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Regenstreif EHR Developers Win AMIA Healthcare Informatics Award

Two informatics experts have developed an open source electronic health record tool optimize for use in developing nations and high-impact healthcare environments.

By Jennifer Bresnick

- The American Medical Informatics Association is honoring Burke Mamlin, MD, and Paul Biondich, MD, of the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine with the 2016 Donald A.B. Lindburg Award for Innovation in Informatics for their work with testing and refining open source electronic health record software to support healthcare delivery.

Informatics and open source EHR

The award, which recognizes recipients for initiative that advance the field of biomedical informatics, is usually only awarded to a single individual, but Mamlin and Biondich’s work on OpenMRS, an electronic medical record system intended for use in developing nations, warranted an exception.

"With amazing technical, organizational, and leadership skills necessary to make their dreams a reality, Drs. Biondich and Mamlin have helped create a movement that is supporting the care for the most vulnerable among us," said Shaun Grannis, MD, interim director of the Regenstrief Institute's Center for Biomedcial Informatics, associate professor of family medicine at IU School of Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.

"This recognition is well deserved," Grannis added.

OpenMRS is a customizable system that helps healthcare providers record and report anything from laboratory tests to public health data without the need for advanced programming knowledge.  The tool allows providers to reconfigure and optimize the system easily, a key advantage in situations where clinicians are working with few resources and high-pressure conditions.

For example, OpenMRS helped healthcare providers in West Africa adapt to the unparalleled demands of the recent Ebola outbreak when commercial electronic health record options fell short.

OpenMRS is the centerpiece of the world’s largest open source health IT development community for resource-constrained environments, a press release said.

Mamlin and Biondich are both members of the Regeinstreif Institute’s Center for Biomedical Informatics, which helps to create and deploy health IT tools that aid clinical decision making and improve the healthcare system’s knowledge of patient experiences and outcomes.

Dr. Biondich is also a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, while Dr. Mamlin serves as an associate professor of clinical medicine at the same institution.  The two award winners will be honored at the 2016 AMIA Symposium in Chicago later this month.

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