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Lehmann to advise on health informatics

May. 15, 2014, 9:42 AM

Chris Lehmann, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt, has been appointed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office as the first pediatrician to serve on the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee.

Chris Lehmann, M.D.

He will act as the committee expert on vulnerable populations for a three-year term.

The HIT Policy Committee, established as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, makes recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health IT on the development and adoption of a nationwide health information infrastructure, including standards for the exchange of patient medical information, according to the GAO website.

Lehmann, a board-certified neonatologist and biomedical informatics specialist, has earned recognition among his peers for his achievements in computer-based applications, including clinical decision support tools, which have shown to improve pediatric patient care, safety and outcomes by reducing errors and costs and decreasing unnecessary medication usage.

“While almost 80 percent of pediatricians use electronic health records (EHRs) in their offices, many of the EHRs do not have the required functionalities needed to adequately care for children,” Lehmann said.

“Children need EHRs that can predict when immunizations are due, allow weight-based dosing to prevent over-dosing, and need to be able to alert pediatricians to age-appropriate screening required.

“If these functions are not included in EHRs, physicians have to perform them outside the EHR with an increased risk to patient safety. Almost a quarter of patients are children — it is time to pay attention to the needs of children, who are less able to watch out for their needs in medical offices and hospitals. Vanderbilt has a long history of providing safe health information technology to pediatric settings and I will bring some of that expertise to the national level.”

Lehmann is the founding medical director of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Child Health Informatics Center and serves on AAP’s Partnership for Policy Implementation. He is also a member of the board of directors of the International Medical Informatics Association.

He has authored more than 90 publications in addition to several book chapters, and currently edits the journal Applied Clinical Informatics in addition to serving on several editorial boards including The Journal of Critical Care.

He earned his medical degree from Westfälische Wilhelms Universität in Germany and completed postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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