Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has chosen Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
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”
Since then, Lehmann has designed,
developed and implemented several computer-based applications, used at Hopkins
Children’s and elsewhere, including a 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.