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Ep. 76: UTH's Dr. Robert Murphy on the Evolution of Applied Informatics in Health Care

Published on 5/22/2018

Dr. Robert Murphy is the associate dean for Applied Informatics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, known as UTHealth. Before joining UTHealth, Dr. Murphy served as chief medical informatics officer at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston from 2005 to 2015.

During his time at Memorial Hermann, Dr. Murphy created “CDS Good Catches,” a project which prevented over 7,000 medical errors over a 1-year period, earning him the health system’s Breakthrough of the Year in Quality Award in 2010. For his many contributions to the field of clinical informatics, Dr. Murphy was named one of the nation’s Top 25 Clinical Informaticists by Modern Healthcare in 2010, 2011 and 2012. 

In this episode of The Cerner Podcast, Dr. Murphy discusses the collaborative work between UTHealth and Memorial Hermann, which is centered around building and field-testing apps based on open standards such as HL7 FHIR. 

Dr. Murphy answers the following questions:  

  • After attending medical school, you began to realize how critical clinical information systems are in the delivery of care. Can you talk about how and why you ultimately made the transition to medical informatics?
  • By 2013, all nine acute-care Memorial Hermann hospitals had reached Stage 6 in the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. During your tenure, Memorial Hermann also received the 2012 Eisenberg Award and the 2009 National Healthcare Quality Award from the National Quality Forum. In your experience, what has been the role of clinical decision support in promoting quality and safety in health care?
  • As a leader in the field of medical informatics, you have improved the quality of care for countless individuals. From your perspective, what are the biggest challenges that the medical profession is facing today, and how can the health care industry overcome these to promote the delivery of care? 
  • At UTHealth’s School of Biomedical Informatics, you work every day in the world of applied informatics to ensure that systems are properly implemented in the clinical environment. How has your experience as a both practicing physician and an informaticist shaped your view of the current state of applied informatics?
  • Finally, let’s talk about the next generation of applied informatics. How do you see this critical field evolving over the next decade, and what are the most critical pieces of advice you can give informaticists regarding change management as this field evolves?

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