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Glossary of Terms
Last Reviewed ____, 2023

Advanced Interprofessional Informatics Certification (AIIC)A certification process for professionals who practice clinical/health informatics at an advanced level that is currently being developed by AMIA.AMIACertification
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)The agency's mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. It has focused its health information technology activities on the following three goals: (1) to improve health care decision-making; (2) to support patient-centered care; and (3) to improve the quality and safety of medication management.HealthITOrganization
Alert FatigueA commonly observed condition among clinicians overwhelmed with large numbers of clinically insignificant alerts, thus causing them to "tune out" and potentially miss an important drug-drug or drug allergy alert.HealthITOperations
American Health Information Management Association
The association's primary goal is to provide the knowledge, resources, and tools to advance health information professional practice and standards for the delivery of quality healthcare. Whether you work in the field or are just interested in learning more about the profession, ahima.org provides the answers to your health information management (HIM) questions and effective solutions for critical HIM issues.AHMIAOrganization
American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)The association is the center of action for more than 5,000 health care professionals, informatics researchers, and thoughtleaders in biomedicine, health care and science. It is an unbiased, authoritative source within the informatics community and the health care industry. The organization and its members are transforming healthcare through trusted science, education, and practice in biomedical and health informatics.AHMIAOrganization
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the institute empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment. It oversees the creation, promulgation, and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more.ANSIOrganization
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Signed in February 2009, the goals of this bill are to create jobs, restore economic growth, and strengthen America's middle class through measures that modernize the nation's infrastructure, enhance America's energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable healthcare, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need, and for other purposes. It includes the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, which includes over $20 billion to aid in the development of a robust IT infrastructure for healthcare and to assist providers and other entities in adopting and using health IT.HIMSSLegislation
American Society of Health System Pharmacy
Section on Information and Technology
The pharmacy practice section that connects specialists who share professional interests and goals in interfacing information technology and medication use to improve safety, efficiency, and patient care.ASHPOrganization
Application Programming Interface (API)Application programming interfaces (API) are specifications that detail how software components should interact, and APIs provide the technology to power graphical user interfaces (GUI). From a health care organization (HCO), health researcher, or patient perspective an API is the glue that enables the ability to connect systems and data.HIMSSSoftwareNew
Artifical IntelligenceAn advanced algorithm that allows machines to replicate human thought and analyze data to arrive at conclusions. AI could help healthcare providers by automating administrative tasks and predicting diagnosis and treatment plans.Healthcare IT NewsAutomation & RoboticsNew
Automated dispensing system (ADS)An automated dispensing system is a system of computerized drug storage devices or cabinets that allow medications to be stored and dispensed near the point of care, while controlling and tracking drug distribution. They also are called unit-based ISMP cabinets (UBCs), automated dispensing devices (ADDs), automated distribution cabinets (ADCs) or automated dispensing machines (ADMs).ISMPAutomation & Robotics
Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA)A control system that uses barcoding to prevent human errors in the administration of prescription medications in health care settings. The goal is to make sure that patients are receiving the correct medications at the correct time by electronically validating and documenting medications. The information encoded in barcodes allows for the comparison of the medication being administered with what was ordered for the patient.HealthITOperations
Big DataThe massive amounts of data collected over time that are difficult to analyze and handle using common database management tools. The data are analyzed for marketing trends in business as well as in the fields of manufacturing, medicine, and science. The types of data include business transactions, e-mail messages, photos, surveillance videos, activity logs, and unstructured text from blogs and social media, as well as the huge amounts of data that can be collected from sensors of all varietiesPC MagazineDataNotable
BioinformaticsConceptualizing biology in terms of macromolecules (in the sense of physical-chemistry) and then applying "informatics" techniques (derived from disciplines such as applied mathematics, computer science, and statistics) to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale.PubMedField
Biomedical InformaticsThe interdisciplinary field that studies and pursues the effective uses of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem solving, and decision making, motivated by efforts to improve human health.AMIAField
