Deputy National Coordinator of Health IT Dr. Jon White and Deputy National Coordinator for Operations & COO Lisa Lewis from the Department of Health and Human Services discuss how they are implementing the President’s Management Agenda’s directive to improve efficiency.
Last year, the President’s Management Agenda was unveiled with hopes of modernizing the federal government. One of the agenda’s cross-agency goals was to improve mission delivery by streamlining operations. At the Department of Health and Human Services, management and operations are working hand in hand to solve challenges, and improve efficiency across the agency. “The first and biggest component in any partnership is communication. You must have transparent, open and consistent communication between the program offices and the business side of the house. There is nothing in government you can execute without both sides of the house working together,” Lisa Lewis, Deputy National Coordinator for Operations & COO at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, told Government Matters. “We are already communicating together both at the table looking at the priorities that have been set by the secretary and our national coordinator and making sure our teams are on the same page, which is critical.” Dr. Jon White, deputy national coordinator of health IT at HHS, says that another boost to the efficiency at government agencies is fostering a better relationship between the programming and operations teams. “There’s not stars and bars on my shoulders but, yes, there is a chain of command and we keep it clear about who is responsible for what. We also have an atmosphere of mutual respect that purveys through what we do… We all know we are there for a given purpose and to get something done…” Dr. White added, “We have our separate swim lanes, but it is critical that we know what each other is doing. I take an active interest in the business.”