As is the case for environmental, ecological, astronomical, and other sciences, medical practice and research finds itself in a tsunami of data. This data deluge, due primarily to the introduction of digitalization in routine medical care and medical research, affords the opportunity for improved patient care and scientific discovery. Medical informatics is the subdiscipline of medicine created to make greater use of information in order to improve healthcare. The 4 areas of medical informatics research (information access, structure, analysis, and interaction) are used as a framework to discuss the overlap in information needs of comparative effectiveness research and potential contributions of medical informatics. Examples of progress from the medical informatics literature and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System are provided.
D'Avolio LW, Farwell WR, Fiore LD. Comparative Effectiveness Research and Medical Informatics. Am. J. Med. 2010 Dec;123(12, Supplement 1):e32-e37.