BlockchainA decentralized digital ledger technology that allows for permanent, unalterable records. Use of blockchain technology could allow for transparency in the supply chain, creating a more efficient system of logistics and preserving patient safety.Healthcare IT NewsNew
Blue ButtonThe electronic application that allows patients the capability to download their personal health information from a patient portal in a very simple text file or PDF. This application also allows them to enter their own personal health indicators, emergency contact information, test results, family health history, military health history, and other related health information. Through the Blue Button Connector website, patients can access information from health insurers, hospitals, clinics, providers, pharmacies, laboratories, or immunization registries.AMIAApplication
Business ContinuityThe capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.Business Continuity CouncilOperations
Certification Commission for Health Information
Technology (CCHIT)
An independent voluntary private-sector initiative organized as a limited liability corporation that has been awarded a contract by HHS to develop, create prototypes for, and evaluate the certification criteria and inspection process for electronic health record (EHR) products.AHIMACertification
Certified Associate in Health Information &
Management Systems (CAHIMS)
A professional certification program for healthcare information and management systems administered by HIMSS (Health Information Management Systems Society) and designed for emerging professionals who may or may not have experience within the industry. Its goal is to create a pathway for careers in health IT.HIMSSCertification
Certified Professional in Electronic Health Records
The designation that indicates the holder has mastered the common body of knowledge covering planning, implementation, operation of EHR for knowledge management, quality improvement, patient safety, and care coordination. The curriculum adjusts the strategies to make the most of an electronic health record investment, enhancing capabilities, using new technologies, and building value.Health IT CertificationCertification
Certified Professional in Health Information &
Management Systems (CPHIMS)
A professional certification program for healthcare information and management systems administered by HIMSS (Health Information Management Systems Society) and designed for experienced healthcare information and management systems professionals.HIMSSCertification
Certified Professional in Health Information Exchange
The designation that indicates that the holder has mastered the Common Body of Knowledge covering planning, governance, information architecture and stewardship, personal health records, telehealth and home monitoring and other exchanges of electronic information among organizations. The CPHIE curriculum incorporates the strategies to make the most of the HIE investment, enhancing capabilities, using new technologies to integrate and exchange data interoperably among organizations, addressing patient information via personal health records, home monitoring, and telehealth.Health IT CertificationCertification
Certified Professional in Health Information
Technology (CPHIT)
The designation that indicates the holder has mastered the common body of knowledge covering planning, selecting, implementing, using, and managing health information technology (HIT) and EHR applications. It introduces the use of HIT in any setting within the continuum of care.Health IT CertificationCertification
Certified Professional in Operating Rules
Administration (CPORA)
The designation that indicates that the holder has mastered Common Body of Knowledge covering successful EDI and workflow process improvement to achieve a higher degree of business process automation with operating rules including eligibility and claim status, electronic funds transfer and electronic remittance advice, and interoperable trading partner infrastructure.Health IT CertificationCertification
Chief Clinical Informatics Officer (CCIO)A job title given to the individual at an enterprise who is responsible for integrating knowledge of the health care system, clinical care, and information technology. Typically, this position is held by a clinician who has developed into an informatics leader. CCIO is a broad term with heterogenous roles that can include the roles of Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO), Chief Nursing Informatics Officer (CNIO), Chief Pharmacy Informatics Officer (CPIO), and Chief Dental Informatics Officer (CDIO); some organizations will have multiple CCIOs that fulfill these various roles.AMIAJob Title
Chief Information Officer (CIO)A job title given to the individual at an enterprise who is responsible for the informatTechTargetJob Title
Chief Medical Information/Informatics Officer
A job title given to the individual at an enterprise who is responsible for a healthcare organization’s design, implementation, and use of technology. Typically, this position is held by a practicing physician who is trained in information technology and stills see patients part-time.Health Informatics Degree CenterJob Title
Chief Nursing Information/Informatics Officer
A job title given to the individual at an enterprise who is responsible for the strategy, development and implementation of Information Technology to support nursing, nursing practice and clinical applications and who collaborates on the clinical and administrative decision-making process within the organization.HIMSSJob Title
Chief Pharmacy Informatics Officer (CPIO)A job title given to the individual at an enterprise who is responsible for providing leadership in the area of medication use processes and information technology that can extend into pharmacy operations, medication safety, quality improvement, pharmaceutical waste, medication operations, and medication administration. The role of the CPIO is poorly defined at the current time, and most organizations do not have an individual in this role.AMIAJob Title
