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IHI co-director explains the rise of health informatics

On Tuesday Health Talk wrote about our conversation with Saif Khairat, Ph.D., M.S., clinical assistant professor of Health Informatics, about his role within the Institute for Health Informatics (IHI).

Today, Health Talk wanted to update readers on a conversation we recently had with Stuart Speedie, Ph.D., professor and co-director for Biomedical Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota.

Stuart Speedie

Stuart Speedie, Ph.D. believes there are a number of reasons health why informatics will continue to grow over the next several years.

According to Speedie, there are a number of reasons health informatics will continue to grow over the next several years.  Here are Speedie’s top three:

  1. The rise of technology. According to Speedie, we have seen an elevation of technology in our society. People are more aware of technology and they now have greater expectations that health care will use the latest and greatest in technology.
  2. Demand for high quality and lower costs. Over the past several years, arguably the two biggest issues in health care have been quality and cost of health care. Recently, the Institute of Medicine released a report supporting the need for better technology to maintain high quality and lower costs for health care.
  3. Government’s push. During President Obama’s first term, he instituted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The high-tech section of the AARA put serious funding – an estimated $27-40 billion – toward incentivizing health care professionals to adopt and use electronic health care records. These incentives were directly tied to use (meaningful use) to improve health care. The AARA also provided training funding.

Speedie also believes that health informatics will help create new jobs by adding new vendors, creating new jobs for people to work in health care settings and produce jobs that provide maintenance and support for these systems.

To learn more about the IHI program, please visit http://www.bmhi.umn.edu/index.htm.

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