How health informatics can help improve care

What is health informatics and how is it used?

ISACA adviser and media spokesman Neil Lappage notes that “if you ask 10 different people about health informatics, you will get 10 different answers.” It makes sense – as a budding field, informatics is driven by both technology adoption at the organizational level and the integration of these solutions into healthcare workflows for frontline staff.

Lappage offers a concise definition of the term: “Health informatics is the application of science in IT to improve people’s health and improve health care.” By using solutions such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to better organize and analyze data, organizations can more quickly detect relevant patterns or isolate useful information.

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“An example of this is a company that uses artificial intelligence to scan people’s breasts,” says Lappage. “They have been able to use this technology to determine who has pneumonia and who may have early signs of COVID.”

Collecting and analyzing information while it is being created, and then comparing it with existing datasets, makes decision-making almost real-time possible to improve patient outcomes.

How do the rules change health informatics?

One of the biggest challenges in efficient informatics is siled data. As mentioned by Dr. Harley Eisman, Chief Medical Officer of KixCare and Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Services at Montreal Children’s Hospital, “Most clinicians want more technology and more interoperability. One of the holy grails is to add capacity and improve the patient experience, but we’re still chasing results and data and experience some of the fragmented nature of the current healthcare system. “

Efforts to deliver interoperability are increasing. For example, the final rule of the 21st Century Cures Act will require healthcare authorities to provide all healthcare data to patients upon request in 2022, which in turn drives the need for agile and interoperable technical standards. The law’s information blocking rule “in the meantime prohibits actors from carrying out any practice that may be expected to interfere with, prevent or significantly discourage access to, exchange of or use of electronic health information.”

The Big Three: Top Technologies for Success in Health Informatics

It is one thing to understand the role of informatics and recognize the evolving regulatory landscape, but what technologies support the success of large-scale information sharing?

First is the cloud. To organize and manage data across different sources and formats, cloud solutions are essential.

“We need to be as collaborative as possible,” Eisman says. “So before we see patients, we can get as much data as possible around us. We need collaboration tools that help improve the initial visit, but also follow-up, that help improve patient-facing time, and that help deliver expertise regardless of geography. “

AI is also critical. Analyzing large datasets to determine patterns or trends is simply not possible without the help of AI and machine learning tools.

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