Clinical Decision Support System
Computer tools or applications to assist clinicians in clinical decisions by providing evidence-based knowledge in the context of patient-specific data. Typically, a decision support system responds to "triggers" or "flags" — specific diagnoses, laboratory results, medication choices, or complex combinations of such parameters — and provides information or recommendations directly relevant to a specific patient encounter.HealthITApplication
Clinical Document Architecture (CDA)A Health Level Seven (HL7) XML-based document markup standard for the electronic exchange model for clinical documents (such as discharge summaries and progress notes). The implementation guide contains a library of CDA templates, incorporating and harmonizing previous efforts from HL7, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, and Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP). It includes all required CDA templates for stage 1 of the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program and HITECH final rule. It is commonly referred to as Consolidate CDA or C-CDA.AHIMAStandardNotable
Clinical InformaticsThe application of biomedical informatics methods and techniques, including information technology, to deliver healthcare services. All informatics when used for healthcare delivery falls in this category, regardless of the health professional group involved (dentist, pharmacist, physician, nurse, or other health professional). It includes a wide range of topics ranging from clinical decision support to clinical documentation to provider order entry systems, and from system design to system implementation and adoption issues.AMIAField
Clinical Information SystemsComputer based system that is designed for collecting, storing, manipulating and making available clinical information important to the healthcare delivery process.BiohealthmaticsApplication
Cognitive ComputingCognitive Computing are systems that learn at scale, reason with purpose and interact with humans naturally. It is a mixture of computer science and cognitive science – that is, the understanding of the human brain and how it works. By means of self-teaching algorithms that use data mining, visual recognition, and natural language processing, the computer is able to solve problems and thereby optimize human processes.IBM ResearchAutomation & Robotics
Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics
and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
An independent accrediting organization whose mission is to serve the public interest by establishing and enforcing quality Accreditation Standards for Health Informatics and Health Information Management (HIM) educational programs.CAHIMOrganization
Computerized Provider Order Entry/Computerized
Prescriber Order Entry (CPOE)
A clinical information system that allows clinicians to record patient-specific orders (tests, treatments, management plans, and the like) for communication to other patient care team members and to other information systems. Sometimes called provider order entry or practitioner order entry. The computer compares the order against standards for dosing, checks for allergies or interactions with other medications, and warns the physician about potential problems.AMIAApplication
Continuity of Care Document (CCD)An XML-based markup standard intended to specify the encoding, structure and semantics of a patient summary clinical document for exchange. In February of 2007, HL7 and ASTM International (formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials) announced that CCR and CDA were integrated to create the CCD. Subsequently, the U.S. Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel endorsed the CCD as one of its standards.HIMSSStandardNotable
Continuity of Care Record (CCR)A standard for the creation of electronic summaries of patient health. Its aim is to improve the quality of health care and to reduce medical errors by making current information readily available to physicians.HealthITStandard
Continuous Improvement (CI)An ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once.ASQOperations
Covered Entity (CE)A health plan, a healthcare clearinghouse, or a healthcare provider who transmits any health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction covered by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH).AHIMAOperations
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)A code set maintained by the American Medical Association through the CPT Editorial Panel. The code set accurately describes medical, surgical, and diagnostic services and is designed to communicate uniform information about medical services and procedures among physicians, coders, patients, accreditation organizations, and payors for administrative, financial, and analytical purposes.HIMSSStandard
CybersecurityThe activity or process, ability or capability, or state whereby information and communications systems and the information contained therein are protected from and/or defended against damage, unauthorized use or modification, or exploitation.National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and StudiesFieldNotable
DashboardA user interface that organizes and presents information in a way that is easy to read and is likely to be interactiveTechTargetUX/UI
Data AnalyticsThe science of examining raw data with the purpose of drawing conclusions about that information. It includes data mining, machine language, development of models, and statistical measurements and can be descriptive, predictive, or prescriptive.AHIMADataNotable
