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An Introduction to

Medical Informatics
Y. SINGH
NELSON R. MANDELA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
DEPARTMENT OF TELEHEALTH
SINGHY@UKZN.AC.ZA

HIBBs is a program of the Global


Health Informatics Partnership

Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0


Unported

Learning Objectives
Define medical informatics
Get a sense of what medical

informatics encompasses

Why is medical informatics important


Some examples of applications

An Evolving Field
1950s Intuitively: medical applications

of computer science
Medical computer science
Medical information science
Biomedical computing
Medical informatics
Health or healthcare informatics
Clinical informatics

History
1949 Gustav Wager
1950 United States National Bureau of

Standards

mid 50s MYCIN


1965 Medline
1968 Homer Warner founded the department of

medical informatics

1970 IMIA, MUMPS language and OS

Define Medical Informatics


No clear cut definition
Different schools of thought

Video One

Define Medical Informatics


Dr David Zitner
Four aspects of medical informatics:
Clinical care
Health service administration
Research
Patient and provider education

Video Two

Define Medical Informatics


Systematic study
Deals with all forms of data

Biological data
Medical data
Associated data

Problem solving
Decision making

Define Medical Informatics


Medical informatics is a
scientific/systematic
field of study that deals with the
acquiring, storage,
retrieval, and processing of medical,
biological and associated data,
information and knowledge for the
purpose of problem solving and
decision making

Data, Information, Knowledge


Data are the raw facts obtained
Information is outcome of analyzing data
Knowledge is obtained from analyzing

information

Computerized Medical Records


Computer-Aided Instruction
Medical Software Security
Veterinary Informatics

Policy Making

Medical
Informatics
Physician Order Entry Systems

Telemedicine

Nursing Informatics

Medical Expert Systems

Medical Software Engineering

Clinical Information Systems

Health Information Networks

Why Medical Informatics


Why is proper management of medical

data important ?

Patient health record

Administrative purposes

Research and knowledge discovery

Legal issues

And the list goes

Why Medical Informatics


What is lacking in the current

approach ?

Organizational
Logistical
Research
Passive nature of paper

Medical Informatics Solutions


Databases
Information Retrieval
Internet
Computer programs

Why Medical Informatics


What is lacking in the current paper based

approach ?

Medication errors:
Patient has allergic reactions

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/
onpinews/newsitem.aspx?
recordid=11623

Wrong medication given to


patient
Wrong dosage given to patient

Medical Informatics Solutions


Medication errors may be prevented by a

simple scanning device

Video Three

Why Medical Informatics


What is lacking in the current paper based

approach ?

Cost:
Paper and storage
Environmental Cost
Time:
Find record, perform tests

Medical Informatics Solution


3D- Imaging
Other examples of medical informatics

applications

Video four

Medical Informatics Solutions


Message from the American academy of

family physicians

Video Five

Ultimate goal is to improve the quality


of health care, research and education
in medicine and health

Public Health
Aggregated clinical data can be analyzed to

identify emerging diseases within a region,


country, or around the world.

Public health alerts (e.g., new flu strain) can

be incorporated into clinical information


systems used by primary care clinicians.

Personalized Medicine
Genomic medicine
Manage greater quantities of data and more

complex data over time

Does it Always Work

No

Steps to Success
According to Haux:
Patient centered recording and use of data
Process integrated decision support
Comprehensive use of patient data for clinical and
reporting
Change Management
Workflow analysis
Simple technology
(Health care in the information society. A prognosis for the year 2013 -- Haux R, et al. Int J Med Inf 2002
Nov;66(1-3):3-21)

Thank You
HIBBs is a program of the Global Health
Informatics Partnership
www.ghip.net

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