Authors

Thomas A. Mason

Portrait of Thomas A. Mason

Dr. Thomas Mason is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As CMO he is a health IT and stakeholder ambassador for ONC, routinely meeting with clinicians in the field and advocates across the healthcare industry, focusing on improving health IT usability, reducing clinician burden, and advancing ONC’s mission to improve data use and its availability across the health care spectrum. Working closely with staff at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and other agencies within HHS, Dr. Mason leads efforts to better understand and address clinical documentation burdens and other administrative burdens relating to the use of electronic health records. Dr. Mason led the development of ONC’s Health IT Playbook, which offers tools, resources, and best practices to help address the challenges of implementing, adopting and optimizing health IT.

Prior to joining ONC, Dr. Mason worked at the Cook Country Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS), the third largest public hospital system in the country. He spent 14 years as a board-certified internist with an emphasis on primary care and preventative medicine and led the charge to implement EHRs across the system. His work at CCHHS allowed specialists and primary care providers to streamline and optimize EHR use, improving clinical workflow and system efficiency. Dr. Mason has brought his experience implementing multiple EHRs to ONC to help the agency better understand the difficulties clinicians experience with health IT and to help facilitate collaboration between the government and the healthcare industry to improve clinicians’ and patients’ engagement with innovative health technologies.

Dr. Mason earned his M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center and Cook County Hospital.

Thomas A. Mason's Latest Blog Posts

Final Report Delivers a Strategy to Reduce EHR Burden

Thomas A. Mason | February 21, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a comprehensive strategy to reduce the regulatory and administrative burden related to the use of health IT, including EHRs. Reflective of public comment, the Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burdens Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs targets burdens tied to regulatory and administrative requirements that HHS can directly impact through the rulemaking process. The report’s strategies, recommendations, and policy shifts aim to give clinicians more time to focus on what matters – caring for their patients.

Read Full Post.

New Additions to the Health IT Playbook

Thomas A. Mason | January 21, 2020

Today, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is releasing an updated version the Health IT Playbook, a tool to help clinical practices reduce the burden of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and make the most of their health IT investment. The Playbook is an intuitive, easy to navigate, web-based resource designed particularly to help solo and small to medium-sized physician practices with adopting, optimizing, upgrading, or changing EHR systems.

Read Full Post.

The ONC Doctors’ Perspective: Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) Is on the Rise, and We Must Work Together to Address Barriers to Use

Thomas A. Mason | October 3, 2019

According to new findings, the percent of clinicians who electronically prescribe controlled substances (EPCS) has increased. Despite this increase, overall EPCS rates remain low. The use of EPCS technology can help healthcare providers directly integrate opioid prescription information into electronic health records (EHRs), which can enhance patient safety and help deter diversion and fraud. ECPS technology can also streamline clinician workflow and reduce patient burden.

Read Full Post.

Making Health IT Safer and Easier to Use in Real Life – Practical Tools for Health Care Providers

Thomas A. Mason | March 21, 2017

Every day, clinicians work tirelessly to provide the best possible care for their patients. Clinicians and other health care providers like hospitals are increasingly using health information technology (health IT) such as electronic health records (EHRs), and a growing body of evidence shows health IT can help them make care safer. However, new technology can pose challenges and risks. At the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC),

Read Full Post.