In This Section

Joseph J. Zorc, MD, MSCE
Joseph J. Zorc
Attending Physician

Dr. Zorc's work focuses on the intersection of interventional clinical research, quality improvement (QI), and clinical informatics. He has formal certification in epidemiology, QI methodology, and clinical informatics, and has participated in multi-center research networks, guideline and improvement collaboratives, and electronic health record development locally and nationally.



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Dr. Zorc is a pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physician with a career focused at the intersection of interventional clinical research, quality improvement, and clinical informatics.


During his career as a faculty member, Dr. Zorc has developed systems to conduct prospective research in the emergency department and has completed multiple clinical trials evaluating treatment of asthma, bronchiolitis, and other conditions. He has also been active in multi-center clinical research conducted through the federally-funded Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) and the PEM section of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


In addition, Dr. Zorc received formal training in quality improvement methodology and has played a key role in the development of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Clinical Pathways Program. He's developed expertise in clinical informatics including subspecialty board certification and has participated in local and national roles that focus on use of the electronic health record (EHR) as a tool to improve research and implement evidence-based findings at the bedside. He has used the EHR to implement multiple treatment protocols at CHOP that have improved quality of care and served as a foundation for pragmatic clinical trials.

Among his achievements, Dr. Zorc:
• Served as lead co-investigator on the first clinical trial conducted by the PECARN emergency research network evaluating the efficacy of dexamethasone for bronchiolitis
• Participated in development of CHOP's Clinical Pathways Program with multiple related presentations and awards for improvement projects and integration with the EHR
• Developed and edited a section of the journal Pediatric Emergency Care focused on Information Technology in the Emergency Department
• Served as first chair of the voluntary Pediatric Emergency Medicine Steering Advisory Board for Epic, a leading EHR vendor
• Awarded the Mark Fishman Endowed Chair at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Education and Training

BA, Harvard University (Biomedical Sciences), 1988

MD, Columbia University, 1992

Fellowship, Johns Hopkins Hospital (Pediatric Emergency Medicine), 1998

MSCE, University of Pennsylvania (Clinical Epidemiology), 2008

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician

Director, Emergency Information System

Mark Fishman Endowed Chair in Genomics and Computational Science

Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

Academic Pediatric Association, 1997-

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, 1999-

American Academy of Pediatrics, Fellow, 2005-

Society for Pediatric Research, 2006-

Professional Awards

Faculty Mentorship Award from PEM Fellows, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2005

Best Abstract Award in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, AAP Section on Emergency Medicine, 2007

Best Quality Improvement AAP Section on Emergency Medicine, 2015

Best Abstract, Council on Clinical Information Technology, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2017

Publication Highlights

Balamuth F, Alpern ER, Abbadessa MK, Hayes K, Schast A, Lavelle J, Fitzgerald JC, Weiss SL, Zorc JJ.. Improving Recognition of Pediatric Severe Sepsis in the Emergency Department: Contributions of a Vital Sign-Based Electronic Alert and Bedside Clinician Identification. Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Dec; 70(6):759-768.e2. PMID: 28583403
Ralston SL, Lieberthal AS, Meissner HC, Alverson BK, Baley JE, Gadomski AM, Johnson DW, Light MJ, Maraqa NF, Mendonca EA, Phelan KJ, Zorc JJ, Stanko-Lopp D, Brown MA, Nathanson I, Rosenblum E, Sayles S 3rd, Hernandez-Cancio S; American Academy of Pediatrics.. Clinical practice guideline: the diagnosis, management, and prevention of bronchiolitis. Pediatrics. 2014 Nov; 134(5):e1474-502. PMID: 25349312
Corneli HM, Zorc JJ, Mahajan P, Shaw KN, Holubkov R, Reeves SD, Ruddy RM, Malik B, Nelson KA, Bregstein JS, Brown KM, Denenberg MN, Lillis KA, Cimpello LB, Tsung JW, Borgialli DA, Baskin MN, Teshome G, Goldstein MA, Monroe D, Dean JM, Kuppermann N; Bronchiolitis Study Group of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). A multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of dexamethasone for bronchiolitis. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jan; 357:331-9. PMID:17652648
Zorc JJ, Scarfone RJ, Li Y, Hong T, Harmelin M, Grunstein L, Andre JB. Scheduled follow-up after a pediatric emergency department visit for asthma: a randomized trial.. Pediatrics. 2003 Jan; Randomized trial. 111(3):495-502. PMID: 12612227
Zorc JJ, Pusic MV, Ogborn CJ, Lebet R, Duggan AK. Ipratropium bromide added to asthma treatment in the pediatric emergency department. Pediatrics. 1999 Jan; 103:748-752. PMID: 10103297

Links of Interest