Explaining the term "Clinical Informatics" to laypeople is not easy. After first trying to describe the role, the discussion can get easily lost in the current sea-of-terminology surrounding the current use of the word "Informatics" - See the current Wikipedia entries on :
- "Informatics" : See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informatics (About 620+ edits since the first entry created 5/1/2006)
- "Health Informatics (Biomedical Informatics)" : See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_informatics (About 700+ edits since the first entry created 2/21/2010)
- "Clinical Informatics" : (According to Wikipedia, this is a subspecialty of Health Informatics above)
Shortly after I created this post, the famous Informatics teacher and guru Dr. Bill Hersh (from OHSU!) reviewed my diagram above, and offered his famous diagram from "A stimulus to define informatics and health information technology", published May 2009 in BMC Medical Information Decision Making, for comparison.
So, from Hersh, W. A stimulus to define informatics and health information technology. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 9, 24 (2009) doi:10.1186/1472-6947-9-24, the following diagram is being used with permission for educational purposes :
Still, my own personal observation is that some 'Informaticists' and 'Health Informaticists' seem to focus more on data in (Clinical Informatics), and others focus on data out (Analytics, Data Scientists, Research Informatics, Population Health, Public Health Informatics). Should we all work together? Absolutely, yes. Do we need to draw lines between roles? Ideally, no, but from a practical standpoint - It seems some people prefer to create data, and others prefer to analyze and study it. (Hopefully both types can work together for the betterment of individual and population health.)
Either way, while the common use of the term "Health Informatics" might lead some people to refer to themselves as "Informaticists" (Informaticians?) or maybe "Clinical Informaticists" (Clinical Informaticians?), there is often confusion about who is responsible for the difficult task of usability, configuration, testing, education, implementation, and support.