Tech & Health

November 4, 2021

Miller, Wright land top biomedical informatics awards

Randolph Miller, MD

Vanderbilt biomedical informatics leaders Randolph Miller, MD, and Adam Wright, PhD, received major awards at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium in San Diego on Oct. 30.

Miller, who is professor of Biomedical Informatics, emeritus, received the Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence in Medical Informatics, which is internationally recognized as the capstone award in the field.

This award is given annually by the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) to an individual whose personal commitment and dedication to medical informatics has made a lasting impression on the field. Miller is the third person within VUMC’s Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) to receive the Morris F. Collen Award, following Bill Stead, MD, in 2007 and Nancy Lorenzi, PhD, in 2012.

Adam Wright, PhD

“It’s very humbling to receive this award and to be listed alongside distinguished colleagues in our field, including those from Vanderbilt who previously received the Collen award,” Miller said.

“Randy Miller has always been on the cutting edge of designing needed informatics tools by involving those who would use the product,” said Lorenzi, professor of Biomedical Informatics, Vice President of Strategic Change Management, and clinical professor of Nursing. “It is exciting that, based on his multiple informatics contributions, he was selected by the ACMI to receive the Morris F. Collen award, the discipline’s highest honor,” Lorenzi said.

“Dr. Miller is a classic academic medicine triple threat. He engages in groundbreaking, fundamental informatics research, brings learners with him as he works, and focuses on applying his research in systems that work for people,” said Stead, professor of Medicine and McKesson Foundation Professor in Biomedical Informatics.

“My favorite Miller quote is ‘Medical Informatics is not a spectator sport.’ You’ve got to get in there and fight if you want to be successful.”

“I was thrilled to hear the news about Randy receiving this award — a fitting tribute to his decades of passionate leadership, hands-on attempts to improve the plight of American medicine, and unfailing mentoring to many generations of informaticians — present company included,” said Kevin Johnson, MD, MS, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor and chair of the DBMI, professor of Pediatrics, and Informatician in Chief at VUMC.

Wright, professor of Biomedical Informatics, received the Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics, given annually to an individual for contributions that advance biomedical informatics on the national or international level.

Previously, Stead, Miller, and Paul Harris, PhD, professor of Biomedical Informatics, Biomedical Engineering and Biostatistics, received the Lindberg Award.

“I was so thrilled to receive AMIA’s Donald A.B. Lindberg award. AMIA is my professional home and Dr. Lindberg is one of my informatics heroes, so winning this award is an incredible honor,” said Wright

At VUMC, Wright directs Clinical Decision Support operations for HealthIT, holds the DBMI Directorship in Clinical Informatics, and serves as the director of the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center. He works across departments, schools, care delivery settings and centers to enable clinical informatics research and practice at the highest levels of quality, safety and efficiency.

In the last few years, Wright has carried out an innovative program of research and development focused on malfunctions in clinical decision support (CDS) systems.

Through this work, he has shown that clinical alerting systems frequently malfunction in the real world — firing or not firing when they should. Wright’s innovative, practical methods, algorithms and tools place data and user experience at the center and have improved the state of CDS.