What is Healthcare Informatics?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Three Factors Contributing to the Growth of Healthcare Informatics

Healthcare Informatics is a multidisciplinary field that combines aspects of healthcare sciences, computer science, information science and cognitive science to improve the management of patient healthcare data. The field of healthcare informatics has existed for at least three decades, but has seen rapid growth and innovation in the past five years as a result of three key factors:

  1. Increased Adoption of Healthcare Information Technology – Healthcare IT, sometimes called HIT, is simply the integration of information and technology into healthcare environments. HIT can take on many forms, including connected wearable devices, smart patient monitoring devices, healthcare software, and mobile applications, telemedicine, and others. The widespread adoption of HIT has led hospitals and healthcare facilities to collect increasing amounts of patient data that can be used to drive Healthcare Informatics initiatives.
  2. Introduction of the EHR Mandate – By the end of 2014, healthcare facilities were expected to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic medical records. The introduction of the EHR mandate led to the widespread digitization of patient data and increased the availability of that data for Healthcare Informatics applications.
  3. New Data Processing Techniques – As healthcare facilities gather increasing amounts of data each year, innovations in data science methodology, including techniques with artificial intelligence and machine learning, have allowed healthcare facilities to process and analyze larger amounts of data more efficiently than ever.

The primary goal of Healthcare Informatics is to leverage the power of data to drive improvements in healthcare, including cost reduction, infection detection and prevention, and enhanced patient care outcomes.

What Can Healthcare Informatics Do?

Healthcare Informatics can provide a range of benefits for hospitals with the required infrastructure to analyze patient data:

Support Clinical Decision Making

Electronic health records are the primary recording medium for patient data in the healthcare setting. When patient data is stored in a secure cloud-based application, it can be manually accessed and updated by a patient’s team of doctors, nurses, and specialists, even if they work in different locations. Some connected medical devices or software applications with healthcare interoperability features may push automatic updates of patient status to the EHR. The result is an easily accessible and up-to-date set of records that can support effective clinical decision making.

Improve Pharmacy, Lab and Home Healthcare

Healthcare Informatics plays a role in making laboratory results more readily accessible to primary care-givers and bridging communications gaps between the doctors who write prescriptions and the pharmacists who fill them. Patients have been able to go home earlier after surgeries thanks to wearable medical devices that monitor the vital signs of the patient and automatically update the EHR, which physicians monitor to ensure the patient is recovering well.

Drive Public Health Research and Initiatives

Research organizations collect large amounts of anonymous patient data and use it in public health research. On the micro-scale, that could mean searching for patterns of infections and illness to detect and address epidemic outbreaks before they increase in severity. On a macro scale, it could mean sourcing millions of X-ray images from across the country and teaching a machine-learning algorithm to read and interpret them.

How Healthcare Informatics Improves Medical Care

Researchers are beginning to analyze and measure how Healthcare Informatics is having a positive effect on medical care.

Healthcare Informatics helps reduce the cost of patient care by eliminating repeat procedures and other less efficient methods of information sharing. Streamlined communication between doctors, specialists, nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians helps to improve the speed and coordination of care, leading to better patient outcomes.

In addition to the direct benefits of Healthcare Informatics, enhanced patient participation is also leading to improved medical care. When patients can access their full electronic health history, they are encouraged to take ownership of decisions about their health and have higher-quality interactions with their care providers. This may lead to improved adherence to treatment protocols and better healthcare outcomes.

TigerFlow Streamlines Clinical Communication with Healthcare Informatics

TigerFlow is a direct-messaging application that uses Healthcare Informatics to streamline clinical communication and enhance coordination between care providers. Built by TigerConnect, the app centralized patient care data in a mobile-friendly interface with features like role-based communication, paging alerts, and dynamic calendars. With TigerFlow, healthcare professionals can clarify orders, receive EHR alerts and more using any phone, tablet or mobile device.

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About TigerConnect

TigerConnect is healthcare’s most widely adopted communication platform – uniquely modernizing care collaboration among doctors, nurses, patients, and care teams. TigerConnect is the only solution that combines a consumer-like user experience for text, video, and voice communication with serious security, privacy, and clinical workflow requirements that today’s healthcare organizations demand. TigerConnect accelerates productivity, reduces costs, and improves patient outcomes.

Trusted by more than 6,000 healthcare organizations, TigerConnect maintains 99.99% verifiable uptime and processes more than 10 million messages each day. To learn more about TigerConnect visit www.tigerconnect.com.