VIDEO EXCERPT: Farzad Mostashari's Talk at LDI Health Policy Seminar

VIDEO EXCERPT: Farzad Mostashari's Talk at LDI Health Policy Seminar

Calls for the 'Unhoarding" of Patient Information by Health Care Systems

Farzad Mostashari - 'Unhoarding' Patient Information


US health care IT chief Farzad Mostashari emphasized the importance of standardizing the country's patient data systems.

LDI Presentation: Sept. 10, 2013 | 7:03 Video Excerpt Above

Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM , National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, US Department of Health and Human Services

Title: Health Reform, Health IT, and Patient Empowerment -- How the Pieces Fit Together

A central principle of the federal government's Electronic Health Records' "meaningful use" strategy is that "you shouldn't make money keeping patient information hostage," Farzad Mostashari told an audience of health services researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

Speaking at a policy seminar at Penn's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said his office had just put out a request for information to identify "the policy levers we can have to make it not profitable to hoard patient information." He noted that hospitals have traditionally resisted calls to share patient data but that that the federal policy intent "is to push on the payment levers to make it profitable to share -- not hoard -- patient information."

He explained that major players like EPIC and other software companies in the Health IT industry have recently worked out both a basic format for standardized patient information and a standardized encryption system for moving that data securely across the internet. He said implementation has begun with both systems.

Mostashari, who joined the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in 2009 as Deputy Coordinator and became Coordinator in 2011, recently announced he is stepping down.

During his tenure, he developed a series of grant programs to promote electronic health record adoption, furthered the development of health information exchange, and helped construct the workforce development program. His vision has been instrumental in the formulation of the ONC’s Health IT Strategic Plan, the creation of ONC’s Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies, and will influence future stages of Meaningful Use.

Previously, Mostashari served at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Assistant Commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he facilitated the adoption of prevention-oriented health information technology by more than 1,500 providers in underserved communities. He also led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care.

He conducted graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School, served his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service program. He was a lead investigator in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus, and anthrax in New York City, and among the first developers of real-time nationwide electronic disease surveillance systems.

Full Video Program
LDI Senior Fellows who would like a Quicktime DVD video copy of Mostashari's one-hour presentation should send an email request to