Electronic health records
National Institutes of Health
Informatics is launched
WATERLOO, Ont. The National
Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI), Canadas first national
organization dedicated to fostering Health Informatics (HI) research and
education, has been established. Details about NIHI can be found on its
Founders of the organization are:
Professor Nicholas Cercone, Dean, Science and Engineering, York
University, Toronto, Ontario.
Professor H. Dominic Covvey, Founding Director, Waterloo Institute for
Health Informatics Research, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario.
Ms. Shirley Fenton, Managing Director, Waterloo Institute for Health
Informatics Research, Waterloo, Ontario.
Mr. Christopher Fultz, Lawyer, Wilder Wilder & Langtry, Winnipeg,
Mr. Robert Hawkins, Retired, Former CEO of HealthVision Corporation,
Victoria, British Columbia.
Professor Kendall Ho, Associate Dean, University of British
Columbia,Vancouver, British Columbia.
Professor David Koff, Head, Division of Radiology, McMaster
University, Hamilton, Ontario.
Professor Andre Kushniruk, Director, Health Information Science,
University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia.
Mr. Sam Marafioti, Vice President of Corporate Strategy and
Development, and CIO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto,
Professor Grace Paterson, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Professor Nicola Shaw, iCARE, University of Alberta & Capital Health,
Professor David Zitner, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Information and communications systems have been used in health
organizations for over 50 years. e-Health is increasingly used to
address processes from the routine to the clinically critical. However,
we still have a long way to go in terms of Health Informatics research
and the development of fully competent people to plan, select,
implement, manage and evaluate systems and methods used in health.
The need for research and education in Health Informatics is even more
important now than at the start of the computer revolution. Today we
find ourselves far less limited by technology, but we are still impaired
by our ideas, knowledge, understanding and skills in addressing the
human impacts of systems.
NIHI is a virtual, self-sustaining institute of institutes facilitating
the development of a diversity of local initiatives dedicated to HI
research and education. NIHI does not promote its own research and it is
not an educational organization, but rather it will be a catalyst,
fostering and facilitating research and education at its component
The objectives of NIHI are to:
Assist in the identification and development of groups, centers and
institutes dedicated to Health Informatics research and education;
Promote academic collaboration, credibility and professionalism in
Facilitate the development, maintenance and renewal of the human and
physical resources that can support the Canadian health system;
Foster the expansion of the knowledge base in Health Informatics and
associated disciplines in order to enhance the well being of Canadians;
Enhance the Health Informatics profile of Canada globally;
Exemplify and promote the highest level of excellence, integrity, and
accountability in the pursuit of these objectives.
Today, Health Informatics research in Canada is geographically
dispersed. Centers of excellence exist in specialty areas, but the
greatest strength and profile would be derived from uniting these
centers of excellence and integrating their efforts as national-scale
projects. The virtual union of these organizations will have the
multidisciplinary diversity and capacity to address problems of national
and international significance and to attract major funding.
NIHI will undertake a number of efforts that are of value to Canada and
external to Canada. NIHI will build relationships with both the health
system and with private industry.
These will include, but not be limited to the following:
Offering the Applied Health Informatics Bootcamp.
Offering the eHealth Risk Workshop Series (eHealth Privacy, eHealth
Risk Management and eHealth Security workshops) and others.
Offering an annual academic Health Informatics conference.
Convening Think-tank sessions (with resultant reports) on topics of
Consulting with educational institutions, health organizations,
industry and government.
Initially, NIHI has focused on bringing HI academics together. NIHI has
been launched with the participation of researchers and teachers from
most of the universities and colleges with existing or incipient HI
education or research programs.
Current participants and founding members can be found on the NIHI
website. NIHI has evolved from the concepts on which the Waterloo
Institute of Health Informatics Research was founded. Ultimately,
though, NIHI will go in directions determined by its participants,
powered by their enthusiasm and commitments.
Over the next several months the opportunity to participate will be
expanded to include students, health system professionals, and
individuals from the private sector organizations, government and other
agencies that serve the health system. NIHI is interested in hearing
from anyone in the HI community interested in participating and
contributing. If you are interested or have questions about
collaborating with NIHI, please let us know via: