W. Ed Hammond, PhD, FACMI, FAIMBE, FIMIA, FDHL7, is a pioneer in the design and implementation of electronic health records and standards, and a distinguished leader in the field of health informatics. His career began as a student at Duke University where he graduated with a BS and PhD in electrical engineering. He completed a post-doctoral program at Duke that included select preclinical courses in the School of Medicine. He joined the faculty of Community and Family Medicine and Pratt School of Engineering after graduation. He also has an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the Fuqua School of Business, Research Professor in the School of Nursing (SON), serves as the Program Director of Duke University School of Medicine’s MMMCi program and has been a faculty member at Duke for 52 years.
Dr. Hammond’s interest in electronic health records began in 1969 when he began the foundation of one of the first electronic health records, The Medical Record, or TMR. The system included medical histories of patients, a data dictionary, and administrative characteristics, and supported both ambulatory and inpatient care. Dr. Hammond and his team also developed a computer-programming language called GEMIsCH (Generalized Medical Information System for Community Health), a high level interactive database management language used with the TMR. The TMR was one of the first systems using a hierarchical data structure. Its use was nationwide with 44 facilities implementing the system.
Dr. Hammond is a founding member of Health Level Seven International (HL7) and a Fellow. He has been HL7 Chair three times, a member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer, has served as the Co-chair of several HL7 committees and councils and has been active in numerous academic and leadership roles. He is currently Chair Emeritus.
Dr. Hammond has been the PI or Co-investigator on a number of NIH funded research projects, and a reviewer for numerous NIH and foundation review committees. He has testified a on a number of occasions for the National Committee on Vital Health Statistics, and has presented to several IOM committees. He has served on numerous editorial boards. His publications include over 300 peer-reviewed articles, technical articles, and book chapters. He is frequently sought after for his insight and experience in the field of informatics, and has served as a consultant to a number of national and international organizations over the years.
Dr. Hammond received the Morris F. Collen Award in 2003 from the American College of Medical Informatics. He is an ACMI member and has served as Chair. ACMI established this annual award in 1993 to recognize those who have made significant and sustainable contributions to the field. It is the highest honor to an individual for lifetime contributions to biomedical informatics. In 2003 Dr. Hammond also received the Paul Elwood Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Library of Medicine, and he is a three-time recipient of AMIA’s President’s Award. A recipient of numerous other professional awards, HL7’s Volunteer of the Year Award is named after Dr. Hammond.
Dr. Hammond’s expertise and research interests encompass: artificial intelligence, electronic health records, decision support, disease management, hospital information systems, national and regional information infrastructures, national and international standards, natural language processing, networking and computerization in ambulatory care, national health information infrastructure, patient safety, personal health records, phenotypes, population health, and visualization.