John Halamka

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John D. Halamka is a physician who focuses on the adoption of electronic health records and the secure sharing of healthcare data for care coordination, population health, and quality improvement.[1][2]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Halamka was born in Des Moines, Iowa and relocated to Southern California in 1968. He attended St. James Elementary School and Palos Verdes High School.

He graduated from Stanford University in 1984 with degrees in Public Policy and Medical Microbiology. While at Stanford he wrote econometrics software for Milton Friedman, performed research for the autobiography of Dr. Edward Teller, and served as teaching assistant to Presidential candidate John B. Anderson. He authored three books on technology issues, wrote a regular column for Infoworld, and was founding technical editor for Computer Language magazine.[3][4][5]

In 1981, he formed a software startup company, Ibis Research Labs, in the basement of Frederick Terman's Palo Alto home. The firm developed tax and accounting software for CP/M and early IBM PC computers. The firm grew to 25 employees and was sold to senior management in 1992.

He attended the joint MD/PhD program at UCSF and UC Berkeley from 1984–1993 and completed an Emergency Medicine residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center from 1993-1996.

Information technology[edit]

Halamka joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an Instructor in 1996.[6] He completed a post doctoral fellowship in medical informatics at Harvard and MIT in 1997. Soon after, he was selected to be the Executive Director of CareGroup Center for Quality and Value (CQV), a data analysis and business intelligence division of the Caregroup Healthcare System.

In 1998, he was named Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and initiated a multi-year effort to securely web-enable clinical information systems with CareWeb, sharing data among five hospitals with patient consent. CareWeb became a foundation for future information sharing efforts among Massachusetts hospitals.[7] Halamka's efforts ensured Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was one of the first hospital adopters of electronic health records [8] and electronic prescribing.[9] He is focused on enhancing quality, improving safety, and increasing efficiency in healthcare through the strategic application of information technology.[10]

In 2001, he was hired as part-time Chief Information Officer at Harvard Medical School, in addition to his CareGroup duties. His early work focused on the MyCourses Learning Management System.[11]

In 2001, he was named Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, leading efforts to enhance the number of payers and providers exchange healthcare data in Massachusetts.[12]

In 2004, he was named Chairman of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), which harmonized data standards as part of the Bush Administration's healthcare information technology program. HITSP was replaced in 2009 by the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC) and Halamka was named co-chair.[13] HITSC recommends standards and certification criteria in support of Meaningful Use to the Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare IT.

In April 2011, he was named full Professor at Harvard Medical School.

In July 2011, Halamka announced his intention to step down from his Harvard Medical School CIO role in 2012, so that he could focus his efforts on Statewide Healthcare Information Exchange and Healthcare Reform efforts in Massachusetts, while retaining his CIO role at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.[14] Biogen Idec executive Rainer Fuchs assumed the HMS CIO role.[15]

In August 2011, he was named Co-Chair of the Massachusetts HIT/HIE Advisory Committee, a multi-stakeholder group which advises the Massachusetts HIT Council, the governance body which sets priorities and approves the allocation of state and federal funds for healthcare information technology spending in Massachusetts.

In March 2012, he was named to the board of OSEHRA, the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, a non-profit established by the Department of Veterans Affairs, dedicated to accelerating innovation in electronic health record software.[16]

Other interests[edit]

Halamka continues his work as an Emergency Physician, and provides mushroom and poisonous plant consultation to the Regional Center for Poison Control and Prevention (Boston).

He also writes the blog, Geekdoctor: Life as a Healthcare CIO.[17]

Halamka has authored the following books:

  • The Best of CP/M Software [18]
  • Real World Unix [19]
  • Espionage in the Silicon Valley [20]
  • The Fifth Domain (co-authored with Giuliano Pozza) [21]

See also[edit]

Personal Genome Project


  1. ^ "Privacy's Guarded Prognosis". The New York Times. 1 March 2001. 
  2. ^ "A Web Site Devoted to Your Health". 6 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Espionage in the Silicon Valley". 
  4. ^ "Real world UNIX". 
  5. ^ "The Best of CP/M Software". 
  6. ^ "John D. Halamka, MD, MS". Retrieved 2017-01-02. 
  7. ^ "About CareWeb Provider Connection". 
  8. ^ "Denmark Leads the Way in Digital Care". The New York Times. 12 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Timothy W. Martin (20 April 2010). "More Doctors Are Prescribing Medicines Online". WSJ. 
  10. ^ "Under The Knife The health-care industry's archaic information technology is a major cause of runaway costs. One doctor's struggle to slash red tape at his hospital shows how IT can save dollars and lives--and how far reforms still have to go. - January 1, 2004". 
  11. ^ "Search Results". 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Rainer Fuchs". Retrieved 2017-01-02. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Life as a Healthcare CIO". Retrieved 2017-01-02. 
  18. ^ Halamka, John (April 1984). The Best of CP/M Software. Longman Higher Education. ISBN 978-0895881007. 
  19. ^ Halamka, John (May 1984). Real World Unix. Longman Higher Education. ISBN 978-0895880932. 
  20. ^ Halamka, John (January 1985). Espionage in the Silicon Valley. Longman Higher Education. ISBN 978-0895882257. 
  21. ^ Pozza, Giuliano; Halamka, John D. The Fifth Domain: Wake Up Neo... (1 edizione ed.). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 9781494910433. 

External links[edit]