Health Tools, a multi-stakeholder open source community whose chief health informatics officer is Robert M. Kolodner, MD, the former national coordinator, is joining with the Georgia Institute of Technology on a public-private initiative designed to accelerate the adoption of health information technology.

“The overarching mission of this initiative is to provide a virtual environment in which diverse stakeholders work together to unleash the innovations necessary to bring the industry to its future state,” said Steve Rushing, director of Health@EI2, which is part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

[See also: Wide open future.]
The new pro will include participants from government, healthcare providers and provider organizations, patient and personal health advocacy organizations, open source and commercial vendors, public health organizations, academic and non-academic researchers, start-up companies and entrepreneurs.
“We want to accelerate the health IT advances necessary to deliver high quality, person-centered health and care and eliminate health disparities,” said Kolodner. “Our initiative will gather a rich set of open source and commercial resources that enable public, private, and nonprofit entities to begin collaborative projects quickly and with minimal start-up costs."

He added that, "by using proven processes that build trust and increase project success rates, the community will develop shared infrastructures and tools that deliver value and choice for users and create new business opportunities for vendors."

[See also: Open Health Tools project to boost HIEs.]
Kolodner, who has more than 30 years of experience in health information technology, will help with planning and coordination of the initiative. As national coordinator for health information technology, he helped implement a nationwide health IT infrastructure and stimulate health IT use in the public and private sectors.

Prior to his role at HHS, Kolodner had been the senior clinical health informatics leader at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) where he provided leadership for VA’s award-winning health IT activities, including its acclaimed VistA EHR, a personally-controlled personal health record for veterans (My HealtheVet), and the nationwide deployment of real-time, bi-directional exchange of electronic health information between VA and the Department of Defense.

[See also: Open source: 'One of the last great challenges'.]
“Rob is not only nationally recognized as a health information technology expert, but also a deeply experienced collaborator and consensus builder among diverse groups,” said Rushing. “He’ll play a critical role in creating opportunities for widespread health IT innovation within and across organizations.  Rob possesses a strategic view of policy implications on the national healthcare picture that cannot be obtained from any other source.”