The Value of the Surgeon Informatician

Jane Zhao, Raquel Forsythe, Alexander Langerman, Genevieve B. Melton, David F. Schneider, Gretchen Purcell Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Clinical informatics is an interdisciplinary specialty that leverages big data, health information technologies, and the science of biomedical informatics within clinical environments to improve quality and outcomes in the increasingly complex and often siloed health care systems. Core competencies of clinical informatics primarily focus on clinical decision making and care process improvement, health information systems, and leadership and change management. Although the broad relevance of clinical informatics is apparent, this review focuses on its application and pertinence to the discipline of surgery, which is less well defined. In doing so, we hope to highlight the importance of the surgeon informatician. Topics covered include electronic health records, clinical decision support systems, computerized order entry, data analytics, clinical documentation, information architectures, implementation science, quality improvement, simulation, education, and telemedicine. The formal pathway for surgeons to become clinical informaticians is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the program committee of the 14th Annual Academic Surgical Congress for hosting the hot topic panel titled, ?The Surgeon Informatician: Both Surgeon Scientist and Surgeon Advocate? and the Journal of Surgical Research for recognizing the importance of clinical informatics to surgery. Authors' contributions: J.Z. performed the literature review, created the figures, and wrote the review article; R.F. A.L. G.B.M. D.F.S. and G.P.J. contributed content expertise and performed critical revisions necessary for the final version of the review article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Clinical decision support
  • Clinical informatics
  • Health information technology
  • Interoperability
  • Surgery
  • Telemedicine


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