Health Informatics, or Health Sciences Informatics (HSI), is a growing academic field working to advance scientific knowledge about the use of data, information, and knowledge technology in all aspects of health, including: education, prevention, research, and clinical care. HSI draws from and brings together public health and biomedical science, computer science, software engineering, and a full range of social sciences. One of our key Science Network participants is the Johns Hopkins Division of Health Sciences Informatics.
A goal of HSI is to advance the use of Health Information Technology (HIT) in patient care. A early series of reports from the Institute of Medicine have highlighted problems in the quality of health care [1-3]. In the report “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century,” the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for a system designed to be effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable . The IOM identified Health Information Technology (HIT) as a core means for enabling these process aspects.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has called for research “to improve the design of clinical research for enhancing the quality of patient care (e.g., studies linking patient-reported outcomes data with medical records and/or billing information to improve patient-provider communication, patient decision-making, or clinical decision-making)”.
More recently, in “Learning Healthcare System Concepts v. 2008,” the 2009 report of the IOM Roundtable on Evidence-Based Medicine, the central concept is: “A learning healthcare system is needed, in which new insights and evidence are constantly produced, and value is constantly enhanced, by real-time learning from the clinical experience and seamless application of the lessons in the care process” .
A strategic goal of the Foundation is to contribute to the formation and evolution of our learning health care system. With the growth of the web, mobile networks and devices, business innovation, and social priorities, health care is changing with increasing pace.