At this year's American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2014 Annual Symposium, I was honored to be asked, along with fellow Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) faculty member Dr. Joan Ash, to deliver one of the annual Year in Review sessions.
This session was first delivered in 2006 by Dr. Dan Masys, who presented an annual review of the past year's research publications and major events each year. Over time, parts of the annual review were broken off and focused on specific topics. The first of these were the annual reviews in translational bioinformatics (Dr. Russ Altman) and clinical research informatics (Dr. Peter Embi, an OHSU alumnus), presented at the annual AMIA Joint Summits on Translational Science. This year additional topics were peeled off, such as Informatics in the Media Year in Review (Dr. Danny Sands) as well as Public and Global Health Informatics Year in Review (Dr. Brian Dixon, Dr. Jamie Pina, Dr. Janise Richards, Dr. Hadi Kharrazi, and OHSU alumnus Dr. Anne Turner).
This pretty much left clinical informatics as the major topic for Joan and I to cover. However, I had also noted that this separating out of specific aspects of informatics left no one covering the fundamentals of informatics, i.e., topics underlying and germane to all aspects of informatics. We also noted that qualitative and mixed methods research had also been historically underrepresented in these annual reviews. Therefore, Joan and I set the scope of our Year in Review session to clinical informatics and foundations of biomedical and health informatics. For research that was evaluative, Joan would cover qualitative and mixed methods studies, while I would cover studies using predominantly quantitative methods studies.
We also believed that while Dan's methods for gathering publications was sound, different approaches worked better for us. For myself in particular, I decided to plug the annual review process into my existing workflow of uncovering important science and events in the field, which I spend a good amount of time doing in order to keep my introductory (10x10 and OHSU) course up to date. I comprehensively scan the literature as well as the news on a continuous basis to keep my teaching materials (and knowledge!) up to date. I actually created a slide in the presentation to show my normal workflow "methods," which informed my review and is shown below.
Our first annual review was presented at the AMIA 2014 Annual Symposium on November 18, 2014. Continuing Dan's tradition, we created a Web page that has a description of our goals and methods, a link to our slides, and all of the articles cited in our presentation. We also kept the traditional time frame for the "year" in review, which was from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. One additional feature of the session that we added was to offer up the last 15 minutes for attendees to make their own nominations for publications or events to be included.
Joan and I were pleased with how the session went, and we were gratified by the positive response from attendees. We are hopeful to be invited back to present the session again next year!