APA has named Robert Plovnick, M.D., M.S., one of its own experts in
medical informatics, as director of its Department of Quality Improvement and
Psychiatric Services (QIPS). As director of QIPS, Plovnick will oversee
preparation of APA psychiatric treatment guidelines, development and
assessment of quality indicators for psychiatric services, accreditation of
psychiatric services, and electronic health records including psychiatry and
in addiction psychiatry.
Robert Plovnick, M.D., M.S.: "Integrating practice guidelines and
performance measures with electronic health records would bring evidence-based
medicine to the point of care."
Credit: Eve Bender
Plovnick first joined APA in August 2005 as an informatics and
performance-measure specialist in the department. There he represented APA in
national medical informatics and performance-measure initiatives and panels
and kept APA members informed of national developments in electronic health
records through APA's Web site.
In this capacity, he designed a section of the Web site dedicated to
national activities on electronic health records, meetings on national
initiatives, and additional information regarding medical informatics.
The page also includes reviews of electronic health record software by APA
He noted that with increasing national attention to standardized
performance measures, it is crucial for psychiatrists to be involved in the
development of such measures. As director of QIPS, he said he hopes to
facilitate integration of practice guidelines for psychiatric disorders and
performance measures derived from them with electronic health records to help
psychiatrists better treat their patients.
"Integrating practice guidelines and performance measures with
electronic health records would bring evidence-based medicine to the point of
care," he said. Currently, he noted, practice guidelines are not
routinely integrated with patient records.
Ideally, computer programs or software that integrate practice guidelines
and performance measures into electronic health records would prompt
psychiatrists to take certain steps as a part of the patient's individualized
Plovnick received his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts
Medical School in 2002 and also holds a master's degree in medical informatics
from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and
"We are delighted to have been able to attract someone with Rob
Plovnick's training and experience to head up the Quality Improvement and
Psychiatric Services program at APA," Darrel Regier, M.D., M.P.H.,
director of APA's Division of Research, told Psychiatric News.
"The combination of medical training and advanced training in the
Harvard/MIT medical informatics master's degree program was an ideal
back-ground for him to lead our electronic health records program two years
ago," Regier noted. "Rob is an ideal position to support the APA
efforts in these critical developmental areas over the coming decade."▪