Thomas Payne, MD

Medical Director

Information Technology Services, UW Medicine

Associate Professor

Department of Medicine, University of Washington

Affiliate Associate Professor, Departments of Health Services and Biomedical Informatics & Medical Education

 

Ninth and Jefferson Building  (Directions)

908 Jefferson Room 832

Seattle Washington 98104


tpayne at u.washington.edu


Box 359968

325 Ninth Ave

Seattle WA 98104-2499

Office:

Email:

Mail:

My major professional interest is the use and evaluation of clinical computing systems, especially computer-based medical record systems in patient care, clinical research, and quality improvement.  Most of my work since completing my fellowship has involved development, selection installation and operation of computer-based record systems (also known as electronic medical record systems).  Since coming to the UW in 2000 I’ve been involved installation and improvements to our electronic medical record systems,  and serving as Medical Director for the IT group serving UW Medicine.   Before that, from 1997-2000 at VA Puget Sound, I served as the leader of the team that piloted the VA computer-based medical record system (CPRS).  We served as the 3rd and largest test site for CPRS that has subsequently been installed in all VA facilities and is widely regarded as successful.  In the early 1990s I worked at Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in a similar role.  I’ve remained clinically active throughout my career.   

Research interests

Electronic documentation.  Much of what physicians and other health professionals document about their patients is in the form of notes:  clinic notes, discharge summaries, progress notes, admission notes, and others.  We know little about how these are created, how long it takes, what constitutes a “good note,” and what information they contain.  Seven years ago Jan Hirschmann, Susan Helbig and I published a short paper titled “The Elements of Electronic Note Style” which has been a frequently cited (and copied) source of recommendations on how to write electronic notes.  I serve on the UW faculty practice plan compliance committee and work with compliance and legal professionals interested in physician notes. At 2010 AMIA we presented a paper on The Physical Attractiveness of Electronic Physician Notes.

Natural language processing. Most clinical notes and reports electronic medical records are in narrative text form (“No text is free--somebody pays for it” [attributed to Octo Barnett]). To unlock contents of notes, we need natural language processing.  I’m a student of this field because I believe there is enormous potential to understand care quality, patterns of illness, and to more easily manage the necessities of clinical care including professional fee billing.  With colleagues at the UW, we have one grant application pending.

Operating clinical computing systems.  After clinical computing systems have been installed, they have to be kept running.  This requires supporting users, planning maintenance, recovering from downtime, and myriad other tasks that are less appreciated and understood than installation.  This is the reason we organized our seminar series and wrote our book.  I also plan to write more on this topic, including vulnerabilities of the clinical computing infrastructure that underlies EMRs and other clinical computing systems

Other professional interests

I’m active in AMIA serve on its Board.  I was program chair for the 2011 ACMI Winter Symposium and we published a paper based on that meeting.  I’m on the faculty of the AMIA Clinical Informatics Board Review course which gives me the opportunity to meet and learn from hundreds of physicians interested in clinical informatics. I took the first Clinical Informatics Board Certification exam this fall, and fortunately was part of the first cohort to be Board Certified in Clinical Informatics.

I attended Medinfo 2013 in Copenhagen this month, and presented a tutorial and led a panel.

I spent a spring sabbatical studying clinical information exchange in the United Kingdom and was extremely impressed with what has been accomplished in England, Scotland (I was recently elected as Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh) and Wales.  People of the globe have a great deal to learn from each other; the United States can benefit from better understanding how other countries have approached similar health and public health challenges using information technology.

Along with colleagues in the Center for Public Health Informatics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, I’ve been learning about how medical informatics can serve large populations around the globe.  I’ve had opportunity to teach and learn from students and professionals in Lima, Bangkok, and Nairobi.  I’ve given presentations and taught in Beirut, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. 

Click here for Medline search for my publications or click here for my CV.


Click here for my Google Scholar profile.


Click here for a blog of my travels.


Click here for my personal website.


Last updated 12/6/13

My work