South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 19, 2019
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August 2014 - Volume 11 - Issue 2

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Interprofessional Clinical Informatics

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) reports hospital adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems more than tripled from 2008 to 2012. With the vast majority of non-federal acute care hospitals in possession of a certified EHR, industry focus is shifting from implementation of systems towards development of more holistic integrated health information technologies (HIT).
 
This shift has given rise to interprofessional clinical informatics, the intersection between healthcare and information technology (IT). Clinicians, administrators, and researchers are recognizing the interplay between HIT systems, clinical workflow, and healthcare organizations at large. All healthcare professionals, including support staff, lab technicians, clinicians of all disciplines, and administrators, contribute to and use the information gathered. HIT systems affect not only the practice and evolution of healthcare, but the supporting, planning, and regulatory structures of it as well. Expanded use of HIT provides the platform on which relationships among roles, departments, systems, and information are recognized. In turn, change of behavior and simplification of the complexities of the healthcare system and practice become crucial steps towards the ultimate goals of increasing safety and quality while decreasing the cost of health care.
 
The Biomedical Informatics Program at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) is in a unique position to provide clinical informatics training to an interprofessional student body. Originally a joint venture between the COM and The Graduate School of Computer and Information Technology, the Program’s student body contains a mix of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, medical technicians, coders, IT professionals, business/management professionals, educators, researchers, and various others. The Program currently offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics, Graduate Certificates in Medical Informatics and Public Health Informatics, an AMIA 10x10 Certificate, and an MSN in Nursing Informatics. Curriculum is designed with focal areas in clinical informatics (specifically application and evaluation of HIT), computer science in regards to medical informatics, and the business/management of HIT. In addition, a multitude of skills-based electives allow an interprofessional student body to tailor their studies. Examples include geographical information systems (GIS), public health informatics, grant writing, consumer health informatics, app development for HIT projects, medical image processing and analysis, as well as courses leading to Lean Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belts, CPHIMSS, and NextGen certifications. Online or on-site courses allow for working professionals to earn a degree or certificate without career disruption. Students and graduates work in a multitude of settings including hospitals, health care delivery systems, HIT systems vendors, eHealth companies, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies, and academic institutions. Each is uniquely contributing to a rapidly expanding field for professionals from every arena of health care and IT.
Christine Nelson, Program Manager, Biomedical Informatics Program, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, can be reached at (954) 262-1032 or cn71@nova.edu. Dr. Jennie Q. Lou, Professor & Director of the Biomedical Informatics Program, can be reached at jlou@nova.edu or (954) 262-1619.
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