Charles Safran, MD

Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School

Charles Safran, MD, is a faculty member of the BIDMC Division of Clinical Informatics. His area of excellence in clinical expertise and innovation is demonstrated by his role in creating the electronic health record currently used at BIDMC and creating a new medical subspecialty, Clinical Informatics. His research grants from 1990-1999 supported the development of BIDMC Online Medical Record (OMR). This electronic health record supports BIDMC today and is a model for commercial systems widely used in the US and internationally. As President and Chair of the American Medical Informatics Association Board, he initiated the effort to create the new medical subspecialty of Clinical Informatics in 2004. He helped define the core contents of clinical informatics. He led the delineation of training requirements that enabled the American Board of Medical Specialties to recognize this new field as a subspecialty. He has worked closely with the American Board of Preventive Medicine to create the exam for physicians to become a diplomate. In January 2014, he was among the first physicians to be board certified in this new subspecialty. He has led efforts to influence health policy concerning health data to reuse in the United States and has testified to Congress concerning the use of information technology in healthcare. He organized three conferences in Europe to help harmonize health data policies across the European Union. In recognition of his national and international efforts to create a new medical subspecialty and to inform health policy concerning data reuse, was the Don Eugene Detmer Award for Health Policy Contribution in Informatics by the American Medical Informatics Association. In 2014, he was awarded the Morris F. Collen Award, the highest honor the American College of Medical Informatics gave to an individual whose personal commitment and dedication to biomedical informatics has made a lasting impression on healthcare and biomedicine. 


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