Dr. Scott Nelson, Pharm.D , M.S. is a pharmacist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) School of Medicine. After graduating from the University of Utah College of Pharmacy (PharmD), Dr. Nelson completed a two-year fellowship in Medical Informatics with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Salt Lake City, Utah and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Nelson’s current operational role is as an Assistant Clinical Director in the Office of the Chief Health Information Officer (CHIO), focused on Medication Safety Informatics, medication reconciliation, e-prescribing, and clinical decision support. His practice and research interests also include medication alerts, knowledge management/engineering, standards and terminologies, and cost-effectiveness/economic modeling.
Overview of Facility/Health System
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is one of the largest academic medical centers in the Southeast, and is the primary resource for specialty and primary care in hundreds of adult and pediatric specialties. Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital are recognized each year by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals rankings as national leaders, with more than 61,000 inpatient admissions and more than 2 million adult and pediatric patient visits each year. Through the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, VUMC is working with over 60 hospitals and 5,000 clinicians across Tennessee and five neighboring states to share best practices and bring value-driven and cost-effective health care to the Mid-South.
Dr. Nelson currently leads VUMC’s Medication Reconciliation task force which has the goal of improving medication histories and medication lists across VUMC’s 2 million annual patient encounters. He also leads the Medication Alerts Workgroup which is working on reducing alert fatigue and improving medication alerts across VUMC, as well as serving on the Clinical Decision Support Steering Committee. Recently, he was involved in VUMC’s Epic implementation, which went live in November of 2017. He helped with the order set build and standardization, as well as the data conversion of the patient allergy, problem, medication, and family history lists. He facilitated the creation and build of VUMC’s prescription renewal standing order clinical decision support in Epic, including over 160 medication groups, each with renewal criteria, which allows for nurses to authorize prescription renewal requests if certain criteria are met. Additionally, he teaches the Introduction to Informatics course in the School of Medicine and is involved in various research projects and medication safety iniativies.
Initial Involvement in ASHP
“Networking and learning from other experts in the field. I also like to provide service towards advancing the profession.”
Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area
- “In God We Trust, all others must bring data.”
- “Venture outside of the pharmacy world, Informatics is an incredibly diverse and interdisciplinary space where pharmacists can play an important role, especially outside of the pharmacy or pharmacy IT departments.”
Value of ASHP
“ASHP educates and advocates for the pharmacy profession. ASHP also provides meaningful involvement and networking within my profession.”