Health Informatics

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While the doctor-patient relationship remains the cornerstone of the practice of medicine, technology will increasingly shape the practice of medicine. In the Department of Medicine our goal is to use technology to enhance the way we communicate with patients, engage patients in their care and provide seamless coordination of care between different health care providers.

Shared Knowledge

Health informatics provides a way for knowledge about patients, diseases, therapies, medicines, and the like to be more easily shared. Uniform best practice guidelines require health informatics to be imbedded into how we deliver care, whether it is through standardize care pathways or decision support through the electronic medical record.

Patient Participation

When patients have electronic access to their own health history, medications, test results and notes, it empowers them to take a more active role in their own health. Patients who have access to care portals are able to educate themselves more effectively about their diagnoses and prognoses, while also keeping better track of medications and symptoms. At UCSF all of our physicians are active on EPIC MyChart, our patient portal. This allows each patient to interact with doctors and nurses more easily, improving access and outcomes.

Increased Coordination

Health care is getting more and more specialized, which means most patients receive care from as many as a dozen different people in one hospital stay or in one clinic visit. The increase in health care providers requires increased care coordination. Pharmacist teaching, blood test results, physical therapy recommendations, radiology reports, discharge instructions — informatics will ensure that members of a health care team are seeing the information they need in a timely manner to improve care.