Healthcare Informatics: Models, Theories, and Professional Issues

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 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.

    00:09 We're gonna dive into some of the theories and models that really make informatics tick.

    00:13 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.

    00:45 It includes things like measurements, test results, and demographic information.

    00:51 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.

    01:07 For example, data on a patient's vital signs can be transformed into a visual graph, which provides valuable information about their health status.

    01:17 Knowledge is derived from information when it is contextualized, interpreted, and applied.

    01:23 In healthcare informatics, knowledge involves understanding the relationships and patterns within the information.

    01:29 It enables healthcare professionals to make informed decisions, identify trends, and predict outcomes.

    01:36 For instance, by analyzing patterns in patient data, healthcare providers can identify risk factors for certain diseases or make treatment recommendations.

    01:45 Now, wisdom is the highest level of understanding and insight that comes from integration and application of knowledge in a meaningful way.

    01:53 In healthcare informatics, wisdom involves using the knowledge gained to make sound judgments, develop best practices, and improve patient care.

    02:02 It encompasses evidence-based decision-making, clinical expertise, and considering ethical considerations.

    02:09 The DIKW framework is relevant in healthcare informatics because it provides a structured approach to transforming data into valuable insights.

    02:18 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.

    02:32 By leveraging the DIKW framework, healthcare informatics empowers professionals to make informed decisions.

    02:40 It can also improve their efficiency, and just deliver better healthcare services.

    02:45 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.

    02:57 So, let's go ahead and unpack its main elements: 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, or sounds.

    03:14 After our brains get this information, it's briefly stored in what we call sensory memory.

    03:20 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.

    03:28 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.

    03:45 Here, we actively engage with and process the information.

    03:50 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 future use.

    04:07 The encoded information then gets stored in our long-term memory.

    04:11 Picture this as a library in our brain, where information can be stored indefinitely.

    04:16 It's here where all our knowledge, experiences, and skills are kept.

    04:20 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.

    04:31 Sometimes, though, information can be forgotten or not readily accessible.

    04:37 Forgetting can happen due to a number of reasons, like interference, lack of rehearsal, or simply time passing without retrieval.

    04:45 In the realm of healthcare informatics, understanding the Information Processing Theory is critical.

    04:51 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.

    05:02 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.

    05:15 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 chaos.

    05:33 Systems theories are used by informatics professionals to map out the various relationships that exist between different types of software, users, and organizations.

    05:43 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 acceptance.

    05:57 So, that brings us to two really important points in health informatics: maintaining competency and interdisciplinary considerations.

    06:07 Maintaining competency in health informatics is like pursuing your favorite hobby.

    06:11 Just as you keep learning and exploring in your hobby, the same applies here.

    06:15 To ensure your competency in health informatics stays up to date, there are a few key areas for you to focus on.

    06:21 First, consider investing in competency.

    06:25 This means you are continuously honing your skills and expanding knowledge through relevant courses, workshops, and learning opportunities.

    06:33 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 stay current.

    06:45 Additionally, fostering interprofessional community development can greatly contribute to maintaining your competency.

    06:51 Engage with other professionals in the field, collaborate, and exchange ideas.

    06:55 By building a strong network, you can stay connected to the latest advancements and best practices in health informatics.

    07:03 Now lastly, it's essential that you seek out workforce development inroads.

    07:07 Stay informed about a new job opportunity, certifications, or specialized training programs that can enhance your skills and keep you competitive in the field.

    07:16 By actively pursuing these avenues, you'll continuously grow and evolve alongside the ever-changing landscape of health informatics.

    07:26 Moving on, let's talk about the importance of teamwork in health informatics.

    07:30 Imagine you're working on a group project.

    07:32 Everyone brings something unique to the table.

    07:34 It's like a puzzle, and each person is a different piece.

    07:38 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 care experience.

    07:59 And that wraps up our friendly chat on health informatics for today.

    08:02 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 time.

    08:15 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! Bye!

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Healthcare Informatics: Models, Theories, and Professional Issues by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Healthcare Informatics.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom
    2. Data, Insight, Knowledge, Wisdom
    3. Distribution, Inquiry, Knowing, Web
    4. Display, Insight, Knowledge, Wisdom
    5. Data, Intelligence, Knowledge, Web
    1. Short-term memory
    2. Long-term memory
    3. Sensory memory
    4. Implicit memory
    5. Procedural memory

    Author of lecture Healthcare Informatics: Models, Theories, and Professional Issues

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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