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Scientific Informatics 101: The Ultimate Guide For 2023

Informatics is the application of data-centric methods to the solution of challenging issues. Doctors, scientists, professors, researchers, and others from various fields collaborate in this transdisciplinary field to develop new medical and life science technologies.

A way to harness and manage big data is provided by informatics, which has a number of advantages, such as accelerating the pace of scientific advancement, enhancing clinical judgment, and enabling the population-level promotion of healthy behaviors. This new information is produced by the collection, storage, mining, and analysis of various data sources, including DNA sequences and electronic medical records.

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about informatics, how it has improved health care, how it differs from computer science (if there's a difference), and its benefits.

What Is Informatics?

Informatics is the study, design, and development of information technology that generates, stores, processes, and presents information. The science of information is a common description of informatics. The study of informatics takes into account how users and information systems interact, as well as how those interfaces—like the user interface—are built.

Informational sciences (such as information science, computer science, cognitive science, and organizational science) and an application domain can be thought of as overlapping in the field of informatics (e.g., health, clinical, nursing, biology, public health, and life/materials sciences). Biomedical informatics is an illustration of this, as it uses a range of technologies to apply the principles of the natural sciences, particularly biology and biochemistry, to medicine and healthcare.

Health or medical informatics is a significant subfield of informatics. From fundamental research to clinical applications, the field of health informatics encompasses all facets of healthcare information science.

Health informatics also includes knowledge about and advocacy for efficient data management, analysis, and organization in the healthcare industry. There are several areas of specialization in the field of medical informatics, including:

  • Clinical informatics

  • Clinical research informatics

  • Consumer health informatics

  • Dental informatics

  • Mental health informatics

  • Nursing informatics

  • Pharmacy informatics

  • Primary care informatics

  • Public health/population informatics

  • Surgical Informatics

  • Telemedicine and mobile computing informatics

  • Translational bioinformatics

  • Veterinary informatics

What Is Informatics Used For?

Healthcare operations include a variety of administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments and billing for services, which are made easier by health informatics' use of automation and data security. Health informatics is the study of how medical professionals and patients can access and use patient data and other information via an electronic system that stores it.

Patients have access to pertinent health information for providers within the healthcare informatics technology system. Patients or other clinicians may receive treatment information from healthcare providers who are authorized to do so. Important information sent by either party is made available by the clinical IT system, ensuring that the correct data reaches the providers and is updated as necessary.

Here is a brief rundown of the application of health informatics in the medical field:

what's informatics used for?

Clinical Applications

Several clinical processes use health informatics in their daily operations. Online portals, electronic health records, data collection tools like vital sign monitors and glucometers, personal data devices, and more are used by inpatient or outpatient healthcare professionals and patients.

It's critical to comprehend the technology, enhanced workflow, and data management when analyzing these applications of health informatics and how they affect practice management. Health informatics improve the collection, storage, and access while bridging the gap between technology and processes.

All members of the healthcare team can use a strong product thanks to nursing informatics.

Managerial Applications

Health informatics is frequently used in clinical settings, but it is also used in managerial settings. People are accustomed to verbal and physical forms of communication, and clinical informatics has now introduced electronic communication. People can contact healthcare providers using a variety of applications, including the phone, fax, pager, instant messenger, email, etc., thanks to healthcare informatics.

These health informatics systems must be utilized by those in managerial roles in order to facilitate their work and enhance practice management. In the healthcare industry, time management is a common issue, but health informatics can organize and streamline tasks to ensure their speedy completion.

Overall, health informatics can help healthcare professionals manage their time and workload.

Application Of Informatics

Below are some examples of informatics in use as seen with:

biomedical informatics

Biomedical Informatics

In order to link clinical research with real-world healthcare applications, biomedical informatics translates various biological systems and focuses on the sharing and use of biomedical data.

This area of health informatics is referred to as the science of information applied to biomedicine, but lacks a precise definition. It clearly distinguishes the field from related fields like biomedicine and mentions the study of data. Problems with biomedical informatics are challenging when dealing with hard-to-capture concepts.

