Washington, Mo. – Mercy Clinic physician Todd M. Craig, MD, FAAFP, is among the first 400-plus physicians nationwide to earn Board Certification status in Clinical Informatics by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
This is a new certification in the medical field, and one that has grown in importance as medical clinics and hospitals across the nation have started using electronic health records. The concept of clinical informatics is using computer tools and data to provide safe, efficient and timely patient care. Clinical informaticians like Dr. Craig use their knowledge of patient care combined with their understanding of informatic concepts to provide enhanced medical care across a medical division.
Dr. Craig practices family medicine at the Mercy McAuley Clinic in Washington. He helped train Mercy physicians for the launch of Mercy’s electronic health record in 2009 and leads its training and daily operations within Mercy Clinic offices and in departments at Mercy Hospital Washington.
“As we’ve moved into paperless medicine, clinical informatics has become a huge part of providing patient care,” said Dr. Craig. “The physicians who help coordinate communications for information technology play active roles in patient care, and that makes these certifications more important. They say we have a consistent and excellent standard of care.”
In 2009, the Federal government passed legislation known as the HITECH Act, which provided financial support to implement Health Information Technology and has stimulated most medical organizations to move forward. There are many benefits in efficiency and patient safety including:
- Having a more complete medical record instead of a disjointed paper record.
- Having a medical record available after hours or in emergency situations
- Being able to use medical data to better care for chronic disease
- Preventing medical errors such as repeating unnecessary tests, prescribing drugs with known problems/interactions
Mercy’s electronic record provides these features and allowed Mercy to create MyMercy, a secure online portal that allows patients to make appointments with their physicians, view test results, pay bills and other conveniences.
Dr. Craig will receive his Clinical Informatics certification in January, along with this select group of pioneering clinicians, more than 8 years after starting work in the Health IT field. Another Mercy Clinic physician, Todd Stewart, MD, of Mercy Clinic Fort Smith, Ark., also earned his certification.