Data DictionaryA descriptive list of the names, definitions, and attributes of data elements to be collected in an information system or database whose purpose is to standardize definitions and ensure consistent use.AHIMAData
Data Governancea system of decision rights and accountablility for information-related processes, executed according to agreed upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and wehn, under what circumstances, using what methodsData
Data MappingData mapping allows for connections between two systems. This connection allows for data initially captured for one purpose to be translated and used for another purpose. One system in a map is identified as the source while the other is the target. It is a process by which two distinct data models are created and a link between these models is defined. This process is used in data warehousing by which different data models are linked to each other using a defined set of methods to characterize the data in a specific definition. This definition can be any atomic unit, such as a unit of metadata or any other semantic. This data linking follows a set of standards, which depends on the domain value of the data model used. Data mapping serves as the initial step in data integration.AHIMAData
Data MiningThe process of extracting and analyzing large volumes of data from a database for the purpose of identifying hidden and sometimes subtle relationships or patterns and using those relationships to predict behaviorsAHIMAData
Data QualityRefers to the level of quality of data. There are many definitions of data quality, but data are generally considered high quality if "they are fit for their intended uses in operations, decision making and planning." (J. M. Juran). If the ISO 9000:2015 definition of quality is applied, data quality can be defined as the degree to which a set of characteristics of data fulfills requirements. Examples of characteristics are: completeness, validity, accuracy, consistency, availability and timeliness. Requirements are defined as the need or expectation that is stated, generally implied, or obligatory.Juran, J.M. Juran on
Leadership for Quality: An
Executive Handbook. New
York: The Free Press, 1989.
Data SilosA data silo is a situation wherein only one group in an organization can access a set or source of data. Data silos can result from several factors, including:

Cultural: Competition or animosity between departments can cause those employees to keep data from each other, rather than working together.

Structural: Especially in large organizations, data silos can stem from a hierarchy separated by many layers of management and highly specialized staff.

Technological: Applications might not be used, or even designed, to cross-reference or add to each other. Or one department may simply not have access to a valuable app from another department because it was not purchased for their specific day-to-day tasks.
Harvard Business ReviewData
Data WarehouseA subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant, nonvolatile collection of data in support of management’s decision-making
DatabaseA collection of data in machine readable format organized in order that it can be retrieved or processed automatically by computer. A flat file database is organized like a card file, with many records (cards) each including one or more fields (data items). A relational database is organized as one or more related tables, each containing columns and rows. Data are organized in a database according to a schema or data model; some items are often coded using a clinical coding system.Basic concepts in medical
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.AMIAOrganization
DNS SwitchA DNS is a domain name server that can be defined as an online database that resolves human readable names to IP addresses. The DNS is a distributed database used by TCP/IP applications to map between host names and IP addresses, and to provide electronic mail routing information. The DNS providers the protocol to allow clients and servers to communicate with each other. A 'switch' is a change to a different DNS server (e.g. google's public DNS server).HIMSS Dictionary of Health Information Technology Terms, Acronyms, and OrganizationsApplication
Early AdopterAn organization or individual who embraces new technology or administrative practices before others typically do.HealthITOperations
eHealthThe use of internet technology by the public, health workers, and others to access health and lifestyle information, services and support; it encompasses telemedicine, telecare, etc.Basic concepts in medical
Electronic Health Record (EHR)An electronic record of the total health of the patient—going beyond standard clinical data collected in the provider’s office and inclusive of a broader view on a patient’s care. EHRs are designed to reach out beyond the health organization that originally collects and compiles the information. They are built to share information with other health care providers, such as laboratories and specialists, so they contain information from all the clinicians involved in the patient’s care.HealthITApplicationNotable
Electronic Medical Record (EMR)A digital version of the paper charts in a health care organization that contains the medical and treatment history of the patients within this organization.HealthITApplicationNotable
Electronic Prescribing (E-Prescribing)A type of computer technology whereby physicians use handheld or personal computer devices to review drug and formulary coverage and to transmit prescriptions to a printer or to a local pharmacy. E-Prescribing software can be integrated into existing clinical information systems to allow physician access to patient-specific information to screen for drug interactions and allergies.HealthITApplication
Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS)The electronic prescribing of controlled substances to reduce the potential for diversion, and subsequent abuse, of controlled substances. In accordance with these objectives, the Drug Enforcement Agency ruling stipulates that certain requirements must be met before an organization can enable it.ImprivataStandard
EMR Adoption Model (EHRAM)An 8-stage model that was created by HIMSS Analytics that allows healthcare organizations to track their progress in electronic medical record adoption against other organizations across the country and view scores in the HIMSS Analytics® Database.HIMSSStandard
Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI)A database that contains a unique identifier (ID) for every patient in the enterprise. EMPI organizes patient IDs from external systems, allowing cross-referencing of patient records and access to them using their medical record numbers from external or legacy systems. Also known as MPI (Master Patient Index).HIMSSData
ErgonomicsAn applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficient and safely - also called biotechnology, human engineering, or human factors.Merriam Webster DictionaryField
Extensible Markup Language (XML)Introduced in 1998, XML is an open standard data exchange language for describing and defining data elements on a Web page, business-to-business, and clinical documents.HIMSSStandard
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)a draft standard describing data formats and elements (known as "resources") and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records. The standard was created by the Health Level Seven International (HL7) health-care standards organization.HL7, WikipediaStandardNew
FirewallA firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules.

Firewalls have been a first line of defense in network security for over 25 years. They establish a barrier between secured and controlled internal networks that can be trusted and untrusted outside networks, such as the Internet.

A firewall can be hardware, software, or both.
FunctionalityThe actions (operations), capabilities, and usefulness of something such as a software application.UX/UI
Graphical User Interface (GUI)Software that works at the point of contact (interface) between a computer and its user, and which employs graphic elements (dialog boxes, icons, menus, scroll bars) instead of text characters to let the user give commands to the computer or to manipulate what is on the screen. Its elements are usually accessed through a pointing device such as a mouse, pen, or stylus. All programs running under a GUI use a consistent set of graphical elements so that once the user learns a particular interface, he or she can use all programs without learning additional or new commands.Business DirectoryUX/UI
Health InformaticsThe fields of clinical informatics and public health informatics, including both applied research and practiceAMIAField
Health Information ExchangeThe electronic movement of health related information among organizations according to national guidelinesAMIAOperations
Health Information Management (HIM)The practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles. They often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions. These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touch point in the healthcare delivery cycle.AHIMAField
Health Information Technology (HIT)The application of information processing involving both computer hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making. Applications of health IT include the electronic health record (EHR), the personal health record (PHR), computerized provider order entry (CPOE), and clinical decision support (CDS). In addition, health information exchanges (HIEs) are being developed to support sharing of information electronically among health care providers. e-Heath tools like Personal Health Apps and Online Communities could also be considered part of the broader health IT world.HealthITField
Health Information Technology for Economic and
Clinical Health (HITECH)
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, signed into law on February 17, 2009, as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), amended the Public Health Service Act to codify the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), required the national coordinator to establish a governance mechanism for a nationwide health information network (NIHN), and required the national coordinator to establish a voluntary program to certify health IT. Through HITECH, Congress also amended the Social Security Act to pay incentive payments to hospitals and physicians to promote adoption and use of certified health IT technologies. It also reduces payments for those who are not meaningful EHR users, beginning in 2015. Finally, the HITECH Act includes a series of privacy and security provisions that would amend and expand the current HIPAA requirements.HealthITLegislation
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Also known as the "Kennedy-Kassebaum Act (1996)," this U.S. law protects employees' health insurance coverage when they change or lose their jobs (Title I) and provides standards for patient health, administrative and financial data interchange (Title II). The latter also governs the privacy and security of health information records and transactions. HIPAA, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, took effect in 2001 with compliance required in phases up to 2004.HIMSSLegislation
Health Level 7 International (HL7)An ANSI-accredited, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization involved in development of international healthcare standards. HL7, a standards developing organization, and its members provide a framework for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information. The standards, which support clinical practice and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services, are the most commonly used in the world. Within the standard, the "7" comes from application layer 7 in the OSI model, which is the highest level where programs talk to each other.HIMSSOrganizationNotable
Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System
Commonly pronounced "Hicks-Picks" and based on the American Medical Association's CPT codes, it provides a standardized coding system for describing the specific items and services provided in the delivery of healthcare. Used for reporting to Medicare and Medicaid.HIMSSStandardNotable
Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set
A set of standard performance measures that can give an individual information about the quality of a health plan. One can find out about the quality of care, access, cost, and other measures to compared managed care plans. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) collects HEDIS data for Medicare plans.AHIMAStandardNotable
Healthcare Information and Management Systems
Society (HIMSS)
A global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). It leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.HIMSSOrganization
Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel
A cooperative partnership between the public and private sectors for the purpose of achieving a widely accepted and useful set of standards specifically to enable and support widespread interoperability among healthcare software applications, as they will interact in a local, regional, and national health information network for the United States.HTSPOperations
Human FactorsThe scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and other methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performanceHFESField
IatrogenesisInadvertent and preventable induction of disease or complications by the medical treatment of procedures of physician or surgeon.Merriam Webster DictionaryOperations
InformaticistA person that uses technology tools to support the management of information within an organization.Healthcare IT NewsJob Title
IntegrationThe act of bringing together smaller components into a single system that functions as one. It refers to the end result of a process that aims to stitch together different, often disparate, subsystems so that the data contained in each becomes part of a larger, more comprehensive system that, ideally, quickly and easily shares data when needed and often requires that companies build a customized architecture or structure of applications to combine new or existing hardware, software, and other communications.TechTargetUX/UI
InterfaceA boundary across which two independent systems meet and act on or communicate with each otherHIMSSUX/UINotable
Interface EngineSoftware that enables many dislike systems to pass information back and forth using a set of defined standards. Interface engines typically perform functions such as: store and forward of messages, message translation, message routing, management tools, alerts and monitoring.HIMSSUX/UI
International Classification of Diseases (ICD)Published by the World Health Organization, these diagnostic codes are designed for the classification of morbidity and mortality information for statistical purposes, for the indexing of hospital records by disease and operations, and for data storage and retrieval.HIMSSStandard
International Classification of Diseases Tenth Revision,
Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)
A coding system for medical diagnoses, symptoms, and nonspecific complaints. It is frequently used on insurance claim forms to identify the reasons for providing medical services. ICD-10 codes must be used on all HIPAA transactions, including outpatient claims with dates of service, and inpatient claimsAMIAStandardNotable
International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA)The world body for health and biomedical informatics. As an 'association of associations', it acts as a bridging organization, bringing together the constituent organizations and their members. The basic goals and objectives of the association are to: promote informatics in health care and research in health, bio, and medical informatics; advance and nurture international cooperation; stimulate research, development and routine application; move informatics from theory into practice in a full range of health delivery settings, from physician's office to acute and long term care; further the dissemination and exchange of knowledge, information and technology; promote education and responsible behavior; and represent the medical and health informatics field with the World Health Organization and other international professional and governmental organizations.IMIAOrganization
International Standards Organization (ISO)Developer and publisher of International Standards that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors to enable a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.AMIAOrganization
Internet Protocol (IP)The method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the InternetHIMSS
InteroperabilityThe ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.HIMSSUX/UINotable
Journal of the American Medical Informatics
Association (JAMIA)
AMIA's peer-reviewed journal for biomedical and health informatics. JAMIA includes informatics articles in the areas of clinical care, clinical research, translational science, implementation science, imaging, education, consumer health, public health, and policy.JAMIAOrganization
Knowledge workerDescribes someone who processes existing information to create new information which can be used to define and solve problemsData
LeanA set of operating philosophies and methods that help create a maximum value for patients by reducing waste and waits. The approach is a continuous process improvement system comprising of structured inventory management, waste reduction and quality improvement techniques. It utilizes a continuous learning cycle that is driven by the 'true’ experts in the processes of health care, being the patients/families, health care providers, and support staff.Systematic ReviewsOperations
