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Chopra: ‘Connecting the Dots’ of Health IT is Important Part of Job

White House CTO Aneesh Chopra, Photo: OSTP.gov

White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra sat down with Healthcare IT News to talk about his priorities as the president’s top tech adviser as well as leading electronic-health-records initiatives, such as the Veterans Affairs Department’s Blue Button program.

Leveraging technology to improve healthcare quality and lower costs, while only one of Chopra’s duties, was one specifically singled out by the president when he appointed Chopra to his White House post, he said.

“So, in that regard, a lot of work that is stitching and connecting the dots … and hav[ing] technology innovation catalyze some breakthroughs here is a very important part of my job,” he said.

His other priorities, he added, include the national broadband plan, promoting entrepreneurship through the Startup America initiative, Internet regulations (what Chopra called the Internet’s “rules of the road”) and advocating government openness.

On the issue of Blue Button, which allows veterans to easily download electronic health records, Chopra said the role of the government served as an enabler of innovation.

“We think this is a simple concept of the government enabling or encouraging these kinds of innovations,” he explained. “There’s no reason on earth that every record holder can’t adopt a similar model of Blue Button. There should be data liquidity throughout the healthcare system … We hope that others will join the trend.”

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