The true and noble purpose of health informatics

Digital Health
I was asked this week to provide a succinct definition of health informatics. I am aware that this is something of a minefield. There are many learned organisations who provide definitions, and probably there are as many other definitions as there are health informaticians. It did however cause me to consider whether my view of health informatics has changed in the 30 years that I have been working in the field. So my personal view (I don’t presume to call it a definition) is that: Health informatics is the management of information to support optimal decision-making in order to achieve optimal health outcomes. Please note, there is no reference to technology in this statement. However, for practical purposes my description needs to be amplified by an additional statement: Whilst this…
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The NHS at 70. How informed are we?

Digital Health, Uncategorized
The UK national health service has reached its 70th birthday. There is, in my view, no better national health care system when it comes to achieving its goal of providing universal healthcare irrespective of one’s ability to pay. When the NHS started, our information system was the Lloyd George envelope. Today, in the NHS we make use of some of the latest modern technology, including latest information technology. We hear about how artificial intelligence is going to help us address the ever increasing challenge of meeting the needs of an ageing population. During a recent patient episode, And MRI scan was considered a routine part of my care at my local district Hospital. So how are we to judge the use of technology to provide the best information to support…
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In memory of Dr Dilys Jones

Digital Health
Dilys and I had finished writing a book when she was taken ill in late 2017. This book has now been published in Dilys’ memory and all proceeds will go to charity in her memory. For those of you who have been influenced by her, or even perhaps by me, I hope you will find this book useful and a fitting tribute. Information Governance, Technology and Management for General Practice: a guide to staying out of trouble Information technology is a key tool for GP practices in providing the best possible care for their patients by having the right information at the right time in the right place. But are you and your colleagues getting the best results from your computers and the information they provide? This book will help…
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Five myths from a digital health workshop

Five myths from a digital health workshop

AGLC, Digital Health
Here are my favourite (!) Myths inspired by every health informatics/digital health event I have ever been to. Myth 1: You really need a rubber frog computer mouse/USB stick First priority at the event is to visit the exhibition and to garner all the freebies. There's always one exhibitor who's gone the extra mile and is giving away the freebie that everybody wants. Question is, what will you do with afterwards? How long will it take you to lose it in the bottom of your handbag, or leave it in your hotel room? Myth 2: You cannot get through more than an hour without coffee Every workshop agenda becomes a series of coffee breaks punctuated by sessions of speakers. Do we really need that much coffee? Is this healthy? Are…
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