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Healthcare Strategic Focus Area: Clinical Informatics



Conrad Bock, Lisa Carnahan, Steven J. Fenves, Michael Gruninger, V Kashyap, Bettijoyce B. Lide, Jim G. Nell, Ravi S. Raman, Ram D. Sriram


NIST has conducted several workshops and other information gathering activities, that have identified several key strategic opportunities in healthcare information technology (HIT) for NIST: clinical informatics; bioinformatics; medical devices; pharmaceuticals; biosurveillance; and enterprise modeling. This report addresses the first area, clinical informatics, as being of prime interest to NIST and focuses on roles that are suitable for NIST. The report presents three aspects of clinical informatics of most immediate interest to NIST?s Information Technology (ITL) and Manufacturing Engineering Laboratories (MEL): ? electronic medical records, approaches and standards for the integration and interchange of health information; ? vocabularies, controlled collections of concepts that cover medical knowledge for particular purposes; and ? evidence-based medicine (EBM), applying up-to-date healthcare knowledge by filtering and disseminating it in a way that integrates into clinical experience and patient values. The report then presents an initial set of components needed to realize an interoperable framework for clinical informatics: systems engineering for clarifying the meaning of information; semantic languages for expressing information with increased precision and expressiveness; model-driven architecture for translating semantically developed system specifications into multiple technologies; and interoperability and conformance testing to help ensure that standards-based solutions provide the necessary infrastructure and seamless information integration across applications within and between homogenous healthcare organizations. A number of potential roles that NIST?s ITL and MEL could play in the area of clinical informatics are also identified.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7263
Report Number


bioinformatics, clinical informatics, electronic medical records, interoperability, semantic languages, standards, systems engineering


Bock, C. , Carnahan, L. , Fenves, S. , Gruninger, M. , Kashyap, V. , Lide, B. , Nell, J. , Raman, R. and Sriram, R. (2005), Healthcare Strategic Focus Area: Clinical Informatics, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created August 31, 2005, Updated October 12, 2021