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A David Letterman Approach to the Informatics Year in Review

October 26, 2011
by David Raths
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National Library of Medicine turns 175, while EHR incentive monies start to flow






Each year at the Fall Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association, Daniel Masys, M.D., affiliate professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, presents a review of the notable publications in the field of biomedical informatics that year. He also produces a David Letterman-style list of the top informatics events of the year based on an unscientific poll of some colleagues.

So without further ado, here are his selections for the Top 5 Events in Medical Informatics for 2011:

No. 5.: The world population reaching 7 billion people. (A U.N. report published in May predicts a global population of 9.3 billion by 2050.) This fact, Masys said, should help informaticists occasionally look beyond their particular projects to think about how their work might have a global impact.

No. 4.: The release of the PCAST report: The fact that at the presidential level there was a report that is very thoughtful in terms of its informatics approach and talking about metadata-tagged elements is somewhat amazing, Masys said. “A few years ago, a report like that would not have been written and would not have been asked for,” he said.

No. 3.: The 175-year anniversary of the National Library of Medicine.

No. 2.: Money began to flow in May of this year for the EHR incentive program, and that appears to be having a salutatory effect, Masys said.

And the No. 1 event in informatics in 2011? The American Board of Medical Specialties’ approval of clinical informatics as a subspecialty. This is the culmination of years of effort by AMIA and its members. The goal is to have the first board exam available in fall 2012, with the first certificates awarded early in 2013.

Do Healthcare Informatics readers have any events to add to the list?

Read more of Masys’ description of notable publications and their significance.

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