Instead of focusing only on computer applications in biomedicine, this type of informatics research, teaching, and service emphasizes biomedical information as data plus meaning.

Public Health Informatics

Instead of concentrating on specific patients, this type of health informatics considers the entire population. It collects patient information from various places, including hospitals and social services. Through outreach, education, and policies that reduce health threats, public health informatics reduces the causes of disease and death and fosters a healthy community. Public health initiatives are a significant part of public health informatics and have an impact on how the world reacts to emerging threats like COVID-19.

Professionals in public health informatics must gain a comprehensive understanding of both healthcare and technology. Utilizing public information science and technology to advance population health is the main objective of PHI. To stop a chain of events or the spread of diseases, PHI also emphasizes disease prevention. It often operates at the level of government and not in the private sector.

Laboratory Informatics

The specialized application of health informatics through tools, software, and healthcare data management is called laboratory informatics. Along with access, storage, and management of data, it enables the capture, transmission, processing, and interpretation of scientific data for immediate use.

When data analysis is useful for research that can be recorded and stored for future research projects, laboratory data collection and analysis occur. It is a crucial part of laboratory operations because it guarantees accurate and trustworthy data.

A laboratory's use of various technological tools for data collection and analysis is covered by laboratory informatics. Programs for analyzing health data are included here for both current research and data storage for upcoming projects. By improving the way laboratory equipment interacts, laboratory services can better gather, analyze, and share data.

Nursing Informatics

The field of health informatics, known as nursing informatics, combines nursing science with various data and analytical sciences in order to collect, manage, and communicate data.

By bringing together the experts and making health information available, society must raise awareness. Healthcare professionals other than clinicians can access and manage data thanks to nursing informatics.


The use of computation and analytics to collect and analyze biological data is known as bioinformatics. Biological data, primarily DNA and amino acid sequences, are the main focus of this branch of biology and computer science, which focuses on collecting, storing, analyzing, and sharing biological data.

Computer programs are used in bioinformatics to understand the functions of genes and proteins, infer evolutionary relationships, and predict protein structure, among many other things. Comparing genes and other protein sequences is a great use of bioinformatics, which primarily focuses on genes, DNA, RNA, or proteins. Using this kind of health informatics, it is possible to compare the genetic sequences of various people.

Computer science, mathematics, physics, and biology are all combined in this interdisciplinary field. For the management of medical data and contemporary biology, bioinformatics is essential. Computer software applications like BLAST and Ensemble, which rely on the presence of the internet, are part of the bioinformatics toolbox.

Analysis of genome sequence data is a component of bioinformatics, primarily analysis of the human genome project. In the future, bioinformatics is probably going to help us understand how the human genome functions, which will improve our ability to find drug targets and create customized treatments.

Medical Informatics

Implementing techniques to enhance clinical knowledge, population data, patient data management, and other information pertaining to patient care and public health are all part of medical informatics.

Information technology is used in clinical informatics to process medical data, including pathology reports. With the growth of information produced by clinical laboratories, its demand is rising.

pharmacy informatics

Pharmacy Informatics

The integration of data information, medical technology, and medical automation are what pharmacy informatics entails. It is described as the "integration and use of knowledge, information, technology, data, and automation in the medication-use process" by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. It seeks to improve medication administration accuracy and efficiency while streamlining patient care and outcomes.

To provide medical suppliers with clarity and precision, pharmacy informatics has replaced manually written prescriptions. This kind of health informatics has shown to be successful at reducing errors while streamlining processes, data exchange, and other activities.

Making smart pumps smarter with this health informatics is one example of how pharmacy informatics is used effectively. A clinic that reduced the possibility of infusion pump programming errors caused by high-risk medications by using pharmacy informatics to enhance the programming of its alert alarms.

The clinic's pumps are set up to administer these drugs as primary infusions. However, the use of secondary medications and high-risk medications in smart pumps is forbidden by pharmacy informatics.

health care informatics

Is Informatics The Same As Computer Science?

