Alright, so now that we've broken down how
healthcare informatics mixes the best bits of
computer science and healthcare management,
let's switch gears a bit.
We're gonna dive into some of the theories and
models that really make informatics tick.
Keep your eyes peeled for two big ones — the
DIKW framework and the Information Processing
Theory. So, the DIKW framework stands for
Data, Information, Knowledge, and
Wisdom. Now, I'm gonna walk you through what
each one of these pieces means:
So, first up it's the D for data: In
healthcare informatics, data refers to raw
facts and figures collected from various
sources such as patient records, lab results,
and medical devices.
It includes things like measurements, test
results, and demographic information.
Now, the I is for information: Data becomes
information when it is processed, organized,
and given meaning. In healthcare informatics,
data is transformed into meaningful
information through processes like data
analysis, interpretation, and visualization.
For example, data on a patient's vital signs
can be transformed into a visual graph, which
provides valuable information about their
Knowledge is derived from information when it
is contextualized, interpreted, and applied.
In healthcare informatics, knowledge involves
understanding the relationships and patterns
within the information.
It enables healthcare professionals to make
informed decisions, identify trends, and
For instance, by analyzing patterns in patient
data, healthcare providers can identify risk
factors for certain diseases or make
Now, wisdom is the highest level of
understanding and insight that comes from
integration and application of knowledge in a
In healthcare informatics, wisdom involves
using the knowledge gained to make sound
judgments, develop best practices, and
improve patient care.
It encompasses evidence-based decision-making,
clinical expertise, and considering ethical
The DIKW framework is relevant in healthcare
informatics because it provides a structured
approach to transforming data into valuable
Now, the DIKW framework can help healthcare
professionals extract meaningful information,
gain knowledge, and apply wisdom to improve
healthcare outcomes, and it can also optimize
processes, and enhance patient care.
By leveraging the DIKW framework, healthcare
informatics empowers professionals to make
It can also improve their efficiency, and just
deliver better healthcare services.
Now, the other model we’re going to be looking
at in depth is the Information Processing
Theory. Information Processing Theory offers
us key insights into how our brains interpret
and make sense of information.
So, let's go ahead and unpack its main
This is how our brains gather information from
the world around us, kind of like how a
computer does. We use our senses like sight,
hearing, and touch to gather inputs, this can
be anything we perceive, like words, images,
After our brains get this information, it's
briefly stored in what we call sensory memory.
Think of it as a quick snapshot that holds the
information for a very short while, letting us
decide whether it's worth paying attention
to or not.
Next up is attention, this is where we select
and focus on particular information from our
sensory memory. This decides what we're going
to actively process and move into the next
stage of memory. The info we choose to focus
on then moves into our Short-term memory.
Here, we actively engage with and process the
Think of it as a workspace where our brains
hold and work with the information
momentarily. If the data in our short-term
memory is deemed important, it goes through
encoding. This stage involves organizing and
transforming the information into a format
that's meaningful and can be stored for
The encoded information then gets stored in
our long-term memory.
Picture this as a library in our brain, where
information can be stored indefinitely.
It's here where all our knowledge,
experiences, and skills are kept.
When we need to remember something, our brain
fetches the information from long-term memory
back into our short-term memory, making it
available for conscious recall and use.
Sometimes, though, information can be
forgotten or not readily accessible.
Forgetting can happen due to a number of
reasons, like interference, lack of rehearsal,
or simply time passing without retrieval.
In the realm of healthcare informatics,
understanding the Information Processing
Theory is critical.
It not only helps us comprehend how healthcare
professionals process and interpret vast
amounts of patient data, but it also informs
the design of health information systems.
By optimizing these systems for how our brains
naturally process information, we can help
healthcare professionals make more accurate
diagnoses, improve patient care, and even
predict health trends.
There are other theories helpful in
understanding the role technology has in
healthcare delivery. Chaos theory for example
recognizes that there are many different
influencing factors that are constantly
shifting and changing, and leaders in
informatics are expected to navigate that
Systems theories are used by informatics
professionals to map out the various
relationships that exist between different
types of software, users, and organizations.
And because change is constant, informatics
professionals often consider change theories
when considering how to plan for changes in
workflow, or adoption of new technologies, or
even development of training programs and user
So, that brings us to two really important
points in health informatics: maintaining
competency and interdisciplinary
Maintaining competency in health informatics
is like pursuing your favorite hobby.
Just as you keep learning and exploring in
your hobby, the same applies here.
To ensure your competency in health
informatics stays up to date, there are a few
key areas for you to focus on.
First, consider investing in competency.
This means you are continuously honing your
skills and expanding knowledge through
relevant courses, workshops, and learning
Be sure to maintain proficiency in the
software and hardware most relevant to your
area of expertise, whether this is as simple
as Microsoft Office suite or setting up
virtual private networks, you will need to
Additionally, fostering interprofessional
community development can greatly contribute
to maintaining your competency.
Engage with other professionals in the field,
collaborate, and exchange ideas.
By building a strong network, you can stay
connected to the latest advancements and best
practices in health informatics.
Now lastly, it's essential that you seek out
workforce development inroads.
Stay informed about a new job opportunity,
certifications, or specialized training
programs that can enhance your skills and
keep you competitive in the field.
By actively pursuing these avenues, you'll
continuously grow and evolve alongside the
ever-changing landscape of health
Moving on, let's talk about the importance of
teamwork in health informatics.
Imagine you're working on a group project.
Everyone brings something unique to the
It's like a puzzle, and each person is a
To see the whole picture, you need to know not
just your own piece, but also how it fits with
the others. That's what interdisciplinary
considerations in health informatics is all
about. It's not just about doing your own
job, but understanding how your job fits with
everyone else's to create a better patient
And that wraps up our friendly chat on health
informatics for today.
Keep these concepts in mind as they're going
to be useful in your journey through this
field. And I know that entering this field
might seem a bit daunting, but don't worry!
It's all about taking things one step at a
By the end of this course, you'll have the
knowledge and skills to thrive in health
informatics. Stick with me, and I'll see you
in the next video!