Why is informatics important and how can it improve patient care

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Andrew Boyd, MD

Find out why clinical informatics is important and how it improves patient care.


My name is Andy Boyd. I am a faculty member in the department of Biomedical and Health Information services. I teach in the Health Informatics program. The course I teach is Introduction to Informatics for the Clinical Investigators. For the health informaticians many of them work at academic medical centers and do clinical research.

Clinical Research Informatics is an area where how do we create tools to help harness the data from the EHR for Clinical Research to accelerate medicine as well as how do we record the data in ways to help them keep their data, keep it solid and if people make mistakes, how do we go back and get the authentic data so, people aren’t accidently writing-over each others data? How do you keep it HIPA secure? If you’re doing an FDA approved trial, how do you keep it 21 CFR Part 11? Within the curriculum, I teach the course of Introduction to Informatics for the Clinical investigator.

I also have my own research and my research is ‘Data simplification in order to improve clinical outcomes’ focusing predominantly on the patient. When you consider health data, this is the most complex data you’re ever going to encounter. Here at UIC we have seven health colleges. There is no way a patient can ever go to all seven health profession in order to understand their own health data.

How do we take this diversity of opinion and present it to the patient to help engage them to become a true partner in their care, because obviously no one is going to go to seven different health sciences colleges in seven different degrees. Again, how do you take this health data transform it in order to help engage the patients in naval ways to help them become better partners in their own care?