Friday, April 2, 2010

USA Physicians Group To Implement EMR System

The University of South Alabama Physicians Group is are in the process of implementing Electronic Health/Medical Record software.  An EHR/EMR (Electronic Health/Medical Record) is an alternative to paper charts, where doctors document encounters with patients.

“Electronic records should improve efficiency and hopefully reduce medical costs,” said Dr. Robert L. Duffy, assistant professor family medicine at USA. “Office staff will no longer spend hours searching for or filing charts, which frees up time to care for patients.”

According to Dr. Duffy, who is leading a small group overseeing implementation, the EHR concept is important for several reasons. “With EHR software, nothing will be illegible,” he said. “No scrap of paper will slip off a chart or get folded up under another page to be overlooked. Also, charts won’t get lost.”

Dr. Duffy said there are also opportunities that go beyond the single visit to improve patient care. “Disease management guidelines and reminders can be built in as prompts to providers,” he said. “Drug interactions and allergies can automatically be brought to the attention of the healthcare provider.”

The software also provides charts and graphs that allow the physician and the patient to better visualize trends and progress. Decision-making assistance can also be a component of the system, and medical records can be seen by your doctor from locations other than the office – at home for after-hour calls, or at the hospital.

One of the most important aspects of the EHR software is that it gives patients and doctors a way to communicate securely and privately.

“Patients can see their test results & other major components of their medical history, hopefully allowing them to participate more fully in their medical care,” Dr. Duffy said.

Dr. Duffy explained that although the software has many positives, it will not solve all of the problems in American medical care. “No tool is any better than the hand that is using it. And there are certainly significant start-up costs and growing pains,” he said. “But the concept holds so much promise that even if only a few of the potential benefits come to fruition, it will still be worth it.”

The proposed date for the EHR software to be implemented at the Family Medicine Center is May 4, 2010. Other departments will be phased in during the upcoming months.

U.S. Army Honors COM Alum

Dr. Paul Lamb (center-right), a University of South Alabama College of Medicine alumnus, was recently awarded the prestigious Surgeon General’s Physician Recognition Award and the Meritorious Service Medal at the Army Medical Corp’s annual meeting in Washington D.C.

Dr. Lamb and his wife, Elizabeth, were recognized in front of virtually all of the leaders in Army medicine.

He is an outstanding physician, leader and educator,” said Col. Lisa L. Zacher, chief of medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “Dr. Lamb is a passionate advocate for his residents, patients, and what he feels is right.”

During his time at Brooke Army Medical Center, Dr. Lamb trained in Internal Medicine. He was later selected as Chief of Medical Residents for the San Antonio Military Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program. This program integrated the Army Internal Medicine Residency Program and the Air Force Internal Medicine Residency Program, making it the largest training program in the Department of Defense with 89 residents.

“Dr. Lamb demonstrated amazing leadership and team building during a time of high turbulence in our medical center,” Zacher said. “He did a superb job of setting up the new residency for success.”

Dr. Lamb was also selected by his peers as the outstanding intern, junior resident and senior resident for each academic year.

Upcoming Professional Conferences In April

  • The 19th annual OB/GYN Conference on  April 8-9, 2010 at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel in downtown Mobile, Ala. CME's and CEU's will be available.  To register, visit - . For any additional information contact: Cathy Black at or (251) 415-1491.

  • The annual Oncology Outlook conference on April 23-24, 2010 in Point Clear, Ala.  For detailed information about the program, follow this link - .

  • 10th annual Regional Sickle Cell Conference - Practical Issues X: Casting the Net on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at the USA Student Center in the Ballroom in Mobile, Ala.  CME's and CEU's are available. Register online at . For additional information contact: Marilyn at or (251) 470-5893.

Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians: Report of the AAMC-HHMI Committee

Dr. Henry Sondheimer will present a special seminar on April 8, 2010, in the first floor auditorium in the Medical Sciences Building. His talk is titled “Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians: Report of the AAMC-HHMI Committee."

Currently, Dr. Sondheimer is senior director for the student affairs and student programs at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Sondheimer was one of the contributors of the recent AAMC-HHMI report, Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians. This report will be the subject of his presentation. The report recommends eight competencies that all medical students should demonstrate before receiving their medical degrees, and identifies eight broad scientific competencies that individuals should master prior to entering medical school.

Dr. Sondheimer received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his medical degree from Columbia University. He completed his internship and residency training in pediatrics at the University of Colorado, followed with a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology. He has written more than 60 scholarly articles as well as books and book chapters.

To view the Report of the AAMC-HHMI Committee online, visit .