A major rationale for the Meaningful Use electronic health record (EHR) incentive program in the United States is the hypothesis that widespread use of EHRs would improve healthcare quality. In fact, clinical decision support is arguably one of the most important reasons to implement an EHR. Whether EHRs truly improve quality is an ongoing research question, and in the July 2015 issue of JAMIA, the authors Ancker, Kern, Edwards, et al. report the results of an important study in this area. Read further >
Vice President, Medical Informatics
Wolters Kluwer Health
As the VP of Medical Informatics for Wolters Kluwer Health – Clinical Solutions, Howard focuses on building products that answer clinical questions and integrate knowledge with electronic medical record (EMR) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems. He is also actively involved in standards development as a co-chair of the Health Level Seven (HL7) Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Technical Committee, which develops CDS standards in areas such as Infobuttons, order sets, and decision support services.
Prior to joining Wolters Kluwer Health in 2003, he was CEO of Skolar, Inc., an online provider of clinical information and "in context" continuing medical education (CME) for medical professionals.
Howard received his MD degree from the University of Western Ontario and his MS degree in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford University. He is board certified in Family Medicine. As a hobby, he enjoys following the airline industry, especially with regards to the latest schedules, routes, fares and frequent flyer programs.
Posts by Howard Strasberg
The HL7 Virtual Medical Record (vMR) is a standard model for representing the data flowing into and out of clinical decision support systems. On the input side, the model represents patient data, such as diagnoses, medications, age, gender, and lab results. On the output side, the model represents proposals, such as a recommendation to perform a certain test or to prescribe a certain medication. Some time ago on this blog, I discussed the vMR in comparison to the Continuity of Care Document model. I have also described the use of the vMR in the Health eDecisions project – see my post on that topic here. Read further >
Recently I attended AMIA’s iHealth 2015 conference in Boston, MA. This fairly new conference, which is only in its second year, focuses on applied clinical informatics and provides continuing education specifically geared to Diplomates in the Clinical Informatics subspecialty. Read further >
Last week, I attended the HL7 working group meeting in Paris. For those who weren’t able to make the trip, below are some highlights of the meeting with respect to clinical decision support (CDS) and related standards. Read further >
When an ambulatory medical practice implements an electronic health record (EHR), what do you think happens to (a) practice productivity (measured by the number of patients seen per provider) and (b) practice revenue? Read further >
Personalized medicine holds the promise of tailoring treatments to individual patient traits. In addition to traditional characteristics such as age, gender, kidney function and liver function, it’s now becoming possible to tailor drug therapy to a patient’s genome. For additional background, please see my 2012 and 2014 posts on this subject. Read further >
Primary care providers frequently prescribe antibiotics for conditions such as acute otitis media (AOM), acute bronchitis and possible or suspected pnemonia. In many cases, the use of antibiotics is not supported by the evidence, thereby exacerbating the problem of antibiotic resistance and putting patients at risk of adverse drug events. Read further >
HL7 is currently balloting a draft standard for a new language to represent clinical quality and clinical decision support expressions. This new language is called Clinical Quality Language (CQL). For decades, hospital systems have used different languages to represent medical knowledge, making it difficult to author decision support applications that can be used across institutions. This problem has been previously addressed through other standards such as the Arden Syntax and GELLO, but Arden is supported only by a limited number of electronic medical record (EMR) vendors, and GELLO implementations are few and far between. The new CQL standard allows the authoring of logic for both clinical quality measurement (CQM) and clinical decision support (CDS) use cases. In addition to a human-readable form (CQL), it provides a machine-friendly representation in XML using something called the Expression Logical Model (ELM). Read further >
Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) documents are being used in the United States to exchange patient data between providers. In the current issue of JAMIA, the authors D’Amore, Mandel, Kreda, et al, evaluated the quality of a sample of these documents. They conducted a detailed review of 21 C-CDA samples received from different vendors. Read further >
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the AMIA Annual Symposium in Washington, DC. I’ve attended this meeting most years for the last 20 years, and it continues to be a great opportunity to learn about what’s new in medical informatics and to network with old and new friends and colleagues. The keynote address was given by Dr. Amy Abernethy, who discussed the importance of learning from the streams and rivers of healthcare data to make better and better decisions. She asserted that even after death, patients live on through their data, which can help other people. Read further >