Whether you are a nurse, physician, patient or family member, informatics impacts us all when it comes to caring for one's health.
Think about that sentence for a minute.
This means that whether you are an expert in the field or this is the first time introduced to the word informatics, there is a place for this science in your life and/or work.
Let me explain.
Consider you are a nurse and you are assigned a new patient. You may want to know the patient's name, date of birth (e.g., age), and a general reason for visit to start. All three of the areas mentioned represent different data elements.
Perhaps you are a patient and requesting an appointment or picking up a prescription. Either of these actions are a result of a healthcare need driven by your own health data.
For physicians, medical orders can only be placed based on the presentation and/or associated results from diagnostic exams, tests, and/or values.
Family members who may be responsible for the care of a loved one, will often need to know details such as the patient's appointments, medications, and more.
In all instances, the user group requires access to health data and information in order to provide care.
Informatics in healthcare is the dependency and use of data and information to generate new knowledge and wisdom about a particular need.
Without data and information that is accessible, accurate and available to use, providing healthcare becomes subjective and void of evidence to make a decision.
So, what can you do with this new insight?
Start with this initial recognition and think about the data you need each day to perform, care, diagnose, treat, support and/or perhaps simply give yourself your own best health each day.
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