Clinical informatics refers to the practice of patient care by physicians, nurses or other health care professionals. Clinical informatics researchers seek to develop ways to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care, through better information collection, communication and decision support. Electronic health records (EHR) are a major, but not the only, focus of clinical informatics.

Clinical Informatics Research at UAB

Drs. James Cimino, Tiago Colicchio, Wayne Liang, John Osborne and Amy Wang lead the clinical informatics research initiative within the Informatics Institute. 

Dr. Cimino is currently conducting foundational research on improving electronic health records. His work is focused on understanding the current deficiencies in data content that prevent tools like automated decision support from performing an a more intelligent and useful manner. Studies are being initiated to create an ontology for clinical decision-making cognition, develop improvements in data capture, and design intelligent workflow tools for use by clinicians and patients to enhance and coordinate care. 

The current focus of Dr. Colicchio's research is to design electronic clinical documentation systems that can increase clinicians’ situational awareness, improve the medical-decision making process, and reduce the EHR-associated documentation burden. Studies are being initiated to describe the literature exploring clinicians reasoning as reflected in electronic clinical note-entry and reading/retrieval, as well as to create an ontology for clinical decision-making cognition, followed by the development of effective data capture solutions needed to facilitate electronic clinical documentation.

Dr. Liang’s research focuses on informatics methods and tools that improve clinical decision-making by clinicians and patients. He is particularly interested in the integration of genomic data into clinical information systems and workflows to enable the delivery of precision medicine, particular in oncology. He is also interested in the secondary use of clinical data for research, user interface design, and patient engagement.