Medical Informatics FAQ

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Aamir Zakaria, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Archive-name: medical-informatics-faq
    Posting-Frequency: monthly
    Last-modified: 2003/05/10

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Medical Informatics,

    This document is intended to answer some frequently asked
    questions about medical informatics and the newsgroup It is posted each month. It is
    periodically updated and all comments and contributions
    are welcome.

    Recent changes:

    5/10/03: Updated all links.
    5/10/04: Resumed posting with my working e-mail address
    (sorry for 8-yr delay).


    6) What is medical informatics?
    7) What is the purpose of the
    8) Where can I train in medical informatics?
    9) What do people trained in Medical Informatics do?
    10) How do I learn more about medical informatics?


    11) What is medical informatics?

    Simplistic definition: Computer applications in medical
    care Better definition: Biomedical Informatics is an
    emerging discipline that has been defined as the study,
    invention, and implementation of structures and algorithms
    to improve communication, understanding and management of
    medical information. The end objective of biomedical
    informatics is the coalescing of data, knowledge, and the
    tools necessary to apply that data and knowledge in the
    decision-making process, at the time and place that a
    decision needs to be made. The focus on the structures and
    algorithms necessary to manipulate the information
    separates Biomedical Informatics from other medical
    disciplines where information content is the focus. Even

    12) What is the purpose of the

    As stated in the Charter: The focus of this newsgroup will
    be the discussion of the grand challenges facing medical
    informatics today (and tomorrow). Appropriate topics
    include, but are not limited to:

    * Medical Information Standards
    * Medical Informatics Training
    * IAIMS (Integrated Academic Information
    Management Systems)
    * Computerized Medical Records
    * Clinical Information Systems (including radiology,
    laboratory, pharmacy, nursing, etc.)
    * Physician Order Entry Systems
    * Computer-Aided Instruction
    * Medical Expert Systems
    * Nursing Informatics
    * Announcements of Interest, e.g. conferences,
    journals, societies
    * National Library of Medicine
    * Health Information Networks
    * Medical Software Reviews
    * Research Funding Opportunities
    * Policy Making (including procurement and
    certification of medical software)
    * Medical Software Engineering
    * Cultural/Sociologic Changes
    * Medical Software Security
    * Telemedicine
    * Veterinary Informatics

    3) Where can I train in medical informatics?

    National Library of Medicine training sites in U.S.:
    Harvard, New England Medical Center, Pittsburgh,
    Stanford, Yale, Duke-UNC, Oregon Health Sciences U.,
    Rice-Baylor, U.Missouri, Columbia, U. Minnesota Some
    other U.S. programs: Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins,
    Utah, Alabama,
    U.Washington, Harvard/Center for Clinical
    Computing, U.Penn/ Philadelphia VA Medical Center
    Outside U.S.: Victoria (Canada), Geneva
    (Switzerland), Heidelberg/ Heilbronn (Germany),
    Hildesheim (Germany), Luebeck (Germany),
    Manchester (UK), Campinas (Brazil)

    Many others exist, some of which are catalogued in the
    following site:

    4) What do people trained in Medical Informatics do?

    Many people who train in medical informatics have
    professional degrees in a health related area. Nurses,
    physicians, medical librarians, and computer scientists
    will each find their professional niche in a different
    area: Consultants with management consulting firms,
    hospital record managers, data analysts, librarians,
    senior staff in state health departments, programmer/
    analysts in industry, and just good old family doctors.

    Different educational programs have varying expectations
    for their students future careers. It is best to contact
    each program to explore the range of career opportunities
    their graduates are prepared for.

    5) How do I learn more about medical informatics?

    Popular textbook: Medical Informatics by Shortliffe and
    Perreault. Popular journals: Journal of the American
    Medical Informatics Association,
    M.D. Computing, Methods of Information in Medicine,
    Computers and Biomedical Research Other
    sources: Yearbook of Medical Informatics,
    Proceedings of Symposium on Computer
    Applications in Medical Care, MEDINFO
    Proceedings Good Review article: Greenes RA.
    Shortliffe EH. Medical informatics. An emerging
    academic discipline and institutional priority.
    JAMA.263(8):1990 Feb 23. A Few WWW Home-Pages:
    American Medical Informatics Association
    Stanford: Duke:


    Acknowledgements: Dean Sittig, Robin Lake, Al Stone, Oliver
    Niedung, Joseph Hales.

    Further submissions, corrections, updates to
    <[email protected]>

    (N) 1995,2003 Aamir M. Zakaria