OHSU

OHSU Hands Helped Shape National Information Technology Roadmap

07/10/06  Portland, Ore.

A medical informatics Ph.D. candidate and an informatics adjunct professor aided in charting a national action plan for making IT an integral part of clinical decision making

Adam T. Wright, Oregon Health & Science University Ph.D. candidate and fellow in medical informatics, and Dean F. Sittig, Ph.D., adjunct professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, played significant roles in developing a “roadmap” commissioned by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aimed at making health information technology an integral part of clinical decision making in the practice of medicine. The plan was presented to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.

Wright was a member of a seven-person American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) steering committee that during the past nine months worked, under contract with HHS, to set an agenda, assemble a panel of experts and synthesize their findings in a report titled “A Roadmap for National Action on Clinical Decision Support.” Sittig was one of more than 70 experts and key stakeholders from government, industry and academia who participated in panels and meetings to produce the roadmap report.

To read the report, go to: http://www.amia.org/inside/initiatives/cds/

The report offers a plan for embedding medical best practices information in electronic medical records systems nationwide. One of the lead authors, Jonathan M. Teich, M.D., Ph.D., a physician and professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, predicted that if the roadmap is followed clinical decision support will be more helpful, easier to use and a routine part of medical care. The goal is to implement interoperable health information technology in both the public and private health care sectors to reduce medical errors, improve quality and produce greater value for health care expenditures.

Karen Bell, M.D, M.M.S., acting deputy national coordinator for health information technology at HHS, said, in a statement, that “the field of CDS is still in its nascent stages and this roadmap will frame the necessary discussions to bring it to a level of maturity that will demonstrate better outcomes based on care tailored to individual patient needs.”

Wright, who holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University in mathematical and computational science and was a business process engineer at Intel Corp., expects to receive his Ph.D. in medical informatics from OHSU in June 2007. Service-oriented architecture for clinical decision support in a national health information network is one of his areas of research emphasis. Sittig, in addition to serving on the OHSU faculty, is director of applied research in medical informatics for Northwest Permanente, PC. He is the founding editor of The Informatics Review and founding member of the Improve-IT Institute, which is dedicated to improving the effectiveness of healthcare through measurement and evaluation.

OHSU’s Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) — which is headed by William Hersh, M.D., professor and chairman —has an international reputation in biomedical informatics with more students than any similar program in the world. It is a leader in biomedical informatics research, developing new approaches to electronic medical records, computerized physician order entry, and access to online knowledge resources.

 

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