Healthcare Informatics: Terminology and Basic Concepts

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 Hey there, future informaticists! I am thrilled to welcome you aboard our journey together through the dynamic world of healthcare informatics.

    00:09 Together, we gonna unpack the core concepts that shape the way we utilize health information technology to streamline healthcare management and delivery.

    00:18 To embark on our quest, let's first become familiar with four stepping stones of informatics: Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom.

    00:29 So, imagine a doctor's visit.

    00:30 A patient's height, weight, or even the results of their lab test would be considered as raw facts and figures, or simply put, Data.

    00:39 When we give meaning to this data - like identifying a patient's blood pressure and heart rate are not within expected ranges - we have Information, that's useful for answering questions, making decisions, or taking action.

    00:52 Now, this information when digested, internalized, and applied helps us make sense of the world around us, and we call this Knowledge.

    01:01 For instance, understanding that vital signs are outside of expected ranges could indicate health risks. Finally, using this knowledge and personal experience to make sound judgments is Wisdom.

    01:12 It's like a seasoned healthcare professional using their understanding of vital signs, knowledge of the patient's history, and professional experience to guide the patient's health plan. It's amazing to see how simple data can blossom into wisdom, isn't it? Now, let's untangle a buzzword in healthcare - Interoperability.

    01:32 Interoperability is the ability of various systems to chat and exchange data.

    01:37 This is vital in healthcare for ensuring that a patient's complete medical history is accessible irrespective of where they receive care.

    01:46 Imagine having an Electronic Health Record or an EHR, a kind of digital dossier that keeps all your health info in one place, this makes it accessible across different hospitals. But we'll get more into EHRs in our future discussions! Now, the absence of interoperability could mean repeating tests or procedures, conflicting information from different providers, and even errors in care.

    02:10 But, how does interoperability become possible? Well, Standards! Organizations like Health Level Seven International (HL7) help create these rules of exchange.

    02:22 Interoperability offers loads of perks like: Improved patient care: Full access to medical history aids providers in making better care decisions. Reduces costs: Because there is no need for duplicate tests, and that equals savings! There is an enhanced quality of care: Minimized errors lead to better patient outcomes. Big data refers to humongous datasets, they are tough to process using traditional methods.

    02:48 In healthcare, big data can weave magic in numerous ways.

    02:53 It helps spot trends, devise effective treatments, personalize patient care, and even streamline processes.

    02:59 We are also seeing the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to process this data and extract meaningful insights.

    03:07 AI, in healthcare, helps with tasks like predicting disease outbreaks or personalizing patient treatments. Machine Learning is a subset of AI, and this allows computers to learn directly from data, and improve their performance over time without being explicitly programmed. Just remember the four V's of big data: Volume, Velocity, Variety, and Veracity.

    03:31 Let's go back to Volume: Enormous data sets, think billions or even trillions of records.

    03:37 Velocity: Data is generated in real-time needing swift processing.

    03:42 Variety: You have text messages, images, audio, video - data comes in all formats.

    03:49 Veracity: Data can be messy and needs to be cleaned before it is analysis.

    03:54 So of course, big data does have its challenges, like data collection, storage, analysis, and security.

    04:01 But the potential benefits it brings to healthcare, such as improved patient care, make it a game-changer.

    04:08 Finally, let's explore Systems Thinking, a perspective that sees the world as a network of interconnected components.

    04:15 This is where concepts like Health Information Exchange (HIE), and Telemedicine come in. We're living in an era where healthcare doesn't need to be limited to a physical location, and a patient's data can be accessed and updated from different points of care. But stay tuned for a deep-dive into these topics in the upcoming sessions! Systems thinking helps us visualize how various components of the healthcare system interact. It's like seeing the healthcare system as a giant, interconnected puzzle.

    04:44 By identifying the inefficient parts and improving communication among the pieces, we can make the whole system more efficient.

    04:52 So, that wraps up our thrilling voyage today! We've journeyed from raw data to wisdom, unlocked the magic of interoperability, seen the superheroic potential of big data, and explored the puzzle of systems thinking.

    05:06 These are the foundations upon which the dynamic structure of healthcare informatics stands. Thanks for being such great travel companions, and I'm excited to uncover more enlightening topics with you soon!

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Healthcare Informatics: Terminology and Basic Concepts by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Healthcare Informatics.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. The capability of systems to interact and exchange data.
    2. The ability of systems to analyze data.
    3. The functionality of systems to store data.
    4. The ability of systems to erase data.
    5. The skill of systems to generate data.
    1. Velocity
    2. Versatility
    3. Volume
    4. Veracity
    5. Variety

    Author of lecture Healthcare Informatics: Terminology and Basic Concepts

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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