The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has named Alicia Morton, R.N., as director of the HIT certification program, succeeding Carol Bean who now is at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Morton is an ONC veteran, having joined in 2005 when she led initial certification development with a contact awarded to the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology under what was then a voluntary program. She most recently served as deputy chief medical officer and a senior advisor in the ONC Office of Science & Technology.

Morton is a nurse with experience using electronic health records, and served on active duty in the U.S. Navy at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and aboard the USNS Comfort. She also served as a clinical research nurse at the National Institutes of Health and is a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Her experience is sorely needed. Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General reported that under ONC’s purview authorized testing and certification bodies did not fully ensure that test procedures and standards adequately secured and protected patient information contained in EHRs.

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