Today’s modern medicine requires doctors to be constantly aware of new developments, new medications, and new procedures. With the influx of patients into the medical system, it is more essential than ever that the health care industry keep up. Health informatics is the combination of informational science, health care and computer technology. In the 1950s, health care experts realized the need to integrate health records of patients along with the use of computers. Originally, this process was called medical computing. By the 1970s, health informatics had taken over the medical world by storm. Doctors’ offices, hospitals, and small clinics were all using patient record keeping via computer to help better track treatment and patient progress.
There are many benefits to using health informatics. Through the use of computers, the Internet and various medical databases, doctors can better learn how to treat patients more effectively. The data retrieved by the use of heath informatics provides statistical information that can have a profound effect on how medicine is distributed, surgeries are performed, and how healing is tracked. It also helps hospitals better track patients’ past records so they can be treated faster in the future. The use of health informatics has opened up the doors for clinics to be more capable of treating patients in a more efficient manner, and helps these clinics refine their current process to make it more streamlined.
Medical software and record keeping programs are constantly being upgraded, and new programs are provided to help keep more accurate and detailed records of patients. This can also help to speed up the check-in process for patients when they arrive at a hospital or doctor’s office. Hand held portable devices are now also being used so that nurses and doctors can easily move throughout a large hospital or clinic, while still being able to access information at the touch of a button. Health informatics are also used at dentist offices so oral surgeons and dentists can coordinate patient treatment. This integration has provided medical professionals with an easy to use, fast method of accessing patient’s past medical history.
New technology can be an integral part of medicine, and health informatics is no exception. Through detailed patient medical records, clinics and hospitals have access to much more information, and can retrieve this information quicker than ever before. The development and combination of computer and medical science has opened the doors for medical specialists, and given patients a better chance at getting the best treatment possible.
For more information about health informatics, please refer to the following websites:
- Healthcare Informatics – An online and print publication providing the latest regarding health informatics.
- Intro. To Medical Informatics – Read a lecture by top educators at Columbia University discussing health informatics.
- AMIA – The American Medical Informatics Association is dedicated to progress and use of health informatics for doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
- Health Informatics Worldwide – A comprehensive health informatics site, providing information from around the world.
- What is Health Informatics? – An article from the University of Illinois explaining health informatics.
- FAQ’s – Some frequently asked questions and answers pertaining to health informatics.
- Public Health Informatics Institute – An organization that focuses on integrating health informatics for the public health and public healthcare systems.
- Definition & Resources – Defines health informatics, and provides links to research, journals, and other resources.
- Biomedical Informatics – A detailed article explaining what biomedical and health informatics are.
- How Informatics Helps Patients – Information about health informatics can help patients live better lives.
- Advancing Healthcare – The Regenstrief Institute is geared towards advancing the use of medical informatics to help better the lives of patients, and advance the medical industry.
- Health Informatics Forum - A Social Network for Health Informatics professionals, students and academics.