What is health informatics?

Frank Sullivan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Health informatics is a relatively recent jargon term for a subject that may be of great interest to health services researchers and policy makers. Most countries with highly developed health systems are investing heavily in computer hardware and software in the expectation of higher quality for lower costs. Recent systematic reviews have indeed demonstrated the health benefits of a range of electronic tools, particularly in the areas of prevention and therapeutic monitoring. However, there remains a relative lack of published evaluations of informatics tools and methods. Uncritical adoption of new systems based on the pressures of technological push continue to discredit policy makers who have had to commit significant resources despite inadequate information on what can be realistically expected from a proposed system. There are great opportunities for researchers interested in evaluation to fill the vacuum left by informaticists who are too busy writing their next line of code.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-254
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Health Services Research and Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2001


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