Medical Informatics: An Emerging Discipline with Academic and Institutional Perspectives

Reference: Greenes, R. A. & Shortliffe, E. H. Medical Informatics: An Emerging Discipline with Academic and Institutional Perspectives. February, 1989.

Abstract: Information management constitutes a major activity of the health care professional. Currently a number of forces are together focusing attention on this function. Medical informatics is the field that concerns itself with the cognitive, information processing, and communication tasks of medical practice, education, and research, including the information science and the technology to support these tasks. It is an intrinsically interdisciplinary field, with a highly applied focus, but it also addresses a number of fundamental research problems as well as planning and policy issues. After many years of development of information systems to support the infrastructure of medicine, a new generation of systems and tools are aimed at physicians and other health care managers and professionals - to support education, decision making, communication, and may other aspects of professional activity. Health care institutions are beginning to make large-scale commitments to information systems and to services that will affect every aspect of their organization's function. Academic units of medical informatics are being established at a number of medical schools, medical informatics professionals are being sought to serve on faculties and hospital staffs, and medical informatics is emerging as a distinct academic entity.

Notes: 24 pages.

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