Yesterday, WashingtonExec hosted a breakfast roundtable at The Tower Club with Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer and “entrepreneur in residence” of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Over 40 executives attended.
Park, a three-time entrepreneur in his own right, spoke to the c-level executive group about the similarities between running a lean government and an innovative start-up company. “If you get the best people (in the private sector), you win. The same thing is true in the public sector. You have to find those people and put them into a virtual start-up.”
Similar to his interview with WashingtonExec last month, Park discussed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to code and organize massive amounts of healthcare data in a safe and efficient way. Noting the accomplishments of the first “Health Datapalooza” held in June of last year, Park announced that HHS will be repeating the open-call initiative June 5th and 6th of this year.
Internally, HHS is rigorously pursuing the “smart sharing” of information technology. To Park, preventing the “hyper fragmented, hyper duplicated” information technology process found in the public sector requires a “new way of culture” and the same mindset as a “lean start-up.” Park believes that smart sharing will make HHS programs more lean and more efficient.
During the Q&A portion of the roundtable, Park emphasized the benefits of smart-sharing initiatives as well as the relationship that he wants his department to have with the private sector. “The work is not going away, there is actually more work now, you (the private sector) have to be more efficient,” said Park. He went on to say that the HHS team is working towards updating contractor incentive programs that encourage innovation, not just meeting requirements.
Park continues to be a public servant with an entrepreneur mentality, there are rumors that he may replace former Federal CTO, Aneesh Chopra, who stepped down on Friday.