Meet the Editor of the HIMSS Health IT Dictionary, Fourth Edition (Part 1): Reflections on the Updated Version

While working on the HIMSS HIT Dictionary, Fourth Edition, we tried to keep in mind accessibility to those of all levels and backgrounds. The HIMSS HIT Dictionary is required reading for the first class my students take in the Health Informatics Program at Kent State. Our students come from a variety of fields, so the Dictionary is essential to understanding what is going on in our classes. Since I teach the first class in the program, I know from experience that as students are introduced to the Dictionary, these upcoming professionals will begin to see it as an indispensable tool to their understanding of the Health Informatics field.

Based on our review of the 2013 Third Edition, one can tell that there have been major changes and trends in health IT over the past few years. We are becoming more aware that the patient is the reason we all do what we do. Terminology around telemedicine, connected health, quality and personal health records is prominent in the Fourth Edition. We also made sure that the ideas around interoperability of health records, behavioral health, long-term care and outpatient care were represented.

Cybersecurity concerns are another new trend. As an industry, we did not take them seriously enough until healthcare venues were hacked, medical records were stolen and entire systems were held for ransom. In the Fourth Edition, we tried to provide the most current terms surrounding cybersecurity as well as terminology that is future-oriented. Furthermore, we eliminated definitions around personal computers, as they are largely out-of-date and added terminology such as, mobile computing, data analytics, wearable technology, and the Internet of Things in their place.

It was also interesting that we have co-opted so many acronyms from other areas and make them relate to HIT. I believe we over-use acronyms that can have multiple meanings. I hope in future editions of the Dictionary we can continue to work towards standardization of terms and acronyms in particular.


Read Part 2: From Nursing to Interoperability and HIE

Join us at HIMSS17!
Dr. Hudak will be signing copies of the HIMSS HIT Dictionary, Fourth Edition at HIMSS17. Join us on Wednesday, February 22 | 11:00 AM at the HIMSS Bookstore! (Orange County Convention Center, Level 2, Lobby B)

About the Contributor
Christine A. Hudak, Ph.D., RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, is the editor of the The HIMSS HIT Dictionary, Fourth Edition, and is Professor and Director of the Health Informatics program at Kent State University, School of Library & Information Science.  She is also a Contributing Interdisciplinary Faculty Member in the School of Digital Sciences. She has more than 30 years of experience in Health Care Informatics, including teaching, instructional development, systems analysis, systems implementation and data analysis.

Her professional affiliations include the AMIA, ANIA ASHIM, HIMSS and the National Institutes of Health Informatics in Canada. She is a member of the Health Informatics Society of Ireland and is a United Kingdom Certified Health Information Professional.

She received her B.S.N. from Case Western University. Her M.Ed. in postsecondary education and her Ph.D. in Urban Education Administration were both earned from Cleveland State University (CSU), focusing on adult learning, curriculum development, instructional design, educational administration and computer uses in education. Her dissertation title was "Organizational Factors in the Implementation of End User Computing Systems in Ohio Hospitals.”