What Does Informatics Mean for Cancer Care

What Does Informatics Mean for Cancer Care?

What Does Informatics Mean for Cancer Care? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo

What kind of impact can informatics have on cancer care? Watch as expert Dr. Joseph Sirintrapun explains the components of informatics and the benefits they provide in care of cancer patients.

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Lisa Hatfield:

So, Dr. Sirintrapun, as far as informatics goes, can you give us the layperson or a patient-friendly version of what informatics is and what it means for cancer care?

Dr. Sirintrapun:

I really appreciate Dr. Palmer giving the segue for the informatic system. So this is…let me start with maybe when I explain to colleagues and other people about what informatics is. When you think of informatics, you think of three pillars, and we always…I almost have it down like a parrot. So it’s people, processes, and technology. And people always think it’s the technology, but it’s also people and processes, and that’s always been…whenever you see informatics, that’s the three pillars, but I wanted to add one more that Dr. Palmer also mentioned is data and information. You incorporate all those, so imagine all the four pillars coming together to enable the practice of medicine care and at a very high level, what I like to think of informatics is, it’s the science of bridging the gap, decreasing the chasm between the right caregiver to the patient who needs it. Because there are chasms everywhere, in terms of logistics, space, physicality, you have to travel five states to get with a rare tumor.

Those are chasms there. And I see informatics as bringing all those different pillars together. How do we do it so that the chasm is decreased? Or if it’s not a chasm, decreasing the friction, decreasing the burden between making these things work, making things more efficient. So I think I was hearing a little bit earlier about how can we automate things? As Dr. Palmer mentioned before, data, data abstraction data, being able to pull data from these gigantic enormous resources, it’s tough. And it’s not like we can hire the entire high school student population on their summer internship to go and read through these notes. And there’s not enough money, there’s not enough knowledge. And we need to find different ways that we can use automation, AI, or other things like that to do it.

And this is where informatics kind of delves in. How do we apply all these different things so that people can use it, because you never can forget about people. It works in the processes that take place and it’s the right technology. Because sometimes technology, it’s a great technology, but it’s not ready for certain things. I see a lot of technology kind of ahead of its time. It’s basically a tool in search of a problem and people try to stick it somewhere where it doesn’t fit. So it’s a lot of that. And as you can tell, I’m pretty excited about it because that in a nutshell gives you a feel of what informatics is all about, so.

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