David Kibbe said last week that he is leaving his post as director of the Center for Health Information Technology at the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Kibbe, 56, joined the AAFP in 2002 as its director of health information technology and then assumed the role of director of its health IT center when it was launched on Oct. 1, 2003. He plans to continue representing the Leawood, Kan.-based organization at health IT forums and serve as a consultant there after his departure on Oct. 1. "This is a very friendly separation," Kibbe said. "I had accomplished what I came here to accomplish."
That includes creating a strategy to increase the use of health IT among the AAFP's 95,000 members; developing resource materials to help guide this use; holding 60 different health IT events at AAFP chapters; promoting the CMS' Doctor's Office Quality Information Technology project, or DOQ-IT, which matches doctors in smaller practices with electronic health-record systems; and recruiting doctors Steven Waldren and Louis Spikol to continue what he started at the center.
In the past three years, Kibbe said, health IT use among AAFP members has grown from about 10% to "a little over" 30%. Kibbe said he knew from the beginning that there would not be heavy federal spending used to drive IT adoption.
"I never assumed that there would be a financial subsidy and that physicians would have to buy these products because they were good for them and good for their patients," Kibbe said. "But I think the DOQ-IT project has definitely helped small- and medium-sized medical practices, and that's where 80% of the medical care is delivered in this country. That was a very good use of federal dollars."
Kibbe said he wasn't sure what he will be doing after Oct. 1, but the AAFP issued a statement saying that Kibbe "plans to focus his professional endeavors outside the AAFP on innovations in health data and information exchange, personal health record technologies and the use of IT for decreasing health disparities."