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Medical Informatics: Role and Importance


Modern trends and the high population seeking medical attention have influenced the healthcare industry today. The health organizations therefore have to adopt the new protocols in order to offer efficient services to the public (Myers, 1986). The need for effective management of information and organization in general has therefore led to medical informatics. Medical Informatics is the application of information technology in health care delivery.

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Medical and Nursing Informatics

Medical informatics is generally used to refer to the way information is used and managed in health care organizations. On the other hand, nursing informatics is a major field in the umbrella field of medical informatics. In other words, nursing informatics is only applicable in nursing unlike medical informatics that is used diversely. For instance it is applicable in nursing, pharmacy, dentistry among others (Van Bemmel, 1984).

Medical informatics entails integration of information and computer sciences in health care in order to achieve efficiency in the medical system (Blois and Shortliffe, 1990). This is because accessing and using information is made easier. It is therefore used to achieve organizational goal which is to offer the best services to their patients and other parties involved.

Nursing informatics is when nurses use modern technology while carrying out their activities. Their major objective in this case is to give quality nursing and care to patients. With this kind of technology, nurses are able to take care of patients using the right methods and procedures. In addition, it helps nurses to be organized in terms of information records, passing of instructions, allocating duties and showing results. Shift changes are usually easy because they can catch up using information. They can access information immediately on reporting for duty (Institute of Medicine, 2003).

Importance of Medical Informatics

Record keeping is one area that is greatly influenced by informatics. With modern technology, health care information can be safely kept and accessed. This is both important to health care professionals and the patients. For instance physicians share information concerning a certain patient. This is important because it reduces the chances of medical errors (Chaudry et al., 2006).

Informatics helps to achieve effective and accurate health care delivery. This is because modern technology allows easy updating of data systems and retrieval of information. Moreover, it helps establish care plans in which special equipment and information systems are able to take care of patients. They monitor the patients and transmit signals to the staff (Pabst et al., 1996).

Communication among the health care team is enhanced by the informatics. It entails use of mobile phones and other communication devices to interact with one another. When these professionals interact, they can make decisions as a team and thus attaining accuracy.

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Technology has contributed immensely in the medical field. Medical informatics is therefore a key term that is used in day to day life in the health care organizations. It is basically the use of technology in health care organizations. Medical informatics is a general term encompassing use of technology in various areas of healthcare organizations. Nursing informatics on the other hand is use of technology in the field of nursing. However, it is important to note that medical informatics in spite of the field it is applied has one major goal which is to offer quality health care services. It helps in effective management of information in hospitals.


Blois, M.S. & Shortliffe, E.H. (1990). The Computer Meets Medicine: Emergence of a Discipline in Medical Informatics. Computer Applications in Health Care, 20.

Chaudry, B. et al. (2006). Systematic Review: Impact of Health Information Technology on Quality, Efficiency, and Costs of Medical Care. Ann Intern Med, 144(10), 742-752.

Institute of Medicine. (2003). Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Myers, J. (1986). Medical Education in the Information Age. Proceedings of the Symposium on Medical Informatics, 3.

Pabst, M. et al. (1996). The Impact of Computerized Documentation on Nurses’ Use of Time. Comput Nurs, 14(1), 25-30.

Van Bemmel, J.H. (1984). The Structure of Medical Informatics. Medical Informatics, 9, 175.

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