Synergies and distinctions between computational disciplines in biomedical research: perspective from the Clinical andTranslational Science Award programs.

TitleSynergies and distinctions between computational disciplines in biomedical research: perspective from the Clinical andTranslational Science Award programs.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBernstam, Elmer V., Hersh William R., Johnson Stephen B., Chute Christopher G., Nguyen Hien, Sim Ida, Nahm Meredith, Weiner Mark G., Miller Perry, DiLaura Robert P., Overcash Marc, Lehmann Harold P., Eichmann David, Athey Brian D., Scheuermann Richard H., Anderson Nick, Starren Justin, Harris Paul A., Smith Jack W., Barbour Ed, Silverstein Jonathan C., Krusch David A., Nagarajan Rakesh, and Becich Michael J.
Corporate AuthorsCTSA Biomedical Informatics Key Function Committee
JournalAcad Med
Volume84
Issue7
Pagination964-70
Date Published2009 Jul
ISSN1938-808X
KeywordsAcademic Medical Centers, Algorithms, Biomedical Research, Career Choice, Clinical Medicine, Computers, Cooperative Behavior, Hospital Information Systems, Humans, Interdisciplinary Communication, Medical Informatics Applications, Medical Informatics Computing, Medical Records Systems, Computerized, Research, United States
Abstract

Clinical and translational research increasingly requires computation. Projects may involve multiple computationally oriented groups including information technology (IT) professionals, computer scientists, and biomedical informaticians. However, many biomedical researchers are not aware of the distinctions among these complementary groups, leading to confusion, delays, and suboptimal results. Although written from the perspective of Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) programs within academic medical centers, this article addresses issues that extend beyond clinical and translational research. The authors describe the complementary but distinct roles of operational IT, research IT, computer science, and biomedical informatics using a clinical data warehouse as a running example. In general, IT professionals focus on technology. The authors distinguish between two types of IT groups within academic medical centers: central or administrative IT (supporting the administrative computing needs of large organizations) and research IT (supporting the computing needs of researchers). Computer scientists focus on general issues of computation such as designing faster computers or more efficient algorithms, rather than specific applications. In contrast, informaticians are concerned with data, information, and knowledge. Biomedical informaticians draw on a variety of tools, including but not limited to computers, to solve information problems in health care and biomedicine. The paper concludes with recommendations regarding administrative structures that can help to maximize the benefit of computation to biomedical research within academic health centers.

DOI10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181a8144d
Alternate JournalAcad Med
PubMed ID19550198
PubMed Central IDPMC2884382
Grant List1UL1RR024128 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
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UL1 RR024139-01 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
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