Term: Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) works with the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and​ implement interoperable health information technology. The ONC also helps manage and provide logistical support for the American Health Information Community.

The National Coordinator position was first created in 2004 through Executive Order 13335 by the President and mandated in the HITECH Act of 2009. At the present time, the positions of National Coordinator and Deputy National Coordinator are held by Dr. David Blumenthal and Dr. Charles P. Friedman. These positions are supported by a Senior Leadership team comprised of seven members.


The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has many responsibilities. They include advising the Secretary of HHS on how to develop, apply and use current health information technologies. The Coordinator also helps to coordinate policies and programs of the Department of Health and Human Services. The C​oordinator works with the HHS to develop, maintain and direct the national public and private health care sectors' implementation of interoperable health IT technology. The other thing the Coordinator does is to give comments and advice concerning Federal Health IT programs when asked to do so.

The major purpose in the establishment of the ONC is to assist the Secretary of HHS to achieve the goal of Americans establishing and utilizing EMR’s by the year of 2014.

ONC’s states the following as their mission:

    • Promoting development of a nationwide HIT infrastructure that allows for electronic use and exchange of information that:
      • Ensures secure and protected patient health information
      • Improves health care quality
      • Reduces health care costs
      • Informs medical decisions at the time/place of care
      • Includes meaningful public input in infrastructure development
      • Improves coordination of care and information among hospitals, labs, physicians, etc.
      • Improves public health activities and facilitates early identification/rapid response to public health emergencies
      • Facilitates health and clinical research
      • Promotes early detection, prevention, and management of chronic diseases
      • Promotes a more effective marketplace
      • Improves efforts to reduce health disparities
    • Providing leadership in the development, recognition, and implementation of standards and the certification of HIT products;
    • Health IT policy coordination;
    • Strategic planning for HIT adoption and health information exchange; and
    • Establishing governance for the Nationwide Health Information Network.

Web Resources:



American Health Information Community (AHIC), responsible for advising the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how speed the promotion and implement HIT. This community ended in 2008 and now exists instead as the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC), a private-public organization.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is responsible for ensuring and protecting the health of Americans by providing programming such as Medicare and Medicaid, immunization services, substance abuse and treatment and more

Interoperable Health Information Technology, allowing technology systems to “speak” to each other so that information can be share in an efficient
and secure manner.