Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Announcement of New Position at BearingPoint

Announcement of New Position at BearingPoint

BearingPoint sent out a press release today announcing my new role as Director of Health Information Convergence within the Healthcare and Life Sciences Segment of the organization. I thought that title would be pretty decriptive of what I will be doing in this new phase of my career. But, perhaps more importantly, the title maximizes my opportunity for involvement while minimizing my accountability for anything approaching tangible results. If I'm successful (not that there's really any way to measure success), I might have a shot at becoming BearingPoint's Chief Paradigm Officer...

On a less silly note, I'm very excited about the new job and have already found opportunities to make myself useful. Below is a brief description of what I see my role becoming over time, which is followed by the press release.

What I’m Doing at Bearingpoint

I worked for Pfizer for six years beginning in 2001. My last four years there focused heavily on Health Information Technology (HIT) standards and policies and the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and Electronic Prescribing (eRx), Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Personal Health Records (PHRs), and the emerging Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). About a year ago, my commercially focused informatics group merged with one from Research & Development, giving us a much-needed opportunity to build a more consistent approach to HIT across the organization. And it gave me the chance to look at ways that HIT policies and standards affect the R&D side of the organization.

The recent changes at Pfizer (continual announcements of reorganization, adapting to scale, and “transformation”) made it increasingly difficult to focus on external environmental activities that, while truly transformational, were really in support of the long-term redesign entire pharmaceutical industry, not just Pfizer’s. While Pfizer was very supportive of the work, in the context of the short-term focus of the organization, it was difficult to justify some of the larger initiatives that wouldn’t return any direct value to Pfizer for several years. I was being courted by several consulting firms that were familiar with my work and history and made the decision to pursue one of these opportunities with BearingPoint.

Like many of its competitors, BearingPoint, is involved in many different industry sectors. In healthcare, we have deep relationships with many Life Sciences companies (including Pfizer) and with hospital systems, Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) and others as systems integrators and strategy consultants. We implement large-scale systems like Cerner, McKesson, Epic, etc. We also do a lot of work for HHS and serve as the Project Management Office for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC or ONCHIT). From this vantage point, BearingPoint has asked me to find ways to make use of all these points of involvement and create synergies between them.

Matching patients to clinical trials through Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) is but one example of this kind of opportunity. My ideal scenario would be to build a coalition of entities – including various RHIOs, IDNs and a core group of Life Sciences companies – to collaborate on common methods for health information exchange related to clinical research. In this way, we can help defray some of the long-term costs related to enabling these capabilities while tying them to real-world implementations.

One more specific example is the work I’ve been doing over the last few years on HL7’s Guideline Expression Language, GELLO. I’ve been working with a number of collaborators to develop open source authoring tools for creating standardized clinical expressions GELLO that can be used for many purposes in clinical care – including matching patients to clinical trials. Materials on this work are available at There is a video in particular that goes over its use in prior authorization that may be of interest.

The Press Release

Jodi Cohen
Director, Global Communications

For immediate release

BearingPoint Names Dr. Ross D. Martin
Director of Health Information Convergence

McLean, Va., April 25, 2007 – BearingPoint, Inc. (NYSE: BE), one of the world’s largest management and technology consulting firms, today announced the appointment of Dr. Ross Martin, as director of Health Information Convergence in the Global Healthcare and Life Sciences practice (HLS). He brings more than 15 years of experience in healthcare as an obstetrician, urgent-care physician, health information technology (HIT) journalist, managed care and medical informatics consultant, and for the last six years, medical informatician at Pfizer.

Martin will be responsible for cultivating opportunities in BearingPoint’s HLS segment (hospital, physician, payer, government and life sciences) to accelerate information flow among healthcare stakeholders through HIT. Martin brings key skills to the firm’s strong position in the ePrescribing area of the life sciences industry, and he supplements the firm’s complement of physician consultants across all sectors of BearingPoint’s HLS segment.

Most recently, Martin was the director of Healthcare Informatics at Pfizer Inc. where he initiated and led many of Pfizer’s efforts to influence national standards and policies for electronic prescribing, electronic health records, personal health records, online medical education and the emerging Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN).

Martin serves on the Consumer Empowerment Workgroup of the American Health Information Community and on the boards of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs and the HIT Standards Panel. He has conducted in-depth field research in eRx and advocated for and led a cross-industry volunteer team in the creation of a standards-mapping guidance document enabling the exchange of electronic prescriptions between inpatient and outpatient settings in the U.S.

“We are thrilled to announce the appointment of such an accomplished medical professional,” said Phil Garland, senior vice president and head of the Global Life Sciences practice. “Martin’s experience in health informatics, policy, business and clinical medicine combined with BearingPoint’s deep industry expertise will allow us to help build a more consistent approach toward HIT across pharmaceutical organizations.”

“I am excited to join BearingPoint’s Global Healthcare and Life Sciences practice and look forward to contributing even more to the transformation of both the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries through the convergence of clinical research and clinical care,” said Martin. “By working with BearingPoint colleagues embedded throughout healthcare and other industries, I hope to help leverage our unique position as a global company capable of both developing and implementing the array of strategies necessary to build synergies among life sciences companies, healthcare providers, payers and other stakeholders.”

Martin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Wright State University, received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and earned a masters degree of health services administration from Xavier University. He also held a National Institute of Health fellowship in medical informatics at the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology.

