Newswise — Christopher R. Wood, MD, 48, of La Grange, has been named Chief Medical Information Officer of Loyola University Health System (LUHS). In this role, Dr. Wood connects the two worlds of information technology and medicine, helping physicians use data to improve care for their patients.

Before joining Loyola, Dr. Wood was medical director of information systems at Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah. He has more than 15 years of experience working in clinical informatics, the science of managing data to help prevent disease, deliver more efficient care and increase the effectiveness of translational research.

Wood is a family medicine physician and is a graduate of the University of Utah School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah as well. Job number one at LUHS will be training Loyola physicians how to better use Epic, the electronic medical record, to ease their workflow. “If physicians can take less time to document care and leverage the system to automate certain aspects of their work, they can spend more time caring for their patients,” Wood said.

He also will help physicians to access data and ask the right questions to reinforce medical decision-making and to further their progress in research. When the data tell a physician that certain treatment choices are clear, the doctor can focus on the more human part of patient care, Wood said.

“A physician’s judgment and connection with people will always be better than what we can get from a computer,” he said. However, the data serve as an important tool to help inform a physician’s recommendations for a patient, he said.

Wood also will play a key role in furthering research at Loyola by helping physicians to draw needed data from Epic. He will work with Loyola’s parent company, CHE Trinity Health, on data standardization and compilation for research collaborations and quality improvement among the health system’s 80-plus hospitals.

Register for reporter access to contact details