October 30, 2017

Regenstrief Institute investigator elected to medical informatics honor society

INDIANAPOLIS — Regenstrief Institute investigator Daniel J. Vreeman, DPT, director of LOINC and Health Data Standards in the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics and Regenstrief-McDonald Scholar in Data Standards at Indiana University School of Medicine, has been elected as a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. He joins a select group of individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions to the field of biomedical informatics.

Over the past decade Dr. Vreeman has had a substantial impact on health information exchange, informatics research, and healthcare locally, nationally and globally. Building upon the pioneering work of former Regenstrief Institute Director Clement McDonald, MD, Dr. Vreeman has led the expansion of LOINC, short for Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, to become the world’s most commonly used universal standard for identifying health measurements, observations, and documents making possible the use of clinical information in electronic medical reports.

This work is a keystone for health information exchange in the US, and many other countries. Today LOINC has more than 47,000 users in the United States and Canada and 170 other countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, with 18 translations into 12 languages.

LOINC provides the lingua franca to enable different electronic medical record systems to “speak” to each other. For example a serum folic acid result at one hospital might be labeled a serum folate result at another hospital – whether a few blocks away or across the country. Or it could be called simply folate at a third facility. Without LOINC standardization, it would be like receiving messages in French, Spanish, and Italian when all one can understand is English.

Under Dr. Vreeman’s leadership, more than 30 countries now require LOINC in national programs, including the U.S where the “Meaningful Use” program requires LOINC in electronic quality measures, messages reporting lab tests, exchanging medical summaries, and sending data to cancer registries and public health agencies. He continues extending LOINC into new clinical domains by creating novel representations of biomedical data, information, and knowledge.

“Election into ACMI is a great privilege, and I’m delighted to be part of this esteemed group,” Dr. Vreeman said.

He is the first doctor of physical therapy to be elected to ACMI. He joined the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University faculties in 2005 following a National Library of Medicine informatics fellowship at the institute. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a doctorate in physical therapy from Duke University and a master of science in clinical research from Indiana University.

“I’m so pleased that the College has chosen to recognize and honor Dr. Vreeman’s exceptional contributions to the field of biomedical informatics through his induction as a fellow this year,” said Peter Embi, MD, president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute and associate dean for informatics and health services research, professor of medicine and Sam Regenstrief Professor of Informatics and Health Services Research at IU School of Medicine. “The Regenstrief Institute has a long history of leadership in the establishment, expansion and use of health data standards, and the impact that Dan’s leadership of LOINC has had on health care and biomedicine cannot be overstated.”

Dr. Vreeman joins Regenstrief Institute colleagues Dr. Embi, Shaun Grannis, MD, director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics, and investigators Paul Biondich, MD; Stephen M. Downs, MD; J.T. Finnell, MD and Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD as fellows of the American College of Medical Informatics. ACMI Fellowship is one of the highest honors in the field of informatics.

The Regenstrief Institute’s Center for Biomedical Informatics is an internationally recognized leader in biomedical informatics focused on improving health care through informatics. The center develops and applies health information technology solutions to generate knowledge about health, disease and treatment, help clinicians make optimal decisions, empower patients, and inform healthcare policy. The center focuses on clinical applications, computer-based decision support, data mining, advanced analytics, healthcare information standards and global health. These applications and tools are widely recognized for their roles in improving quality of care, efficiency of healthcare delivery, reducing medical errors and enhancing patient safety.

Media contact:
Cindy Fox Aisen
Regenstrief Institute

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