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Health informatics

Enrico W Coiera
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (1): 20.
Published online: 7 January 2002

Informatics aims to fix the "pathologies" in the information systems used to deliver healthcare. If physiology literally means "the logic of life", and pathology is "the logic of disease", then health informatics is the logic of healthcare.1 It is the rational study of how we think about patients and how treatments are defined, selected and evolved. The tools of informatics are likely to be clinical guidelines, formal medical languages, information systems, or communication systems like the Internet. Our understanding of information system pathologies in healthcare has advanced rapidly over the past decade, with the advent of evidence-based medicine and the focus on error reduction and improvement in the quality and safety of care.

  • Enrico W Coiera

  • Centre for Health Informatics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052.

Correspondence: ewc@pobox.com

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