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Association News
New Director Will Lead APA Quality-Improvement Projects
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 24 page 13-13

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.

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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 members.

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 treatment.

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 Technology.FIG1

"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."▪

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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

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