Health informatics

Health informatics or medical informatics is the intersection of information science, computer science and health care. Health informatics deals with the resources, devices and methods required to optimize the achievement, storage, retrieval and use of information in health and biomedicine. Health informatics tools comprise not only computers but also clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems. Subdomains of (bio) medical or health care informatics include: clinical informatics, nursing informatics, imaging informatics, consumer health informatics, public health informatics, dental informatics, clinical research informatics, bioinformatics, veterinary informatics, and pharmacy informatics.

  • Architectures for electronic medical records and other health information systems used for billing, scheduling or research
  • This system is used in decision support systems in healthcare, including clinical decision support systems standards (e.g. DICOM, HL7) and integration profiles (e.g. Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) to facilitate the exchange of information between healthcare information systems – these specifically define the means to exchange data, not the content
  • Controlled medical vocabularies (CMVs) such as the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine, Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT), Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC), Open GALEN Common Reference Model or the extremely difficult UMLS – used to allow a standard, accurate exchange of data content between systems and providers
  • Use of hand-held or portable devices to assist providers with data entry/retrieval or medical decision-making

Development: There is a patent pending for a Medical Informatics Public Utility which would serve as the “common platform” of communication for all accessible provincial software products as well as the safe repository for the public’s medical records. The possible for the reduction of medical errors, fraud and drop of duplication is staggering. And also the number of lives saved could exceed a minimum of 100,000 per year according to the Institute of Medicine’s current medical error mortality statistics. Medical informatics began to take off in the US in the 1950s with the increase of the microchip and computers. Early names for medical informatics included medical computing, medical computer science, computer medicine, medical electronic data processing, medical automatic data processing, medical information processing, medical information science, medical software engineering and medical computer technology.