This question doesn't have an easy answer because it depends on how you define each term. In general, informatics studies how people interact with information, whereas computer science studies computers and their applications. Although the two disciplines have a lot in common, many universities offer joint programs in both informatics and computer science.

Developing a better understanding of how people will interact with digital media is one of the objectives of informatics. To find solutions and determine which hardware and software will provide the best user experience, the transformational engineer delves deeply into the data.

The Importance of Informatics

Informatics is essential for a variety of reasons, but we’ve provided and breakdown of top reasons to consider including:

Patient Education

Patients frequently leave a doctor's office unaware of what happened or having forgotten the majority of it. Some patients have access to their electronic medical records; as a result, they are better informed about what was said and the prescription medications they require. A lot of patient portals also provide online resources and support to assist patients in learning about healthy living.

Patients can easily communicate with doctors and other healthcare professionals using these portals. Family members benefit from patient access to health records because it gives them access to the patient's health information that they might have otherwise missed.

As a result, patients are more likely to take an active role in their care when they have access to their recommendations and medical history.

Patient Privacy

An essential part of healthcare is maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of patient health information. Patients and providers can relax knowing that data security measures will prevent breaches or the loss of information.

Additionally, actively participating in their care and providing more important information fosters patients' trust in medical professionals.

Improved Patient Health Outcomes

Healthcare organizations and insurance companies can save time and money by automating operational tasks that were previously handled manually.

Health informatics has also improved diagnoses and decreased errors, increasing the effectiveness of healthcare. Health informatics may appear to operate in the background, but organizing, storing, and managing health data using electronic health records, can significantly enhance the patient experience (EHR).

Managing big data and making patient data easier to access are additional benefits of health informatics, which can aid healthcare professionals in making quick decisions. Healthcare professionals can communicate with IT specialists and policymakers thanks to health informatics, which connects the two industries. Their overall understanding of patients, medicine, and health IT has significantly increased, making them valuable assets in healthcare facilities.

Benefits Of Health Informatics

When thinking of benefits in health informatics it’s essential to consider why they matter.

Prevention Of Harmful Treatment And Prescription Errors

At least 1.5 million patients may experience medication errors each year.1 Misdiagnosis of a patient or incorrect medication or dosage prescriptions can have serious negative health effects. Other instances of medical errors include failing to treat a disease, injury, behavior, or condition, using medical equipment incorrectly, and incorrectly recording patient information.

Healthcare organizations use health informatics technologies to prioritize clinical efforts to reduce medical errors. Clinical informatics can assist in managing diagnostic data and recommending the best prescription medications.

Furthermore, digital systems are used in healthcare informatics to report and analyze diagnoses, and these systems can prevent inaccurately collected data or incorrect diagnoses resulting from misread lab reports.

By utilizing bar-coded and automated pharmaceutical dispensing systems, it also lowers medication errors.

Efficiently Store Patient Records

Most medical facilities previously tracked patient records using antiquated techniques. Many hospitals and other healthcare facilities still store their data on paper today.

Every time a patient enters the hospital, it takes a while before the information is made accessible to the doctors. Finding the correct file takes time, even for nurses. It becomes challenging to update data and share a platform for treatment when a patient has new conditions.

The healthcare sector is flourishing as a result of technological advancements, which also enable medical professionals to provide better patient outcomes.

For example, Electronic Health Records (EHR) manage and facilitate patient records. Data can now be conveniently stored by medical professionals in computer systems with codes. In addition, the workload is decreasing, and manual processing is getting smaller every day.

The information can be accessed at any time and from any location using cloud software and other solutions.

Improves Accuracy For Health Insurance Administration

Healthcare professionals should document their work in a specific format when billing Medicare or Medicaid in order to ensure fair compensation for medical services rendered. Patients' medical histories must be electronically stored and recorded after they have been confirmed to have received treatment.

The government and healthcare providers can exchange information more quickly by incorporating health informatics. Additionally, it enhances the standardization of patient data, making it simple for upcoming healthcare professionals to organize their procedures.

