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Making more informed healthcare decisions using informatics

Jun 24, 2024
2 min Read
Rachel Stanko

The amount of data created, captured and consumed worldwide is staggering — reaching 62.4 zettabytes in 2020 — and leaping higher every year. The healthcare industry makes up just about 30% of the global data volume, with an expectation to grow 36% by 2025, according to a study by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Arcadia.

“Healthcare is a data-driven business,” says Joy Doll, OTD, OTR/L, program director of the Health Informatics Program at Creighton.

“When a person goes to their primary care provider, they get weighed, their blood pressure is taken — these are all metrics and data points put into an electronic health record (EHR). EHRs give an opportunity to input and collect lots of patient data. For example, the trend of blood pressure over time is easier to track. And if you get your blood pressure taken at one clinic, and then you go to another, is that data going to come through and be the same data point and have the same information?”

Everyone working in healthcare is impacted by health data and technology.
— Joy Doll, OTD, OTR/L, program director, Health Informatics Program

Turning data into action

This discernment of health data has a crucial role in transforming healthcare. Unlocking data, understanding it, then applying it to health systems is health informatics: “creating knowledge and wisdom out of the data to tell a story and make informed decisions,” explains Doll.

With informed decisions, healthcare professionals can provide the best care for patients. 

Doll is the instructor for a new online, on-demand course offered by the College of Professional and Continuing Education. Introduction to Health Data and Informatics will take participants through topics including data governance, health system infrastructure and health data visualizations. At their own pace, participants will engage with modules that ask: What is health data? How do you use it safely and accurately? What are the ways to apply it?

The introductory course will provide clinicians, health professionals and others looking to impact healthcare to apply insights to their work and explore next steps in their career.

Health data — and its potential for big impact — reaches across the healthcare system.

“Everyone working in healthcare is impacted by health data and technology,” says Doll. “Understanding how health data is used and processed can be helpful to clinicians to better understand the impact of health data on their daily practice and be more proactive in a patient’s care.”

About Joy Doll

Joy Doll, OTD, OTR/L, is the program director of the Health Informatics Program and an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. She was the inaugural executive director for the Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CIPER), where she helped lead interprofessional initiatives at Creighton and in partnership with CHI Health. Her research interests include interprofessional education and vulnerable populations.