Information technology (IT) is revolutionizing the management of health procedures and data sharing in healthcare systems. Health informatics is a stand-alone discipline in healthcare industry based on digital innovation and IT. The origin of this filed can be traced back in 1928, as health records library under American College of Surgeons. It progressed in the 1960s through the development of safety and security standards in healthcare processes across hospital departments (Gibson, Dixon, & Abrams, 2015). Challenges of coding and sharing healthcare data through structured and secure environment informed the progress of health informatics. In addition, standards for laboratory information exchange, electronic health records, management systems, and security systems were first administered under health informatics (Gibson, Dixon, & Abrams, 2015). Although some medical departments address specific specialties, the absence of a coordinating division on developments, synchronization, and sharing of patients’ health information within a secure environment brought confidentiality breaches and data security lapses; hence, necessitating the use of health informatics.
Health informatics has evolved as a distinct specialty in healthcare. As physicians, nurses, and pharmacists among other professionals discharge their roles in patient management, the flow of information is coded within a secured, and technology manipulated system to deliver accurate and reliable health data, which can be understood by all partners within a patient’s health management plan (Ratwani, Fairbanks, Hettinger, & Benda, 2015). For instance, when a department of radiology processes a digital data file, cording and explanations that are easy to understand by non-radiology experts are generated by medical informatics. Likewise, professional bodies such as national council on prescription drugs have responsibilities to create standards, focusing on pharmacies, hospital, and patients. Health informatics develops names and codes for drugs that support dissemination of information to all stakeholders. Therefore, to ensure proper cording and security of medical data, health informatics should be mainstreamed within hospital departments, healthcare research institutions, medical colleges, and universities a
Gibson, C. J., Dixon, B. E., & Abrams, K. (2015). Convergent evolution of health information management and health informatics. Applied Clinical informatics, 6(01), 163-184. doi: 10.4338/ACI-2014-09-RA-0077
Ratwani, R. M., Fairbanks, R. J., Hettinger, A. Z., & Benda, N. C. (2015). Electronic health record usability: analysis of the user-centered design processes of eleven electronic health record vendors. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 22(6), 1179-1182. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocv050
HiMSS. (2013). Evolution of healthcare informatics standards. Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Retrieved from https://www.himss.org/library/interoperability-standards/Evolution-of-Healthcare-Informatics-Standards.