Clinical Informatics: "application of informatics and information technology to deliver healthcare services. It is also referred to as applied clinical informatics and operational informatics."
We are interested in how clinical informatics - like electronic health records (EHRs) - can be used to improve the delivery of care to people with disabilities, and therefore improve health and quality-of-life outcomes. We approach this work from a clinical informatics health equity lens, and question how the systems we develop or use may unintentionally impact the communities we serve.
Recording Disability Status in the Medical Record
As part of a group at the University of Michigan Center for Disability Health and Wellness, we have developed the Disability and Accommodations Tab. This tool is in the main demographic section of a patient's medical record where providers can record patients' disabilities and disability-related accommodation needs. We have published on the development and use of this work:
Bias in Health Informatics Data Structures
Health information services and data are influenced by people who are influenced by social norms and attitudes. This can negatively impact the type of data we collect, and make it more difficult to conduct health equity research. We have critiqued major health information systems (e.g., the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network [PCORnet]) and hospitals for their historic exclusion of people who use American Sign Language to communicate. Our work has provided guidance on how healthcare systems can improve to foster health disparities work with these populations.