Ontario Nursing Informatics Group

What is Health Informatics?

Health Informatics is a multidisciplinary and integrative field that applies the principles of computer and information science to health sciences research, health professional education, public health and patient care [1]. This field describes the use and application of technology to assist in the gathering, storage, processing and interpretation of health information [2]. As such, technology is viewed as a tool which health providers can use to improve health care services [2]. In using the principles of computer and information science, the field of health informatics focuses on understanding how health information can be used in care delivery, how health information can be used to improve patient care, and how health information technologies (HITs) can further be leveraged to improve health care and outcomes [1]. 

What is Nursing Informatics?

As stated by the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA), "Nursing informatics is the science and practice that integrates, nursing, its information and knowledge with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families and communities worldwide" [3]. The speciality of nursing informatics, integrates nursing science with information, computer and analytical science to identify, define and present health data and information to improve clinical practice and improve patient care [3]. Nursing informatics has helped to drive the adoption of health information technologies across the continuum of care by bridging the gap between the realm of clinical practice and the field of technology [4].

Why is Nursing Informatics Important?


[1] Sullivan, F. (2001). What is health informatics?. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy6(4), 251-254.

[2] Ancker, J. S., Kern, L. M., Abramson, E., & Kaushal, R. (2012). The Triangle Model for evaluating the effect of health information technology on healthcare quality and safety. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association19(1), 61-65.

[3] International Medical Informatics Association. (2009). The nursing informatics special interest group – definition. Retrieved from www.imiani.orgindex.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=5. 

[4] Zytkowski, M.E. (2003). Nursing informatics: the key to unlocking contemporary nursing practice. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Clinical Issue, 14(3), 271-281.

[5] Murphy, J. (2011). The nursing informatics workforce: who they are and what do they do. Journal of Nursing Economics, 29(3), 150-153.

[6] Canadian Nurses Association. (2017). Joint position statement - nursing informatics. Retrieved from www.cna-aiic.ca/-/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/nursing-informatics-joint-position-statement.pdf?la=en&hash=C89A6A32F5FD5489DE31E5F6594DE48936AFDAE1.

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