In Seattle last week a great group of researchers and leaders come together to focus on collaboration between behavioral science and medical informatics. The day was part of the Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) annual conference, and was supported by Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute. It also represented a liaison between SBM and the American Medical Informatics Association.
Vimla Patel and Bonnie Spring began the session, highlighting how collaboration between members of SBM and AMIA would benefit both organizations and their efforts. After all, the meaningful use of health IT is about changing how people think and what they do. Integrating consumer informatics into healthcare and into peoples’ lives requires in-depth understanding of human-computer interactions, usability, usage, changes in workflow and ultimately changes in health behavior and outcomes. And behavioral scientists should delve into using health IT to achieve better outcomes.
I talked about how consumers are engaged, online and sharing information, causing a shift from provider-only care to provider-plus-information care. Younger patients want their providers to embrace this new dynamic. What factors will drive changes in attitudes and behaviors related to health IT usage? How will usage lead to health improvement? Behavioral scientists offer amazing collective intellectual property to answer these questions. These researchers must work with developers, users and leaders in health IT to achieve meaningful use.
Insightful contributions were made by: