Health Informatics & Analytics is about gathering and analyzing healthcare data. The goal is to reduce inefficiencies and increase the quality of care provided to patients. Some of the tasks of an informaticist might include improving communication between healthcare professionals, safely collecting and storing data, and removing human error. There are many uses for this field, both in hospitals and private practices.
What Is Health Informatics & Analytics?
Health informatics is an innovative and quickly growing field that involves making use of technology to improve the care provided by medical experts. Cloud-based systems and artificial intelligence are used to predict patients’ conditions, simplify the recording, storing, and retrieving of data, and alert doctors to changes in patients’ well-being. Because AI is not prone to human error, the number of mistakes can be reduced and care can be improved.
Often, medical conditions are extremely hard to diagnose, especially because many symptoms aren’t unique to one problem and because some issues are caused by emotional factors as well as physical problems. For example, a headache can indicate a wide range of issues, and it can be difficult to pinpoint what factors are contributing to the patient’s pain.
AI can collect and analyze a vast amount of data about a patient, which makes it easier to figure out what is going on. For example, a study in 2019 involved using an algorithm that could analyze the speech patterns of children to diagnose depression. When combined with parent questionnaires and additional data, the algorithm was correct 80% of the time. This technology could speed up diagnosis and find issues that doctors might overlook.
Nowadays, all medical records are kept digitally, so they are accessible to every healthcare professional who needs to work with a given patient. Despite this, doctors still spend a lot of time on data entry, which reduces their efficiency and increases the costs of treating each patient. Health informatics professionals are currently figuring out how voice dictation could be used to reduce this administrative task.
AI systems can recognize and record a doctor’s voice in real time, which means that they can transcribe the information while the consultation is happening. Currently, this method has about a 7% error rate, so the clinician has to proofread the transcription. However, it can still save a lot of time and make record keeping less of a hassle.
Medical professionals often work more than 50 hours a week, so they might be tired and worn out. This can lead to oversights, missed tests, and misdiagnosis, which reduce the effectiveness of our healthcare system. AI and advanced technology can be used to eliminate human error because it can alert doctors to certain issues.
For example, good software can let doctors know when tests are overdue or when they have to follow up with a given patient. Because too many alerts are just as ineffective as none at all, many data analysts are currently working on reducing the number of alerts but increasing their usefulness.
Storing and Retrieving Information
Most healthcare professionals work with various programs, image types, and file types. For example, patients might get a CT scan, an MRI, and an x-ray, and each of these is stored in a different place and in a different file format. This can make diagnosis and treatment very challenging, since doctors might have trouble finding the necessary information.
In recent years, informaticists have been working on creating a comprehensive system that allows each patient’s information to be displayed and accessed in an intuitive way. When you can retrieve a single file that contains all the important information, you can save time and increase the quality of care.
Cloud-Based Healthcare Systems
A good health informatics team can help you shift all your data to the cloud. This is simpler and more effective than storing your data internally because you won’t need any software and hardware. Authorized users will be able to access everything from their devices, so they can get updates in real time even when they’re not onsite. What’s more, it’s easier to guarantee security, since there are ways to encrypt and protect information via two-factor authentication.
Almost every healthcare facility could benefit from incorporating Health Informatics & Analytics in their operations. This field of study can improve the efficiency of your system by helping you predict and diagnose conditions, storing your data, and optimizing communication between employees. Find out more about our healthcare IT solutions. We’d love to hear about your ideas and show you what our software can do.