Legacy ITAn existing health information technology (IT) application or system that is in place when new IT is installed and may represent a significant prior investment. Compatibility with legacy IT is a major issue when considering acquisition of new applications or software.HealthITOperations
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes
A database and universal standard for identifying laboratory observations. It was developed and is maintained by the Regenstrief Institute, Inc., an internationally-recognized non-profit medical research organization, in 1994. LOINC was created in response to the demand for an electronic database for clinical care and management and is publicly available at no cost.HIMSSData, StandardNotable
Machine LearningA branch of artificial intelligence that uses data analysis and statistics to allow the computer to carry out tasks and draw conclusions with minimal programming.Automation & RoboticsNew
Meaningful Use (MU)A tiered set of objectives related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Meaningful Use criteria must be met by eligible professionals and hospitals if they are to collect financial rewards for the implementation of qualified, certified EHRs to achieve health and efficiency goals.AMIAStandardNotable
Medical InformaticsA field of information science concerned with the management of data and information used to diagnose, treat, cure, and prevent disease through the application of computers and computer technologies.AHIMAField
Medication Use ProcessOne of the most complex and risky processes in the hospital. It involves a large number of caregivers in widely diverse areas - physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and respiratory therapists - and includes history taking, ordering and transcribing, medication procurement, pharmacy management, administration management, and quality assurance.HIMSSStandard
MiddlewareSoftware that serves as an intermediary between systems software and an application, allowing them to exchange data.HIMSSUX/UI
Mobile HealthHealth software programs that run on smartphones and other mobile communication devices.AMIAApplications
National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP)Founded in 1977, a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited, Standards Development Organization with over 1500 members representing virtually every sector of the pharmacy services industry, the NCPDP creates and promotes the transfer of data related to medications, supplies, and services within the healthcare system through the development of standards and industry guidance.HIMSSOrganizationNotable
National Institute of Standards and TechnologyA unit of the U.S. Commerce Department, formerly known as the National Bureau of Standards, it promotes and maintains measurement standards. It also has active programs for encouraging and assisting industry and science to develop and use these standards.TechTargetOrganization
National Library of Medicine (NLM)The world’s largest medical library. It collects materials and provides information and research services in all areas of biomedicine and health care. It is also an NIH institute and supports research and training in areas related to biomedical and health information management and information technology.AMIAOrganization
Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN)A set of standards, services, and policies that enable the secure exchange of health information over the Internet.HealthITStandard
Office of the National Coordinator for Health
Information Technology (ONC)
The principle federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position of the National Coordinator was created in 2004, through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the HITECH Act of 2009.AHIMAOrganization
Patient PortalA secure online website that gives patients convenient 24 hour access to personal health information from anywhere within internet connectionAMIAUX/UI, Application
Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD)Health-related data created, recorded, or gathered by or from patients (or family members or other caregivers) to help address a health concern. It includes, but are not limited to: health history, treatment history, biometric data symptoms, and lifestyle choices.HealthITData
Personal Health RecordAn electronic health record that is maintained by the patient, typically combining information from a variety of encounters with multiple providers.AMIAUX/UI, Application
PharmacogenomicsThe study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.NIHFieldNotable
Pharmacy Health Information Technology (HIT)
A group of 9 national pharmacy organizations and associate members that advocates integrating the pharmacist’s role of providing patient care services into the national health information technology interoperable framework.Pharmacy HITOrganization
Pharmacy InformaticsAn integral discipline within the clinical informatics domain, centered on the effective management and delivery of medication related data, information, and knowledge across systems that support the medication-use process. Also referred to as pharmacoinformatics.ASHPFieldNotable
Population HealthHealth outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group
Precision Medicine or Personalized MedicineAccording to the National Research Council, “personalized medicine” is an older term with a meaning similar to “precision medicine.” Precision medicine focuses on identifying which approaches will be effective for which patients based on genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.Genetics Home ReferenceFieldNotable
