At Atrius Health, we continuously look for ways to leverage data and information technology to enhance care delivery and improve clinical workflows for the benefit of our patients. We are delighted that our Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joe Kimura and Dr. Michael Lee, Director of Clinical Informatics, were among the first to pursue and achieve the Clinical Informatics subspecialty board certification. In 2012, Dr. Kimura was named one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Clinical Informaticists in the United States.
Clinical informatics is the application of data and information technology to deliver care to patients. According to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), this field aids clinicians in a wide range of topics, including decision support, electronic health record documentation and implementation, along with the adoption of information technology within a health system. As health systems continue to develop new ways to improve the quality of care for patients at a lower cost, many look to clinical informatics as an important tool to improve health outcomes.
Over the past few years, clinical informatics has gained considerable attention across the industry as a result of the AMIA’s effort to introduce a sub-specialty board certification in the field. In 2011, the American Board of Medical Specialties approved the sub-specialty, which AMIA spent more than five years to create, in an effort to “standardize clinical informatics training programs, increase the number of training opportunities available, and provide an immediately recognized credential for organizations hiring informaticians.” AMIA provided its first sub-specialty exam in October 2013, with the first class of physicians receiving their board certifications that December.
In our organization, the more data we have at our fingertips that we can analyze and interpret to improve patient care, the better. Atrius Health utilizes a sophisticated data warehouse that combines electronic medical records, claims data, and pharmacy data for hundreds of thousands of patients. This data warehouse has become a tremendous resource for Atrius Health in helping to paint a better picture of how we can close gaps in care and better serve our patients. Clinical informatics helps improve patient care across a variety of areas – from population health management, to supporting a more coordinated team-based approach to care, to collaborating with our hospital and skilled nursing facility partners as our patients receive care in different settings. We also use this data warehouse to develop innovative ways to improve care. As clinical informatics continues to play a greater role within the health care space, Atrius Health is proud to be a leader in leveraging this valuable resource to improve care delivery for our patients.