Medical Informatics

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Introduction
Healthcare is a large, complicated field facing many issues in America today. The medical profession is becoming ever so complex that it is consistently pushing information technology tools and techniques to newer heights. Knowledge management in healthcare or medical informatics, is one step towards organizing this complex field. Medical Informatics is the sharing and use of information in the delivery of healthcare. It is a growing and exciting field of study with an incredible demand that will continue for many years to come. Demand is so high, many Universities are now offering specialized degrees in this field because there is and will be a large workforce needed to accommodate the needs of this field. Medical Informatics is an extremely complex field that requires the involvement of doctors, patients, medical staff and technicians. This explanatory paper will describe knowledge management, medical informatics and why it is important. With healthcare being a big issue now days, especially with new retiring baby boomer era, it is important to look towards building a universal medical informatics networking system. Knowledge Management Background

Everyone can agree that the medical field has many important business and management decisions when it comes to patients’ health. This is why there are many processes in knowledge management that need to be followed, in-order to achieve quality informatics in the medical field. Knowledge management systems are designed to “collect all relevant knowledge and experience in the firm and make it available wherever and whenever it is needed to support business processes and management decisions” (Laudon & Laudon, p. 60). Step one, is creating the knowledge by trial-and-error and selective retention methods. Next is to identify what useful knowledge could be gathered from the trial methods. Once the useful knowledge has been identified, the process that follows is to collect the knowledge data. Once the data is collected, it goes through the processes of organizing, sharing and adapting. Informatics in Healthcare

Medical knowledge management or medical informatics, is a combination of information technology, healthcare and medicine. “It deals with the resources, devices and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information in health and biomedicine” (Wikipedia, 2006, para 1). Many knowledge management based applications are used in medical informatics in order to simplify and mainstream the informatics processes. Medical informatics has many of the same steps as listed above for collecting data but the most important step, is utilizing and applying the data collected. In the medical field, it is all about getting the right info, to the right people, at the right time. Medical informatics has improved the medical field by introducing electronic medical records, ‘virtual bedsides’ and eHealth opportunities. Electronic Medical Records

The global health care industry is facing the challenge of increasing costs. Almost without exception, health care systems in all different countries are turning to technology for their medical informatics. One of the many technical issues facing the medical field is the need for a universal electronic medical record system (EMR). Many people may never think about how their medical records are created and where they are stored. Just think about how important the information is on medical records. They contain critical information about your health, the medications you have taken over the years and which treatments have been most successful for you. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are “secure, real-time, point-of-care, patient-centric information resource for clinicians” (HMISS, 2003, p. 2). EMR software enables the medical field to digitally convert paper based patient records in order to provide more rapid and timely access to electronic medical records. This...
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