Over the last few decades, health informaticians have been leading the innovation conversation to support the digital transformation of healthcare. This transformation has seen the sector evolve from rudimentary computer based records to large-scale systems that allow intra-organisational, national, even international communication and information exchange. We have also seen a boom in consumer apps, enhancing the practitioner and consumer experience in healthcare interactions. Establishing and maintaining strong partnerships between the healthcare community, government, universities and industry is integral to the digital ideas boom. The Australian National Health Informatics Conference (HIC), Australia's premier health informatics event, is a key avenue for developing, promoting and maintaining these partnerships. The Conference, organised by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA), with the support of the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI), provides the ideal professional and social environment for clinicians, researchers, health IT professionals, industry and consumers to integrate, educate and share their knowledge to drive innovative thinking, to enhance services and allow greater consumer involvement. This is emphasised in the primary theme of the 2017 Conference: Integrating and Connecting Care.
The papers in this volume reflect this theme, highlighting the cutting-edge research evidence, technology updates and innovations that are seeing the digital transformation of the healthcare sector. The papers are indicative of the wide spectrum of work encompassing major theoretical concepts, examples of key applications of new technologies and important new developments in the field of health informatics. They emphasise the central role that health informatics and e-health play in connecting information systems, being smart with data, and enhancing both practitioner and consumer experience in healthcare interactions. Welcome to the innovation boom.
This year's program maintains the high standard of papers for which the conference is well-known. All papers were blind-peer reviewed by three experts in the field of health informatics. These reviewers are widely considered to be prominent academics, digital health and industry specialists. The contribution of the Australasian College of Health Informatics, particularly the voluntary participation of Fellows, in supporting this review process is gratefully acknowledged. Similar contributions made by many senior and experienced members of the Health Informatics Society of Australia are also acknowledged. Forty papers underwent the initial review and feedback process. Resubmitted papers were then validated by the Scientific Program Committee to ensure that reviewers' recommendations were appropriately addressed or rebutted. In total 24 papers were selected for inclusion in this volume. Congratulations to all the authors on their contribution to the digital health ideas boom.
Louise K. Schaper