Lewis Marshall, MD Is Improving Quality Patient Care in New York With Data

Dr. Lewis MarshallLewis Marshall, MD is a physician leader at a safety net hospital in the Bronx and a two-time past president of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc. (AAPS), the governing body of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). While working at a safety net hospital in Brooklyn, Dr. Marshall became a proponent of Health Information Exchanges (HIE). Dr. Marshall is a strong supporter of Healthix, the largest public health information exchange (HIE) in the nation. It serves the greater New York City area and Long Island with data from more than 8,000 healthcare facilities.

In 2007, when his Brooklyn hospital wanted to participate in the development of a HIE, Dr. Marshall was selected to work with the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange (BHIX), with a special focus on determining what type of data was available and what was relevant. Eventually, Dr. Marshall became a member of the BHIX board of directors and a firm believer in the patient care benefits of HIEs.

“The ability to access patient records in real time is crucial,” Dr. Marshall says, “especially in an emergency situation, when a patient may be unresponsive or otherwise unable to provide a medical history. Having an HIE fosters safer and better patient care.”

An HIE not only allows medical professionals to retrieve patient data, Dr. Marshall adds, but it also can be used to provide alerts. For instance, if a patient is hospitalized for some reason, the patient’s primary care doctor would be alerted to the patient’s admission and be able to log in and review the person’s health information.

An HIE can be especially useful during our current pandemic, Dr. Marshall points out. When a patient gets tested for COVID-19, the test results are uploaded to the HIE and the patient’s physician gets an instant notification. This allows the physician to reach out to the patient to see if medical care is necessary.

Dr. Marshall also sees the HIE database as a useful tool for population health research, whether for looking at frequent users of emergency services, studying data to assess patient risk for certain diseases, or researching homelessness in terms of population health.

“HIEs have grown from programs that provide lab results and data to programs that foster patient-centered health,” Dr. Marshall says.

He envisions a future where HIEs are more integrated into medical practice. He is working to integrate HIE in his current health organization.  For instance, a bidirectional data interface, which would allow data to flow between an HIE and an organization’s electronic health records, could provide a wealth of benefits, from alerts when a patient’s information has been updated and needs to be reviewed to a reduction in duplicated medical tests and testing costs.

Currently, some states like Delaware have a very developed HIE, with virtually every hospital participating. Others, like New Jersey, have room for improvement. But when more medical facilities participate in HIEs, Dr. Marshall says, a robust statewide network could be established, perhaps with state networks eventually exchanging data with a federal network. Having access to patient information in real time, no matter where physicians are located, allows them to provide safe, appropriate, and effective medical care.

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On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine