What is health informatics?
According to Digital Health Canada, HI involves the application of information technology to facilitate the creation and use of health-related data, information and knowledge.
It enables and supports all aspects of safe, efficient and effective health services (e.g., planning, research and development, organization, provision and evolution of services, etc.)
Examples of HI applications
Examples of HI applications include the design, development, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of:
- communication protocols for the secure transmission of healthcare data
- electronic patient record systems (regionally, provincially, territorially or nationally)
- evidence-based clinical decision support systems
- classification systems using standardized terminology and coding
- case management systems (e.g., for community, home and long-term care)• access and referral systems for healthcare services
- patient monitoring systems (e.g., computer controlled bedside monitors and patient home monitoring devices)
- digital imaging and image processing systems
- telehealth technologies to facilitate and support remote diagnosis and treatment
- internet and mobile technology and applications for engaging patients in their own care
- public health surveillance and protection systems
- methodologies and applications for data analysis, management and mining
- clinical information data warehouses and reporting systems
- business, financial, support and logistics systems
Health Informatics Core Competencies
Competencies are the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgments required to perform safely and effectively in abroad range of environments and practice settings.
- Information Sciences: Information Management, and Information technology
- Health Sciences: Clinical & Health Services, and Canadian Health System
- Management Sciences: Organizational & Behavioral Management, Project Management, and Analysis & Evaluation
Source: Health Informatics Professional Core Competencies - Digital Health Canada
Applications of health informatics
Health Informatics finds application in various sub specializations within healthcare.
Public Health Informatics
Public health informatics has been defined as the systematic application of information and computer science and technology to public health practice, research, and learning.
consumer health informatics
Consumer Health Informatics helps bridge the gap between patients and health resources. It is devoted to informatics from a patient's point of view. The Consumer Health Informatics Working Group (CHIWG) of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) define it as "the use of modern computers and telecommunications to support consumers in obtaining information, analyzing unique health care needs and helping them make decisions about their own health".
The application of informatics and information technology to deliver healthcare services.” This classification of health informatics refers directly to the tools, technologies and tactics used directly by clinicians in their delivery of care. can refer to using information science in connection with anything from electronic medical records to diagnostic tools like radiology and pathology.
Clinical Research Informatics
Clinical Research Informatics involves the use of informatics in the discovery and management of new knowledge relating to health and disease. It includes management of information related to clinical trials and also involves informatics related to secondary research use of clinical data. Clinical research informatics and translational bioinformatics are the primary domains related to informatics activities to support translational research.
This is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data, in particular when the data sets are large and complex. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines biology, computer science, information engineering, mathematics and statistics to analyze and interpret the biological data.
This specialty integrates nursing science with multiple information management and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. Much like clinical informatics, this field of study is aimed at supporting clinical caregivers, in this case nurses, in their practice and in their ability to support and care for patients.
This is a multi-disciplinary field that seeks to improve health care through the application of Health Information Technology (HIT) and information science to dental health care delivery, information management, health care administration, research, information gathering and synthesis, and knowledge sharing.
Also known as radiology informatics or medical imaging informatics, it is a subspecialty of biomedical informatics that aims to improve the efficiency, accuracy, usability and reliability of medical imaging services within the healthcare enterprise. It is devoted to the study of how information about and contained within medical images is retrieved, analyzed, enhanced, and exchanged throughout the medical enterprise.
This is scientific field that focuses on medication-related data and knowledge within the continuum of healthcare systems—including its acquisition, storage, analysis, use and dissemination—in the delivery of optimal medication-related patient care and health outcomes.