October 28, 2005

Informatics group tabs Stead for innovation award

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Bill Stead, M.D.

Informatics group tabs Stead for innovation award

Bill Stead, M.D., McKesson Foundation Chair in Biomedical Informatics and professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, recently became the first recipient of the Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics, given by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).

The award recognizes contributions that advance biomedical informatics on the national or international level. Stead received the award at the annual AMIA Leadership Dinner, held Oct. 22 in Washington, D.C.

“It was easy for the committee to pick Bill Stead as the first recipient,” said Charles Safran, M.D., chairman of the AMIA.

“His track record of repeated innovation will set the bar for what we mean by this award. Our only problem was deciding how to single out one of his innovations.”

Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., helped to pioneer the use of computers in health care beginning in 1960 at the University of Missouri, and has been director of the National Library of Medicine since 1984.

“Don Lindberg's work has done more to define the scope of biomedical informatics as a science than that of any other individual,” Stead said.

“I am pleased that AMIA has decided to honor Don with the creation of this award and am very touched to be its first recipient.”

Stead's job titles at Vanderbilt include director of the Informatics Center, chairman of the Vanderbilt Center for Better Health and associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs. His team at the Informatics Center has created novel techniques for linking information into diagnostic and treatment processes.

The solutions have been especially notable for having reduced the cost and time required to implement new infrastructure and for overcoming cultural barriers that might otherwise slow the advancement of information technology in health care settings.

Specific successes include StarPanel, an electronic medical records application that provides efficiency gains for clinical teams, and WizOrder, a clinical decision support and provider order entry system now commercially licensed under the name Horizon Expert Orders.

More recently, through Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen's Volunteer e-health Initiative, Stead launched a regional electronic medical record demonstration project in southwest Tennessee.

Stead is a member of the Institute of Medicine, has served as president of the American Association for Medical Systems and Informatics, is the immediate past-president of the American College of Medical Informatics and was editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association from its inception in 1993 until 2002.