Health Informatics
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Fall 2001-Study Guide

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 medical practice,

education, and research, including the information science and technology to support these tasks."

Greenes,  R. A. & Shortliffe, E. H. (1990). Medical informatics: an emerging academic discipline and institutional priority. JAMA, 263(8), 1114-20.

"Medical informatics is the application of computers, communications and information technology and systems to all fields of medicine - medical care, medical education and medical research."

Collen, M. F. (1994). The origins of informatics.  Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 1(2), 91-107.

"...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, 2(4), 207-214.

"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 the focus."

Medical Informatics FAQ.  (1999, Mar. 27). Retrieved 6/27/00 from the World Wide Web:

"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 medical care."

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:

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.

P. Brennan and S. Henry define nursing informatics:
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Nursing  Informatics  is  the  multidisciplinary  scientific  endeavour  of analysing, formalising and modelling  how  nurses  collect  and  manage  data,  process  data into   information   and   knowledge,   make   knowledge - based   decisions   and inferences  for  patient  care,  and  use  this empirical and experiential knowledge in order  to  broaden  the  scope  and  enhance  the  quality  of  their  professional practice.

The scientific methods central to nursing informatics are focused on:

1:Using a discourse about motives for computerised systems, 2. Analysing,  formalising  and  modelling  nursing  information  processing  and nursing knowledge for all components of nursing  practice:  clinical  practice, management, education and research,  3. investigating  determinants,  conditions,  elements,  models  and  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.

William Goosen, 1996

" A specialty 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

1992 Council on Computer Applications in Nursing (CCAN)

"Nursing 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 care”

1989 Graves and Corcoran

"The 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:

Administer nursing services and resources

Manage the delivery of patient and nursing care

Link research resources and findings to nursing practice

Apply educational resources to nursing education

1996 Saba and McCormick

"The application of computer technology to all fields on nursing - nursing service, nurse education, and nursing research

1980 Scholes and Barber

"The 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

1985 Hannah

"The application of information science to nursing and patientcare

1989 IMIA Working Group Eight Task Force on Education

Other Related Informatics Definitions

Dental Informatics

"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:

Patient Informatics

"...information supplied to patients using advanced information and communication technologies."
Bader, S. A. & Braude, R. M. (1998). Patient informatics: Creating new partnerships in medical decision making.  

Academic Medicine, 73(4), 408-411.


" integration of mathematical, statistical and computer methods to analyze biological, biochemical and biophysical data." Georgia Institute of Technology.  What is bioinformatics?  

Retrieved 6/27/00 from the World Wide Web:

Social Informatics

"... 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 practices."
Social Informatics Home Page. (June 2000).  

Retrieved 6/27/00 from the World Wide Web:


 Updated 02/20 06 .


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Copyright © 2008 rk
Oprettet den 07.august 2008
Opdateret 07-08-08