Fast file submission is supported by health informatics, which helps to quickly pay healthcare providers and inform patients about their treatments. Sharing important patient data enhances care.

Consistent Monitoring Of Cases

The Internet of Medical Things has a significant impact on medicine and benefits society significantly. There are now numerous ways to connect medical equipment for wireless monitoring. Hospitals can provide information to patients to better their knowledge and to see conditions using a variety of applications and tools. This enables medical professionals to focus more time on serious cases and those in need.

Although seeing a doctor is beneficial, it cannot be equivalent over the long term. We waste a lot of time. Rural residents can't get to the hospital in time, either. Their health might be in danger from this.

The doctors can instantly provide input and monitor the patient's condition thanks to IoT. With fewer visits, the experts have more time and energy and can treat patients without tension.

Mitigated Data Breaches

The Internet of Medical Things has a significant impact on medicine and benefits society significantly. There are now numerous ways to connect medical equipment for wireless monitoring. Hospitals can provide information to patients to better their knowledge and to see conditions using a variety of applications and tools. This enables medical professionals to focus more time on serious cases and those in need.

Although seeing a doctor is beneficial, it cannot be equivalent over the long term. We waste a lot of time. Rural residents can't get to the hospital in time, either. Their health might be in danger from this. The doctors can instantly provide input and monitor the patient's condition thanks to IoT.

Improved Care Quality

Healthcare providers can provide high-quality care, reduce mistakes, and improve patient health outcomes when they are familiar with their patients and have access to their electronic medical records.

Better communication, access, sharing, and storage of patient health data are made possible by health informatics. Informatics aids in providing patients with better care, which has many advantages. Pharmaceutical informatics allows the medical team to be better informed and the administrative team to keep track of appointments.

Supporting healthcare providers in providing patient-centered care is one of the major functions of biomedical informatics in the field of medicine. Using a secure system for communication with providers or gaining access to their electronic medical records, it empowers patients to take charge of their own care.

The following are some ways that health informatics can enhance the care quality and security provided by medical facilities:

  • With the aid of health informatics, the clinical workflow can be streamlined for safer and more efficient delivery of care. Providers can quickly check on patients and take action if necessary.

  • Alerts about a patient's care can be sent to nurses, helping to avoid missed appointments.

  • To expedite patient decision-making, healthcare providers can share patient data. For instance, the lab results are easily accessible if a patient has a poor lab result that needs to be reported to the doctor.

Patient Empowerment

The likelihood of patients feeling empowered to take control of their health is highest when they have electronic access to their own health history and recommendations. Having access to information enables patients to be more involved in their treatment plans and stay better informed about their conditions, in addition to keeping track of their symptoms and medications.

When necessary, patients can contact the appropriate healthcare provider or get instant access to expert advice thanks to this organized process.

Health Informatics Trends For 2023 (And Beyond)

Healthcare informatics systems and practice management have been transformed by digital health technologies. Accessing and sharing patient data through secure platforms has become easier, thanks to clinical health informatics. The top medical informatics trends for 2023 are shown below.

Virtual Reality

The two main trends in medical informatics are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). In 2021, these health informatics technologies were in use, and in 2022, hospital informatics continued to follow this trend. In 2022, the global AR-VR market was expected to grow to $209 billion.2 We will see how this scales in the coming years.

There very may will be an increase in expos and sessions discussing the application of this health informatics trend. Through the use of cutting-edge technologies, virtual reality can improve medical informatics.

Patient consultation, doctor training, pre-surgical planning, and surgical intervention are the main VR technology applications that will be among the future trends in nursing informatics research.


Healthcare interoperability, which is the capacity of various information systems, devices, and applications to access, exchange, integrate, and use patient data, is necessary for EHR systems to operate efficiently. Informatics application interoperability promotes timely and efficient information delivery and improves population health management.

Healthcare data can be accessed and shared appropriately and securely across the care continuum, including relevant stakeholders and individuals, thanks to the exchange of health science information, application interfaces, and standards.

