Muntz talks new role, patient engagement

October 8, 2013 in Medical Technology

While some observers wagered that he would succeed his colleague Farzad Mostashari, MD, as the new national coordinator, Principal Deputy David Muntz ended up departing ONC this past month alongside Mostashari. As he announced his leave-taking, Muntz actually foreshadowed his next move.

“I look forward to continuing to support HHS’ vision of achieving interoperability and better engaging patients from the private sector,” he said on Sept. 26.

[See also: ONC makes big changes at the top]

And on the Monday following his departure, coincidentally amid a government shutdown that stripped ONC of all but 4 employees, GetWellNetwork announced Muntz as its new CIO.

“One of the things I think is critically interesting is how it is that you get people to change their behaviors,” Muntz told Government Health IT during an interview Monday, explaining that GetWell is “essentially hard-wiring the processes that are difficult for people to repeat” in terms of making changes to their health. 

What’s more, Muntz’s unique experience fits into GetWell, which operates where policy and provider care need to co-exist with patient engagement. Via its interactive patient care technologies and approach of working along a pathway, to first educate patients, empower them, then engage people and, ultimately, get to that end-goal of patient partnerships. 

“It’s all about making people understand why it is that we’re asking them to change,” Muntz said. “Now, change itself is usually very good, it’s the transition that is difficult and one of the things we hope to do is help people get from their current state to a better state.”

[See also: GetWellNetwork announces new hospital clients, installations]

Before coming to ONC he was CIO at both Baylor Health Care System and Texas Health Resources. Muntz has also been a biostatistician and a CEO for a Dallas-based cancer research institute and blood bank.

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