Health informatics



Health informatics is the intersection of health care, computer science and information technology. It widely deals with the use of resources, hardware and software in retrieving, storage, processing and dissemination of healthcare information. This is widely used in all area of medical care and also in medical research.

The use of such technologies in Medicare is advantageous.


Saves time in retrieving or recoding the patience history, easy to apply since involves either entry of data in forms or retrieval, convenient in a way that it saves space of filling, professional since information can be updated and reviewed from time to time following changes in technology., most effective in the long run because reduces resources used in the manual data entry and storage, versatile-Contains many options which are user friendly, interactive in the sense that it easily communicates with the user as he performs his duties, Unit tailored since from the stored data one can carry out research on a particular subject by application of statistical software, easy to share information from various institutions or from various hospital

Fundamentals of database characteristics and structure.

A database is an arrangement of persistent data in a table in order to fit a specific use. Databases are made up of; Fields which is a single piece of information, Record this is a set of fields and Table which is a collection of records. Data item is a particular value in a field. (Beaumont, R. (2000). Examples of database include; phonebook, Photo album, etc.

Components of a database include the various parts that form a system that can perform a specific task. A database consists of a schema which describes information and the relationship between the parts of that information .The schema can be organized in various ways so that they can perform work following a certain method or model. Access97 is an example of a relational model.

Database design structure includes analysis of business needs, drafting, and system

Requirements, testing, report defining and user verification.

Database management system is a system that consists of specific software that controls the use and maintenance of information in an organization. Examples include paradox, oracle and access97.DBMS allows you to enter data into a system by use of tables or by querying a system through a form.

Queries and reports are output options that are meant to make extraction of data much easier.

Various types of medical data and information records in different Medicare disciplines

According to Szolovits, P. (2003), Medical records assist in patients care planning and keep the communication between medical professionals in improving patients care. He adds that almost everybody uses these information including Chaplains, institutions, researchers, and policy makers in allocation of resources. Patients' individual medical record must identify her and give her case in relation to past cases.

Basically they contain the following; name residence, contacts, sex, blood type, any allergic reactions, results of tests, prescriptions, chronic diseases and family disease history (

Computer based patient records have increased rapidly in the recent past.

(Dick & Steen, 1991) they note that many countries in Europe has adopted this system which is of much importance in improving medical care.

The importance of uniform terminology, coding and standardization of the data

a) Increases efficiency in the use of the system.

b) Makes professionals to work on one recognized standards.

c) Makes interpretation of legal guidelines binding professionals easy in defense of anything

d) Avoids wrong or misguided interpretation on systems.

e) Allows easy sharing of data and information on the same platform.

The urgency to improve on healthcare productivity and quality calls for improvement in healthcare information infrastructure. From Szolovist, P (2003) describes the steps to fasten, standardize and harmonize the principles guiding medical informatics. He notes that medical informatics is a dynamic field that requires dynamic changes due to the changes in the clinical operations.

In the United States the main body that deals with development of health care standards is the ANSI HISPP (ANSI Healthcare Informatics Standards Planning Panel.) Its inclusion in the ANSI HISB (ANSI Healthcare Informatics Standards Board) would surely give it more powers of operation.

Various information standards and organizations that may be applicable

There are 55 countries under the Health level seven International which is the major global authority in the world on Healthcare information. Whose goal and vision is to create the best and widely used standards in the world. The mother of all organizations is the ISO (International Standards Organization) which approves all standards.

Examples of standards include;

Messaging standards-It is a specification for transactions produced and received by computer systems.

Arden syntax-Alls for publication of rules and importing them in computer systems to be used in healthcare.

Visual integration- Allows one to perform multiple operations on the desktop.

Claims attachment -A vital standard that guides the submission and adjudication of healthcare claims.

Personal health record-Allows for standardization of description to ensure uniformity from one country to another.

Structured product labeling- A standard that is used by the law for those who submit products for marketing.

Clinical document architecture-Provides an exchange model for clinical documents.



1. retrieved on May 29, 2010

2. retrieved on May 29, 2010

3. Beaumont, R. (2000). Database and Database Management Systems. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

4. Szolovits, P. (2003). Nature of Medical Data. MIT, Intro to Medical Informatics: Lecture-2. Retrieved on August 12, 2009 from

5. Health Level Seven: Links to Standards Developers. Retrieved August 12, 2009 from

6. Dick, R. S. and Steen, E. B., Eds. (1991). The Computer-Based Patient Record: AnEssential Technology for Health Care. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press


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