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2010

Hopkins Children’s Physician to Lead New Informatics Branch at American Academy Of Pediatrics

MEDIA CONTACT: Ekaterina Pesheva
EMAIL: epeshev1@jhmi.edu
PHONE: (410) 502-9433

April 12, 2010
Christoph Lehmann

Christoph Lehmann, M.D.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has chosen Johns Hopkins Children’s Center neonatologist Christoph Lehmann, M.D., to lead its new medical informatics branch. 

One of Lehmann’s first assignments in his new position will be to design a model electronic pediatric health record as a prototype for pediatricians and hospitals. 

As the founding director of the academy’s newly created Child Health Informatics Center (CHIC), Lehmann will develop, implement and oversee medical informatics programs to help pediatricians and pediatric hospitals in their adoption of such proliferating tools as electronic medical records, computer-based medication delivery systems and computer-based patient safety programs.   

Last year’s federal stimulus package intensified the push for adopting such programs nationwide and sent many pediatricians scrambling to do so.  

“There is no longer any doubt that pediatric practices should go digital, yet how to go about it remains less than clear,” says Lehmann, who is also director of clinical information technology at Hopkins Children’s. “For the pediatrician in practice, there are many unanswered questions.” 

Among the most burning ones, he says, are how to choose the right type of electronic health record (EHR) to best fit the needs and size of a practice, and what the pros and cons are of the different EHR types available.           

A pioneer in the field of medical informatics, Lehmann became interested in the medical application of information technology in the mid-1990s, when it was still considered a “fringe” activity. 

Since then, Lehmann has designed, developed and implemented several computer-based applications, used at Hopkins Children’s and elsewhere, including computerized order tool to reduce medication errors in children undergoing cancer treatment, an online infusion calculator to reduce medication errors in children undergoing IV infusions, a system that monitors lab values of critically ill preemies and alerts physicians when their scores become abnormal, and a Web-based program to approve special categories of restricted antibiotics as a faster and safer alternative to phone or fax orders. 

Most recently, Lehmann and George Kim, M.D., also a medical informatician at Hopkins, conceived and launched the journal Applied Medical Informatics, devoted to original research and commentary on the use of computer automation in the day-to-day practice of medicine. Lehmann and Kim are the journal’s editor in chief and managing editor, respectively. 

In 2009, Lehmann co-authored and published Pediatric Informatics, the first textbook on this subject, together with Kim and Kevin Johnson, M.D., former chief resident in pediatrics at Hopkins. 

Lehmann is also the co-founder and chief information officer of Dermatlas, an open-access international Web database for pediatricians and dermatologists.  

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Founded in 1912 as the children's hospital of the Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Children's Center offers one of the most comprehensive pediatric medical programs in the country, with more than 92,000 patient visits and nearly 9,000 admissions each year. Johns Hopkins Children Center is consistently ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It is Maryland's largest children’s hospital and the only state-designated Trauma Service and Burn Unit for pediatric patients. It has recognized Centers of Excellence in dozens of pediatric subspecialties, including allergy, cardiology, cystic fibrosis, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, pulmonary, and transplant. For more information, visit www.hopkinschildrens.org.