This homepage will support the stand alone and the integrated version
of VS503 course of Health- and Nursing
Informatics at the International Semester.
Below you can se a list of several definitions on health, medical and nursing
informatics. It is an area in fast development and as the ammount of definitions
indicate, there is not yet concensus about definitions.
Go to Fall 2001 for actual content to support the course.
Health and Medical Informatics Definitions
"...the rapidly developing
scientific field that deals with the storage, retrieval, and optimal use
of biomedical information, data, and knowledge for problem solving and
decision making. It accordingly touches on all basic and applied fields in
biomedical science and is closely tied to modern information technologies,
notably in the areas of computing and communications."
Shortliffe, E. H., Perreault, L. E., Wiederhold, G.,
& Fagan, L. M., eds. (1990). Medical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health
Care. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, p.20.
"Informatics is the field concerned
with the cognitive, information processing, and communication tasks of
education, and research, including the information
science and technology to support these tasks."
R. A. & Shortliffe, E. H. (1990). Medical informatics: an emerging
academic discipline and institutional priority. JAMA, 263(8),
"Medical informatics is the application of
computers, communications and information technology and systems to all
fields of medicine - medical care, medical education and medical
M. F. (1994). The origins of informatics.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 1(2),
"...the study, invention, and implementation of
structures and algorithms to improve communication, understanding, and
management of medical information."
Warner, H. R. (1995). Medical informatics: A real
discipline? Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association,
"The field of information science concerned with
the analysis and dissemination of medical data through the application
of computers to various aspects of health care and medicine."
Definition from National Library of Medicine, Medical
Subject Headings (MeSH) List
"Simplistic definition: Computer applications in
medical care. Complicated 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
Medical Informatics FAQ. (1999, Mar. 27).
Retrieved 6/27/00 from the World Wide Web: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/medical-informatics-faq/
"Medical informatics is a developing body of
knowledge and set of techniques concerning the organization and
management of information in support of medical research, education, and
patient care. ...Medical informatics combines medical science with
several technologies and disciplines in the information and computer
sciences and provides methodologies by which these can contribute to
better use of the medical knowledge base and ultimately to better
Report of the Steering Committee on the evaluation of
medical information science in medical education. (1986). In Proceedings
of the symposium on medical informatics (pp. 2-3). Washington, DC:
Association of American Medical Colleges.
"The terms 'medical informatics' and 'health
informatics' have been variously defined, but can be best understood as
meaning the understanding, skills and tools that enable the sharing and
use of information to deliver healthcare and promote health. 'Health
informatics' is now tending to replace the previously commoner term
'medical informatics', reflecting a widespread concern to define an
information agenda for health services which recognizes the role of
citizens as agents in their own care, as well as the major
information-handling roles of the non-medical healthcare
professions. Health informatics is thus an essential and pervasive
element in all healthcare activity. It is also the name of an academic
discipline developed and pursued over the past decades by a world-wide
scientific community engaged in advancing and teaching knowledge about
the application of information and communication technologies to
healthcare - the place where health, information and computer sciences,
psychology, epidemiology and engineering intersect."
British Medical Informatics Society. (2000, June
5). Retrieved 6/27/00 from the World Wide Web: http://www.bmis.org
Nursing Informatics Definitions
...nursing informatics is a combination of computer science, information
science and nursing science designed to assist in the management and
processing of nursing data, information and knowledge to support the
practice of nursing and the delivery of nursing care." Graves,
J. R. & Corcoran, S. (1989). An overview of nursing informatics. Image:
Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 21, 227-231.
and S. Henry define nursing informatics:
(Requires RealPlayer 5.0 or higher)
of analysing, formalising and modelling
process data into
knowledge - based decisions
and inferences for
this empirical and experiential knowledge in order
scientific methods central to nursing informatics are focused on:
a discourse about motives for computerised systems, 2.
processing and nursing
knowledge for all components of nursing
practice, management, education and research, 3.
processes in order to
design, and implement as well as test the effectiveness and efficiency of
computerised information, (tele) communication and network
systems for nursing
practice, and 4.
studying the effects of these systems on nursing practice.
that integrates nursing science, computer science,and information science
in intentifying, collecting, processing,and managing data and information
to support nursing practice,administration, education, and research; and
to expand nursing knowledge”
Council on Computer Applications in Nursing (CCAN)
informatics is a combination of computer science, information science and
nursing science designed to assist with
the management and processing of data, information and knowledge
to support the practice of nursing and the delivery of nursing
Graves and Corcoran
use of technology and/or a computer system to collect, store, process,
display, retrieve, and communicate timely data and information in and
across health care facilities that:
nursing services and resources
the delivery of patient and nursing care
research resources and findings to nursing practice
educational resources to nursing education”
Saba and McCormick
application of computer technology to all fields on nursing - nursing
service, nurse education, and nursing research”
Scholes and Barber
use of information technologies in relation to any functionswhich are
within the purview of nursing and which are carried out by nurses in the
perfomance of their duties”
application of information science to nursing and patientcare”
IMIA Working Group Eight Task Force on Education
Other Related Informatics Definitions
"Dental Informatics focuses on the synthesis and management of
information in support of dentistry. Information science, computer science,
and engineering are merged with dental science to generate the knowledge and
methods of this discipline."
University of Michigan
School of Dentistry. Dental informatics and dental public health.
Retrieved 6/27/00 from the World Wide Web:
"...information supplied to patients using advanced information and
Bader, S. A. & Braude, R. M. (1998). Patient informatics:
Creating new partnerships in medical decision making.
Medicine, 73(4), 408-411.
"...an integration of mathematical, statistical and computer methods to
analyze biological, biochemical and biophysical data." Georgia
Institute of Technology. What is bioinformatics?
6/27/00 from the World Wide Web:
"... refers to the body of research and study that examines social
aspects of computerization -- including the roles of information technology in
social and organizational change and the ways that the social organization of
information technologies are influenced by social forces and social
Social Informatics Home Page. (June 2000).
Retrieved 6/27/00 from the World Wide Web:
Updated 02/20 06