Assignment: The Logic of Disease

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Assignment: The Logic of Disease

Assignment: The Logic of Disease

If physiology literally means ‘the logic of life’, and pathology is ‘the logic of disease’, then Health informatics is the logic of healthcare. It is the rational study of the way we think about patients, and the way that treatments are defined, selected and evolved. It is the study of how clinical knowledge is created, shaped, shared and applied. Ultimately, it is the study of how we organize ourselves to create and run healthcare organizations.

Assignment: The Logic of Disease

Assignment: The Logic of Disease

With such a pivotal role, it is likely that in the next century, the study of informatics will become as fundamental to the practice of medicine as anatomy has been to the last. Health informatics is thus as much about computers as cardiology is about stethoscopes. Rather than drugs, X-ray machines or surgical instruments, the tools of informatics are more likely to be clinical guidelines, formal health languages, information systems, or communication systems like the Internet. These tools, however, are only a means to an end, which is the delivery of the best possible healthcare. Although the name ‘health informatics’ only came into use around 1973 (Protti, 1995), it is a study that is as old as healthcare itself. It was born the day that a clinician first wrote down some impressions about a patient’s illness, and used these to learn how to treat their next patient. Informatics has grown considerably as a clinical discipline in recent years fuelled, in part no doubt, by the advances in computer technology.

Assignment: The Logic of Disease

What has fundamentally changed is our ability to describe and manipulate health knowledge at a highly abstract level, as has our ability to build up rich communication systems to support the process of healthcare. We can formally say that health informatics is the study of information and communication systems in healthcare. Health informatics is particularly focused on: 1. Understanding the fundamental nature of these information and communication systems, and describing the principles which shape them, 2. Developing interventions which can improve upon existing information and communication systems, 3. Developing methods and principles which allow such interventions to be designed, 4. Evaluating the impact of these interventions on the way individuals or organizations work, or on the outcome of the work. Specific subspecialties of health informatics include clinical informatics, which focuses on the use of information in support of patient care and bioinformatics, which focuses on the use of genomic and other biological information.” As you may have noticed, our textbook focuses mainly on the use of informatics for nurses. However it is still quite relevant for the whole healthcare industry. Note that the explanation by Corera deals in more specific terms not just with the use of informatics but also with the development of interventions for implementing health information systems. Your task is: on the basis of the above material and Ch. 1 in our book please express in 20-25 lines how Health Informatics fits your other major studies at your university.

Here is a chapter summary for chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 1

-Data are a collectin of numbers, characters, or facts that are gathered according to some perceived need or analysis and possibly for action at a later point in time.

-data have little meaning alone, but a collection of data can be examined for patterns and structure that can be interpreted. At this point, data become information.

-knowledge is the synthesis of information derived from several sources to produce a single concept or idea.

-Healthcare delivery systems are knowledge-intensive settings with nurses as the largest group of knowledge workers within those systems. Information technology offers several tools to support nurses and other healthcare workers in their knowledge work.

-Good information management ensures access to the right information at the right time to the people who need it. This is particularly important when the volume of information exceeds human processing capacity.

-Informatics is the application of computer and statistical techniques to the management of information.

-Nursing informatics is the use of information and computer technology as a tool to process information to suport all areas of nursing, including practice, education, administration, and research. The definition of nursing informatics continues to evolve.

-A formal definition of nursing informatics serves to shape job descriptions and educational preparation for informatics practice.

-Nursing informatics is a necessity, not a luxury, in today’s rapidly changing healthcare delivery system. All nurses need basic informatics skills.

-Computer technology facilitates the collection of data for analysis, which can be used to jusitfy the efficacy of particular interventions and improve the quality of care.

-Other healthcare providers also benefit from nursing informatics.

-Nursing informatics allows nurses to have better control over data management.

-According to the American Nurses Associatin the informatics nurse specialist (INS) has advanced graduate education in nursing informatics or a related field and may hold ANCC certification in informatics whereas the informatics nurse is a nurse who works in informatics or has an interest in the area but does not have formal informatics preparation.

Chapter 2

-Computers are machines that process data under the direction of a program, or stored sequence of instructions.

The major hardware components of computers are input devices, the CPU, secondary storage, and output devices.

-The major categories of computers are supercomputers; mainframes; minicomputers; PCs or desktop systems; laptop or notebook computers; tablet computers; and handheld devices such as PDAs, the BlackBerry, iPod, and iPhone.

-Peripheral hardware items, such as the keyboard, mouse, monitor, modem, and printer, help the user put data into the computer, read output, and communicate with other users.

-Networks are linked systems of computers. Local area networks, WANs, and the Internet are all types of computer networks.

-Networks may use various techonologies including cabling, radio signals, client-server, and thin client.

-In choosing a computer system, one must consider current and future information processing needs, budget, and human factors.

-Good ergonomics reduces physical discomforts and injury associated with computer use.

-Mobile and handheld computer techonolgy provide the promise of efficiency, improvements in the safety of care delivery, cost savings, and work redesign.

-Software is the set of instructions that make a computer run and control its resources. Operating systems, applicatios, utility programs, and programming languages are all types of software. Support personnel are essential to help people use PCs and information systems effectively and to maintain and upgrade hardware and software.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.



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