Healthcare Informatics

We are in the midst of the information economy right now and some of you may ask what does that really refer to? What this refers to is the utilization of new technologies and information management that enhances process efficiency, that helps people to work faster and smarter.

This whole transformation of the economy began in the mid-1990’s with:

• New investment in IT (Information Technology)
• Faster Computer Processing
• The Internet becoming a Vehicle for E-Commerce
• Email
• The Way We Shop

The result in this has been a dramatic increase in productivity in the United States and Worldwide. Productivity doubled from the mid-1990’s until now, from the previous decades of the 70’s and 80’s. This is largely attributed to the information economy and the incorporation of new technology and information technologies. One industry or area that was left behind or lagged to catch up, would be the healthcare sector. Much of the information in the healthcare service involved and still involves charting with paper-based information.

What is happening now in the healthcare sector is the incorporation of new technologies. These technologies are digitizing paper-based information into computer-based information. So now instead of writing this information down in paper form, you’re inputting into things like computerized physician order entry (CPOE) forms, creating electronic health records (EHRs). This is just one aspect of how healthcare information technology is transforming the efficiencies and productivity of the healthcare sector. This really incorporated the realm of informatics or healthcare informatics.

What is Healthcare Informatics?

What is healthcare informatics? Healthcare informatics is the utilization of information technologies and information management tactics, to enhance production efficiencies. There are various processes throughout the healthcare industry, just the hospital alone there are numerous processes. To note just a few processes and activities, you would have radiology activities, lab activities, workflow activities and logistical activities behind the scenes. With new technologies, the processes have become faster and more efficient. For instance checking people in, routing people to the correct areas, again just another area where healthcare information technologies can enhance efficiencies and productivity with the end result in reduced cost.