Thursday, October 10, 2013

Louise Schaper, PhD, CEO, Health Informatics Society of Australia: "What's Missing From the Health IT Investment? - Health Informatics"

Louise Schaper, PhD, CEO of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA,, graciously extended an invitation in 2011 that I could not attend, and again in 2012 (that I accepted) to give a keynote presentation at HISA's annual convention, Healthcare Informatics Conference (HIC).  A writeup of my HIC2012 presentation in Sydney is at

I unfortunately could not make it Down Under for HIC2013 in Adelaide.  However, HISA has posted videos of a number of presenters.

One of the presenters is Dr. Schaper.  Her presentation "Health Informatics: A megatrend driving investment, careers & delivering the future of healthcare" is at (bottom video).  It is well worth watching.

Louise Schaper PhD, CEO, Health Informatics Society of Australia

After reviewing the potential benefits of heathcare IT, Dr. Schaper asks what I consider the most critical question of all.

At 08:20 she asks:  "What's missing from this [multi-billion dollar] investment?"

The answer is "Health Informatics."

Dr. Schaper then indicates the real-world implications of the field of commercial health IT largely missing its critical founding scientific discipline:

At 13:00 she amplifies the point further:  We are not learning our lessons!  The themes of that slide are familiar to readers of this blog, and to current health IT users:

Dr, Schaper then goes on to cover some real-world issues related to impediments to meaningful health informatician engagement in health IT design, implementation and other aspects of leadership.

The presentation is worth watching in its entirety.  The issues in health IT of meaningful involvement and leadership by those with expertise in healthcare informatics (as compared to, for example, those in manufacturing, mercantile, and management computing whose experience is often ill-suited for high-level roles in healthcare projects) are truly international.

Finally, for those in the U.S. not used to Australian accents, Dr. Schaper's is quite enjoyable to listen to.

-- SS


Anonymous said...

The care of patient is formidably complex. They are not machines or jet engines. Every patient has unique circumstances, genes, and habits.

To treat everyone with the rigidity required by the poorly designed EHR devices is detrimental to the safety and well being of each.

That does not mean that every patient will suffer catastrophe from EHR run care, but, there will be horrific cases of death due to neglect because of this rigidity and complex indiosynchratic care architecture.

Anonymous said...

Well said, anonymous .