About BearingPoint, Inc.

BearingPoint, Inc. (NYSE: BE) is one of the world's largest providers of management and technology consulting services to Global 2000 companies and government organizations in 60 countries worldwide. Based in McLean, Va., the firm has over 17,000 employees and major practice areas focusing on the Public Services, Financial Services and Commercial Services markets. For nearly 100 years, BearingPoint professionals have built a reputation for knowing what it takes to help clients achieve their goals, and working closely with them to get the job done. For more information, visit the Company's website at


Some of the statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on our current expectations, estimates and projections. Words such as “will,” “expects,” “believes” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions and as such are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions as to future events or our future financial performance that may not prove to be accurate. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecast in these forward-looking statements. As a result, these statements speak only as of the date they were made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Charting a New Course

Charting a New Course

I sent this email to my co-workers at Pfizer last Friday. The responses I've received over the last week have been touching, sad, rewarding and profound. I have made many friends and am honored to have worked with such quality people.

Dear Pfizer Colleagues –

This is a very difficult message to write. After experiencing six remarkable years with Pfizer, I have decided to close this chapter of my career and begin a new one outside of the company. BearingPoint is in the process of aligning their Life Sciences and Healthcare practices and they have asked me to lead the effort in building their strategy around the convergence of clinical research and clinical care. My last day with Pfizer will be March 16th.

I’ve been discussing this possibility with my managers for several weeks now. In many ways, this change of venue is less a departure from Pfizer’s Healthcare Informatics team and more an extension of it. There are many times when it is easier to influence the external environment from an external vantage point. In this new capacity, I hope to become a strong ally and partner with Pfizer as it maintains its leadership position as the most forward-thinking pharmaceutical company in the realm of healthcare informatics. There is much to be done in the coming decade if we are to reap the potential benefits of bi-directional information flow and I look forward to laboring with all of you to make it happen.

I am deeply grateful for the many friends and mentors I have had the pleasure of knowing in the years since joining Pfizer in 2001. I have been privileged to work with colleagues from US Planning & Business Development, Pfizer Health Solutions, Business Technology, the Pfizer Strategic Investment Group, Worldwide Marketing, Medical Humanities and Pfizer Global Research and Development. With each new initiative, I gained increasing respect for the caliber of people who have built Pfizer into such a remarkable organization through their professionalism and passion.

More than anyone, though, I am indebted to Steve Labkoff, who recruited me into Pfizer so he could "clone himself" and move to a new position. A few years later, Steve became my manager. He has worked tirelessly to help me succeed in my efforts to increase the value of our medicines by influencing health information technology standards and policies. He advocated for my move to Washington, DC – a move that has significantly impacted the way others view Pfizer’s leadership and commitment to healthcare’s transformation. He protected me and my radical notions so they would have time to mature and gain acceptance. He reined me in when I ventured too far from the course. I doubt that I will ever receive the same level of commitment and support from a manager again.

The hardest part of this decision, in fact, has been the prospect of leaving Steve, David Isom, and my colleagues in PHI. Though we formed this team just a year ago, we quickly established a strong bond and rapport, both of which have only grown stronger over time. You will all be missed.

Unless BearingPoint hires another Ross Martin in the next couple of weeks, beginning March 26th I assume my new email address will be ross.martin @ You can always keep track of me through my personal website at where you can download songs, send email, read random musings on my blog or check out my son’s latest New Year’s poem (which is now available – a mere two months late – by clicking on "taylor jay").

Thank you, thank you, thank you.



Sunday, February 18, 2007

Veritocracy - The Emerging Social Structure


Thought I'd do some coindropping and coin a new word - veritocracy - a societal system based upon trust and value that is created through information transparency. eBay, I would argue, is a veritocracy because the market of exchange that exists is based upon trust. But the trust upon which it operates is not a blind trust. I am willing to wire money to a complete stranger on the Internet because I can see this person's history as a seller. Through a thousand prior sales, I can see the seller's track record of fast, honest and courteous dealings and know that I'm not going to get gouged. Even better, eBay itself has enough trust in its own system that I'm protected from fraud even if the seller does renege on the deal.

While I might trust that eBay seller enough to wire them $1,000 for a rare collectible on PayPal based upon their reputation as a seller, that trust doesn't necessarily translate to other types of trust. I wouldn't drop my son off at the seller's house and assume he or she is a good babysitter. In fact, the seller, for all I know, could be a pedophile who kidnaps children and stows them in the basement. As long as the seller honors the eBay rules of engagement, the seller can maintain a reputation as a "model citizen."

As deplorable as child molestation may be, it may not be a bad thing that these two domains are judged separately and one can be a model eBayer while keeping private other proclivities (note an article about eBayer revenge here). Eventually, we'll see personal trust histories on childcare, friendship, dating and the like (some of this is already happening) and the Semantic Web or similar technology will make it possible to have a composite credit record of social behavior. It's a little like Big Brother, but the Big Brother isn't some government monolith lording over us - Big Brother is us.

A good thing? A bad thing? I think it will be a valuable thing overall as we'll be able to apply value to all sorts of intangibles that currently aren't acknowledged except in villages where people spend an entire lifetime in one place and the histories of behavior are inescapable. Transparency like this tends to lead to better behavior (though what is considered good behavior may be very different in our global village over the hamlet).

More to say about this. But time, time, time...