Health Informatics
Health informatics continues to grow as an interdisciplinary field that uses digital information and technologies to support clinical practice, research and public health. At its core, it facilitates the electronic collection, storage, retrieval and use of health data to enhance patient care and outcomes.
While the use of informatics in dentistry and other clinical fields dates back to the 1950s, the past decade has seen tremendous advances driven by electronic health records (EHRs) and health analytics systems. As of 2022, over 95% of hospitals in the United States utilize certified EHR technology. This near-universal digitization of patient data has transformed how care is delivered and supported new models of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The various branches of health informatics remain important areas of focus. Clinical informatics directly impacts care through tools like computerized provider order entry and clinical decision support. Nursing informatics aids in care coordination and transition between settings. Public health informatics powers population health management, disease surveillance and policy decisions. And clinical research informatics has enabled larger, more data-driven clinical trials through electronic data capture.
A few key developments since the original overview:
Computational health informatics is an increasingly interdisciplinary field that applies techniques from computer science, mathematics and engineering to challenges in biomedicine. Areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics now play roles in drug discovery, precision medicine and predictive modeling. [1]
Nursing informatics certification is now available and pursued by many nurses to advance their skills and career opportunities in this specialized domain. Programs have emerged at both graduate and undergraduate levels to educate future nurse informaticists. [2]
Interoperability of health data across systems remains a challenge but efforts like the 21st Century Cures Act in the US aim to break down barriers through standards development. When achieved, this will further unlock the potential of large datasets to power discovery. [3]
In summary, health informatics continues to evolve rapidly at the intersection of healthcare, information technology and computer science. It remains a crucial enabler of more data-driven, efficient and personalized patient-centered care worldwide.
References:
[1] Topol, E. (2019). High-performance medicine: the convergence of human and artificial intelligence. Nature Medicine, 25(1), 44-56.
[2] Bakken, S., Cook, S. S., Curtis, L., Desjardins, K., Hyun, S., Jenkins, M., … & Westra, B. (2018). State of the science of informatics for nursing and healthcare. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(12), 1628-1638. essay writing service
[3] Blumenthal, D., & Tavenner, M. (2010). The “meaningful use” regulation for electronic health records. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(6), 501-504.

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