Federal health IT chief steps down

The Obama administration's coordinator for health information technology announced Tuesday that he will leave his position, creating an important vacancy as the healthcare system embraces digital record keeping.

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Dr. Farzad Mostashari, a former New York City public health official, told colleagues Tuesday that he will resign from the Department of Health and Human Services after four years. He also confirmed the news on Twitter but did not provide details about his next move.

"It is difficult for me to announce that I am leaving," Mostashari wrote to colleagues in a letter obtained by The Hill. "I don't know what I will be doing after I leave public service, but be assured that I will be by your side as we continue to battle for healthcare transformation, cheering you on." 

Mostashari was the fourth chief of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, a position created by President George W. Bush.

His resignation this fall comes as healthcare providers race to meet deadlines related to the adoption of electronic health records, a goal considered essential to improving patient care and lowering costs. The effort has been a key part of Mostashari's tenure.