“Oh, what exactly is informatics?”

by: Sue Brown, Director Clinical Informatics, CVS Caremark MinuteClinic

A recent review on social media caught my attention. The book’s title? No One Understands You, And What to Do About It (Halvorson). My thought: “Perhaps I should write No One Understands What You Do When You Work in Informatics!”  As you might surmise, I’m often asked about my role as an informaticist, and delighted to share my enthusiasm with those interested.


The science of health informatics is well-established in a number of fields.  Nursing Iinformatics, in particular, “…integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice” (ANA, 2015).  But what does that look like?

As early as high school, I knew that I wanted to be a nurse practitioner – a choice driven by my desire to make a difference in the lives of the people I served.  I had no idea at the time that, ultimately, informatics would help demonstrate that difference to a wide audience of interested consumers.

Fast forward a few decades, encompassing a number of positions in which informatics shaped my practice, to my current position as director of clinical informatics – where on a given day, you might find me analyzing the data generated from our EHR to compare against quality benchmarks, or designing the clinical documentation tools that serve as the decision support system for our clinicians.

Fundamentally, clinical informatics involves the translation of data into actionable information that, when applied, influences patient outcomes.  On a personal level, informatics allows me to confirm that the job I love really does make a difference in the lives of the people I serve. On a broader scale, informatics supports the HIMSS mission of “better health through information technology,” How does informatics play a role in your world? Not sure?  Check out the HIMSS Nursing Informatics resource page and TIGER VLE!

We hope you join us in celebrating National Nurses Week and honor your fellow nurses during this week.


About Christel Anderson

Christel Anderson, is HIMSS Director, Clinical Informatics
This entry was posted in Nursing Informatics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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