A Medical Device Daily

David Brailer, the U.S. government official charged with developing a portable electronic health record (EHR) for the nation, yesterday resigned from that post. He said he was leaving for family reasons and because the program “is now mature and moving in the right direction.“

The resignation comes two years after his appointment to the position by President George Bush. His tenure has been marked by news concerning vacillating financing for his office and – despite his assurance of program maturity – a perception that progress toward the goal of a broad-based EHR that most Americans can carry throughout their medical history from one caregiver to another has been slow.

Brailer, in an interview with the Financial Times, said that there was “no drama“ in his stepping away from the post. But, he said, some “will use my leaving to attack the president or to say that the program is not going well.“

His major accomplishment is likely to be seen as pushing for general and inclusive standards as necessary groundwork for the EHR goal.

Brailer lives in San Francisco and he told the Financial Times that the commute had been “a huge personal agony.“ He said he will stay on as vice-chair of a key advisory committee on the program, while also advising the White House on consumer issues.

The eHealth Initiative (Washington) responded to Brailer's resignation with a statement crediting him for “two years of substantial progress towards an interconnected, market-based, health information technology system . . . that promises substantial improvements in safety and efficiency.“