Information for Informatics Experts

The field of informatics is a rapidly expanding and exciting field - one that is attracting lots of attention due to a growing demand for people trained in the field. At the University of Minnesota, Informatics has a rich, forty year history.

In recent history, informatics evolved in the department of Lab Medicine as faculty recognized the need to study the science of information and to fully understand and provide leadership in the development of clinical standards and terminology. For years, faculty welcomed graduate students and graduated many of the top people in the field of informatics today. To support the importance of informatics as a science, the University of Minnesota formed the Institute for Health Informatics (IHI) in 2005.

In 2009, IHI was given a “home” in Diehl Hall, in full support of the natural affinity between informatics and the function of the Biomedical Library. This new home allows the IHI to link the growing health informatics-related research, teaching, and outreach functions at the University of Minnesota, optimizing opportunities for coordination, synergy, and collaboration.

The University sees informatics as an important growth area as it strives to reach its goal of becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world. IHI has the strong support of the senior vice president for health sciences, and the University's investment in health informatics is considered a critical building block for future success in clinical sciences, clinical research, and inter-professional education. The formation of the Office of Biomedical Health Informatics (BMHI), in the spring of 2010, is a part of the ongoing commitment to informatics and ensures campus-wide engagement and alignment.

What is informatics?

Biomedical informatics (BMI) is thought of as the interdisciplinary, scientific 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 (AMIA 2012).