Friday, March 27, 2009

The First Blog

The idea for this blog came from my daily work life.

I'm a pathologist, and I specialize in Informatics. Informatics is a very broad term, which as many know is defined differently by seemingly every person to whom you ask the question "What is Informatics?" (an official definition has been posted on the American Medical Informatics Association web site). For me, Informatics is just what I do every working day, and that is to provide faculty-level oversight for the laboratory information systems (LIS) as well as the ancillary support systems operating within our laboratories. Decisions have to be made frequently...some good and some...well...let's just say that I've learned more than a few things. Everything is relative, but the term "trial by fire" at times feels appropriate and hence the title of my blog.

I learned much of what I know about Informatics during my training. However, there are some things (okay, maybe a lot of things) that you just don't find out until you are the one who is charged with making the decisions, or at least greatly influencing them. Since I started in my current position, I've reflected upon the fact that these types of decisions are faced by many pathologists. After all, practically every laboratory in the United States has some sort of information system which has to be managed, and medical input into that management is critical to its success.

Could other pathologists learn from what I have been through? I don't know, but I hope so. Some will undoubtedly find this topic boring...until they get hit with a HIPAA audit. So here goes...

By the way, the opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Completely. Entirely. No exceptions. They certainly do not represent the opinions of anyone other than myself or any entity, including any organization in which I hold membership, for whom I work or with whom I have had the opportunity to conduct business.