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    Major appointment for PAMF physician

    Sutter Health affiliate physician, Dr. Paul Tang, appointed to new Federal Health Information Technology Policy Committee

    Committee’s goal is policy recommendations about implementation of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure and the adoption of electronic health records

    Palo Alto, Calif., Friday, April 10, 2009 - Paul Tang, M.D., internal medicine physician, vice president and chief medical information officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) was named to serve on the federal government’s new Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a committee created as part of the economic stimulus package recently passed by the U.S. Congress. The committee will advise the Health and Human Services secretary and the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on a policy framework for the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that permits electronic exchange and use of health information.

    “I am honored to join this talented group tasked with making recommendations to further the adoption and effective use of electronic health records throughout the country,” said Dr. Tang. “In addition to quality and safety benefits for physicians, I am a firm believer that personal health records allow patients to take a more active role in their health and become equal partners in their care with physicians.”

    At PAMF, Dr. Tang oversees its EHR and its integrated personal health record system, PAMFOnline. Under Dr. Tang’s leadership, PAMF became an early adopter of an EHR system in 1999. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and was one of the "50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in 2008" named by Modern Physician magazine. Dr. Tang has served on numerous IOM and National Academy of Sciences committees. He chaired two studies that made recommendations on the use of EHR systems to improve patient safety and quality nationwide.

    Dr. Tang was one of 13 members of the new committee named by Gene Dodaro, acting comptroller general and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The economic stimulus act includes $17.2 billion in grants and incentives for physician practices who are “meaningful users” of EHRs to improve care and enhance quality. The Recovery Act required the comptroller to name committee members to represent 10 sectors of the health care industry, including health care providers, consumer groups, labor unions, health plans, researchers and IT vendors. Dr. Tang was selected to represent health care providers.

    Other committee members include:
    Christine Bechtel, vice president, National Partnership for Woman and Families
    Arthur Davidson, director, Public Health Informatics, Denver Public Health Department; director, Denver Center for Public Health Preparedness; medical epidemiologist; director, HIV/AIDS Surveillance, City and County of Denver
    Adam Clark, research and policy director, Lance Armstrong Foundation
    Marc Probst, chief information officer, Intermountain Healthcare
    Scott White, assistant director, technology project director, 1199 SEIU Training and Employment Fund
    LaTanya Sweeney, director, Data Privacy Lab, Carnegie Mellon University
    Neil Calman, president and chief executive officer, Institute for Family Health
    Connie Delaney, dean, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
    Charles Kennedy, vice president, Health Information Technology, Wellpoint
    Judith Faulkner, founder, CEO, president and chairman of board, Epic Systems
    David Lansky, president and CEO, Pacific Business Group on Health
    David Bates, medical director for clinical and quality analysis, Partners HealthCare/Brigham and Women’s Hospital

    Sutter Health Contact
    Ben Drew
    PAMF Public Affairs
    (650) 691-6228

    About Sutter Health
    Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, hospitals and other health care service providers join resources and share expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Organization. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.