Health Informatics Profession
Health Informatics (HI) is a discipline that is rapidly gaining prominence as countries around the world seek to leverage digital technologies to enable care provision and build knowledge at individual and population levels. There are a variety of definitions, but all are based on principles of connecting, accessing and assessing health information for the improvement of health systems.“Health informatics is the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption and application of information technology (IT) – based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management and planning. “As defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan 7 2014 www.himss.org/health-informatics-defined“Health Informatics is a discipline that deals with the collection, storage, retrieval, communication and optimal use of health related data, information and knowledge. It recognizes the role of citizens in their own health care as well as the information handling roles of the healthcare professionals, and is now considered a critically essential and pervasive element in sustainable health care delivery. There is a recognized need for the advancement and teaching of knowledge about the application of information and communication technologies to healthcare – the place where health, information and computer sciences, psychology, epidemiology and engineering intersect.”As defined by the Health Informatics Society of Australia, 1994; UK Health Informatics Society, 2007.
The term Health Informatics is a broad term referring to a wide scope of digital information technologies in healthcare – it includes all of the above terms and more. It is often used interchangeably (sometimes erroneously) with such terms depending on context and focus.