Patients' medical histories and treatment information are digital because all health informatics systems online store electronic medical records. Doctors are aware of how simple it is to manage data using interoperable health informatics networks. When properly applied, AMIA clinical informatics can improve patient outcomes, patient involvement, and public health management.

The effective exchange of EHR data depends on interoperability, which also enables the real-time transfer of patient data between various networks and systems. Interoperability, a developing trend in healthcare technology, can support HIPAA-compliant standards, application interfaces, and architectures for exchanging health data.

Interoperability will continue to grow in popularity even next year as new data trends emerge. It will make it simple for various systems to access and share enormous amounts of data.

Data Analytics

According to the current health informatics trends, data analytics will continue to be popular. The transition from paper-based to electronic health informatics systems has successfully connected numerous health networks.

Future developments in health informatics will make data analytics simpler through dashboard customization and visualization. This will take into account how long it takes for patients to receive procedures and treatments.

When it comes to analyzing big data and using computational modeling, healthcare analytics will make the field of health informatics less difficult. In the near future, advanced data analytics that can quickly analyze large volumes of data will be a part of nursing informatics.


A population's health can be assessed and understood with the aid of genomics in health information technology. For the management of population health, genomic data can be applied to health and technological trends. This development in nursing informatics allows for the safe transmission, storage, and analysis of genomic data.

A reliable system for exchanging and analyzing complex information is necessary, given these trends in health information technology.

One of the newest developments in medical information technology that produces a lot of data is genomics. Genomic data can be used to diagnose diseases and create specialized treatment plans in the future of health informatics.

This can be achieved by combining traditional data from the patient's medical record with genomic and genetic data about the patient and comparing treatments for patients with similar medical conditions.


What are some examples of nursing informatics?

Examples of informatics in nursing highlight the evolution of the profession and highlight how nurses have incorporated the use of data and cutting-edge technologies to enhance patient outcomes.

Informatics is the practice of more efficiently gathering, analyzing, and utilizing data to impact how care is provided, resources are managed, and teams function on a daily basis.

  • The interaction between a nurse and a patient is one instance of informatics in nursing. High-quality integrative patient care depends on the role of nurses in integrating data from and communicating data to other providers, including other nurses, doctors, and pharmacists. In clinical settings, there is a close bond between the nurse and the patient, and because nurses frequently act as information integrators, they frequently experience the effects of changes in best practices more quickly than other healthcare professionals.

  • The extent to which informatics, the science of using data, information, and knowledge to improve human health and the delivery of health care services, has an impact on nurses is the second illustration of informatics in nursing. Particularly nurses are trained to focus on the precision and communication of patient data and care.

  • Third, informatics is being used in nursing, as well as in healthcare generally, to address the many challenges of patient healthcare, including integrating wearable technologies, all of which have a big impact on how nurses provide patient care.

Is a health informatics certificate worth it?

Yes, you should obtain a health informatics certification since it will increase your professional credibility and give you access to positions with much higher pay. They are given to professionals who exhibit technical competency by reputable bodies in the field.

Final Thoughts: Informatics For The Future

It is clear that healthcare informatics refers to the application of data and information technology to enhance clinical outcomes, lower healthcare expenses, improve patient satisfaction, and make life easier for healthcare professionals.

Health informatics not only offers better care at a lower cost but also assists providers in providing better care. Healthcare professionals, public health experts, insurance industry professionals, medical researchers, administrators of health care professionals, and others can all benefit from using health informatics. With the growing use of healthcare technology, health informatics is becoming more significant, and healthcare communication is digitizing.

Through electronic patient records, it automates every data management process for lower costs and greater efficiency. Health informatics facilitates data sharing between various systems and improves data access.

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  1. da Silva BA, Krishnamurthy M. The alarming reality of medication error: a patient case and review of Pennsylvania and National data. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2016 Sep 7;6(4):31758. doi: 10.3402/jchimp.v6.31758. PMID: 27609720; PMCID: PMC5016741.

Alsop, T. (2022, July 27). AR/VR market size worldwide 2021-2028. Statista. Retrieved from

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