Predictive AnalyticsA statistical technique to predict future behavior. Predictive modeling solutions are a form of data-mining technology that works by analyzing historical and current data and generating a model to help pre- dict future outcomes.HIMSS
Protected Health Information (PHI)Information about patients that is protected from inappropriate disclosure under the privacy and security mandates of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and subsequent related legislation.AMIALegislation
Public HealthRelates to public policy functions such as promoting healthy lifestylesKindig and Stoddart 2003
RedundancyDuplication of data and information, which is especially problematic in health informatics when it results in distorted data analysis and unnecessary utilization of storage space.Wren, et al (2010). JAMIA
RegistryA database and associated applications that collects a minimum dataset on a specified group of patients (often those with a certain disease or who have undergone a specific procedure), health professionals, organizations, or even clinical trials. Registries can be used to explore and improve the quality of care or to support research, for example to monitor long term outcomes or rare complications of procedures. Key issues in registries are maintaining confidentiality, coverage of the target population, and data qualityBasic concepts in medical informaticsData, Application
RxNormA normalized naming system for clinical drugs that links its names to many of the drug vocabularies commonly used in pharmacy management and drug interaction software, including those of First Databank, Micromedex, MediSpan, Gold Standard Alchemy, and Multum. By providing links between these vocabularies, it can mediate messages between systems not using the same software and vocabulary.National Library of MedicineStandardNotable
Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience
(SAFER) Guides
Self-assessment booklets designed to help healthcare organizations optimize the safety and safe use of EHRs. Each begins with a checklist that can be used by a multidisciplinary team to assess their organization’s level of implementation of each recommended practice. The nine guides include: High Priority Practices, Organizational Responsibilities, Contingency Planning, System Configuration, System Interfaces, Patient Identification, CPOE with Decision Support, Test Results Reporting and Follow-up, and Clinician Communication.CHPSOOperations
Software Development Kit (SDK)A set of development utilities for writing software applications, usually associated with specific environments (e.g., the Windows SDK).GartnerSoftwareNew
System ErrorAn error attributable to a combination of causes rather than to a single point of failure or a single individual.HealthITOperations
Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical
A systematically organized computer processable collection of medical terminology covering most areas of clinical information such as diseases, findings, procedures, microorganisms, pharmaceuticals, etc. It allows a consistent way to index, store, retrieve, and aggregate clinical data across specialties and sites of care. It helps organizing the content of medical records, reducing the variability in the way data is captured, encoded, and used for clinical care of patients and research.HIMSSStandardNotable
Telehealth or telemedicineA telecommunications system that links healthcare organizations and patients from diverse geographic locations and transmits text and images for medical consultation and treatment.AHIMAOperations
Unified Medical Language System (UMLS)A language system that integrates and distributes key terminology, classification and coding standards, and associated resources to promote creation of more effective and interoperable biomedical information systems and services, including electronic health recordsNIHStandard
Unintended ConsequenceUnanticipated and unwanted effect of health information implementation.HealthITOperations
UsabilityThe extent to which a product can be used by specified people to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.UXPAUX/UI
User ExperienceFocuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations.UX/UI
User InterfaceThe display of computer information and the processes required to view and input information and how users must interact with the computer program.HealthITUX/UI
VaporwareA technology or product for which a tech company may pre-announce development but never actually hits the market. Because many of these announcements are never backed up by an actual product release or are officially canceled, it alludes to their spectral nature and the fact that they essentially vanish into thin air before consumers get to see them.TechnopediaOperations
VarietyNumber of different data typesData
VelocitySpeed of data processingData
VeracityValidity of dataData
VolumeAmount of dataData
Wearable DeviceA computer that is subsumed into the personal space of a user, controlled by the user, and has both operational and interactional constancy, i.e., is always on and always accessible. Wearable devices have the same computing abilities as mobile phones and tablet computers.UX/UI
WorkaroundAn informal practice or temporary fix used by frontline heath care workers to deal with a perceived block or disruption to the normal work flow (for example, when personnel find ways of bypassing safety features of medical equipment).HealthITOperations
WorkflowThe series of activities that are necessary to complete a task. Each step has a specific step before it and a specific step after it, with the exception of the first step. In a linear workflow, the first step is usually initiated by an outside event. If the workflow has a loop structure, however, the first step is initiated by the completion of the last step.TechTargetOperations