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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.