So David Brailer has had enough of traveling to every healthcare meeting and wants to go home to San Francisco. Who can blame him? In the past I've jokingly compared him to Stalin--they share a penchant for 10-year plans! But he's clearly had a major impact in the recognition that healthcare IT has received from both the Bush administration and the market. In some ways this has been misinterpreted. I've had tech marketing people tell me that providers have been mandated to get EMRs. Er... no. Too many people believe that adopting IT will solve all our healthcare problems. That's also clearly not true.
Brailer has successfully walked a line between creating a certification and standards structure that could support the adoption of a rational national healthcare IT strategy, while being unable (because of politics) to provide what will get that job done. In every other nation, a combination of government mandates and funding has worked to deliver national healthcare IT. We're Americans, and we don't do that. Brailer took on a tough job and poured his heart and soul into it. He's left the nation's health IT strategy in better shape than he found it. So it would be churlish not to say, "thanks David." - Matthew