Willett appointed chief medical informatics officer

By Dwayne Cox / March 13-20, 2011

Dr. DuWayne Willett, assistant dean for clinical service metrics, has been appointed to the new position of chief medical informatics officer, health system for UT Southwestern.

“Dr. Willett’s clinical informatics expertise will be invaluable in our efforts to optimize our electronic medical records environment and ensure that information systems continue to support the highest levels of clinical quality and operational efficiency,” said Dr. Bruce A. Meyer, executive vice president for health system affairs and interim chief executive officer, University Hospitals.

Dr. DuWayne Willett

“UT Southwestern has built a solid foundation and ‘tool kit’ in clinical information systems, first as an early leader in developing a campus master person index and clinical data repository, and now in implementing electronic medical records across both our outpatient and inpatient settings,” said Dr. Willet, associate professor of internal medicine. “The next step forward is for us to learn how best to employ these tools to help improve clinical outcomes, patient experience and our internal operations.

“Also crucial is ensuring we capture and present data measuring performance of our clinical and operational processes, to understand how we’re doing and give clinicians and managers alike timely information to support decision-making.”

A cardiologist with extensive information systems and clinical systems management experience, Dr. Willet will report to Dr. Meyer and Suresh Gunasekaran, associate vice president, health system information resources. He also will work closely with Dr. Ronald Peshock, assistant dean for informatics, to ensure operational information systems effectively support both the clinical and research enterprises.

Dr. Willett completed his medical training at the Medical College of Wisconsin followed by postgraduate education in cardiology at UT Southwestern. He also earned master’s degrees in both health care management and information systems. Among his achievements are contributions to the Dallas Heart Study, Clinical Services Initiative and most recently to the Clinical Data Warehouse development.