Thursday, May 19, 2005

Governor Manchin Appoint Dr. Julian Bailes to Coordinate West Virginia Electronic Medical Records Initiative

A press release issued by Governor Joe Manchin on May 18, 2005 announced that Dr. Julian Bailes was appointed to oversee the development and implementation of a statewide electronic medical record (EMR) initiative. To learn more about Dr. Bailes you can review his CV here.

I'm excited to see West Virginia taking steps to coordinate and develop a statewide integrated electronic medical record initiative. The need for a coordinate effort on EMR technology is vital to an integrated and compatible system. Without a coordinated effort there will be a variety of incompatible hardware, software and health EMR systems which will defeat many of the reasons and benefits for making the conversion from paper record systems to electronic record systems.

The press release states:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Joe Manchin today announced his appointment of Dr. Julian E. Bailes, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at West Virginia University School of Medicine, to oversee a statewide working group studying implementation of electronic medical records technology – an initiative highlighted in the governor’s first State of the State address.

A Louisiana native, Dr. Bailes brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the medical and health care arenas to this leadership position. He has extensive experience in neurological research, telemedicine and patient care, and his written work has been published in more than 100 academic publications.

He established one of the nation’s largest specialty telemedicine networks while practicing in Pittsburgh, Pa. and was the co-principal investigator & leader of the National Medical Practice Knowledge Bank project, a $52 million effort at computerization and dissemination of medical information.

"Dr. Bailes is a precious asset to West Virginia’s medical community and I am pleased that he has agreed to assist with our efforts to improve doctor and patient accessibility to medical records through the innovative use of technology," the governor said. "Under his leadership and guidance, West Virginia will develop sound policy aimed at making health care information more readily available to consumers so that they can make timely and informed choices about their doctors and treatment options."

During Dr. Bailes five-year tenure at WVU, the Department of Nerosurgery has experienced significant growth. The department has increased to 10 faculty members with subspecialty expertise in all areas of neuroscience, and provides care for neurological conditions and injuries at WVU Hospital and in Wheeling.

Dr. Bailes is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where he earned his B.S. and Doctor of Medicine degrees.

For more information on the national perspective on the EMR intiative you can read one of my previous posts dicussing Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt's press release on a new report citing investment in information technology (IT) as an essential, high priority for the American health care system and the U.S. economy.

Another native West Virginian has been intregally involved in the national initiative to integrate health information technology, including EMR systems, into the national health care system.

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