Health Informatics and Systems Engineering

Health informatics is a multidisciplinary field that uses health information technology to improve healthcare on its effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, safety and quality. Health informatics bridges information technology, computer science, statistics, data analytics, management science, systems engineering, social science and other fields to improve the healthcare workflow, enable better clinical processes, support decision making, identify patients risk, and provide information to enhance patient safety and quality. Over the past few years, the acceleration of Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption brought by "meaningful use" incentive programs from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the rapid progress on the infrastructures and methodologies on data analytics, drive the rapid growth of healthcare informatics.

Health Systems Engineering or Healthcare Systems Engineering is an academic discipline that treats the health care industry as complex systems, and identifies and applies engineering design and analysis principles in such areas. Healthcare Systems Engineering methods range from lean six-sigma tools to advanced mathematical models used in many other industries to study, improve, and optimize process quality, delays, cost, efficiency, and effectiveness - national priorities also identified by the IOM. Recent healthcare applications include improvements in scheduling, readmissions, cost reductions, cancer care, and health services planning. Systems engineers use a variety of methods to model, analyze, predict, improve, and optimize the performance of complex systems, sometimes supported by informatics to harness information in new and innovative ways.