Author Interview: Medical Informatics by Kenneth R. Ong

Medical Informatics: An Executive Primer

Medical Informatics: An Executive Primer includes real-world examples illustrating how technologies such as electronic prescribing, personal health records, computerized practitioner order entry, identity management and electronic health records are changing the way healthcare is provided, and how they improve the quality and safety of patient care. 

About Kenneth R. Ong, Author

Kenneth R. Ong, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, is director of clinical information systems at North Shore – LIJ Health System, a system comprised of 15 hospitals, hospice and home care services, a major medical research institute, and many other health-related facilities. Prior to joining North Shore – LIJ this year, Dr. Ong was the director of medical informatics at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, a New York Medical College affiliate.  Prior to joining North Shore – LIJ this year, Dr. Ong was the director of medical informatics at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, a New York Medical College affiliate. In addition to strategic planning and managing clinical applications, his past projects at Saint Vincent’s include developing and implementing the clinical decision support for the ambulatory EMR and the hospital pharmacy system; and implementing Web-based results review and physician charge capture.

Q&A

What were your primary motivations for writing Medical Informatics: An Executive Primer?
Health care leadership today is faced with daunting challenges. Declining reimbursement, the growing number of uninsured, and rising costs are issues that confront health care managers and executives everywhere. Increasingly, health care leaders understand the value of information technology in improving quality and efficiency. The book should help better inform those leaders in plain English without the technobabble. The plethora of IT acronyms and abbreviations can be bewildering and we've done our best to make sense of the jargon. The book was a natural outgrowth of the seminar I taught of the same title at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Why do you feel it is important to extend your knowledge and professional experiences to the world of academia?
In the best of circumstances, academia and applied I.T. in health care are closely intertwined. Research and education fuel innovation in our hospitals, clinics, and other settings of care. Likewise, the actual application of CPOE, BCPOC, and other IT should serve as an impetus to academia. To be frank, I'll be first to admit I have a lot to learn. As my own mentors have taught me, one of the best ways to learn is to teach.

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