I suggest a rename of 'Healthcare IT' to "Health IT".

I can see the name "healthcare IT" being unnecessarily limiting in the future because it will artificially exclude the health IT approaches to modelling and managing health information in general.

Previously I worked exclusively in health informatics and a major project involved the IT around cancer research, but not direct care. Questions about this or answers based on this piece of technology would be out of scope for "Healthcare IT" but there is 99% crossover with the technology we developed for care-based health IT software.

Note that the field is almost always called "health informatics" in a global context (presumably influenced by French 'informatique' and the rest of Europe) so would highly recommend that term be used directly alongside "health IT". For what it's worth, in Australia "health informatics" or "e-health" is used rather than "health IT".

Note also: the definitive term used by Wikipedia is 'Health informatics': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_informatics

Proposal: Health IT

This suggestion didn't really get the attention I'd hoped for. If it ever does, please contact me and I can recommit to this proposal. For now I'm going to have to uncommit until a proper title is sorted out. – Lisa Aug 10 '11 at 1:29
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I concur that widening the scope of the site to cover Health Informatics would be good for the site. However, from a simple site design and naming perspective, it seems like we it doesn't work. Ie, http://healthinformatics.stackexchange.com is just too long of a name for the site. In fact, even http://healthcareit.stackexchange.com isn't the best name. I think if someone can propose a shorter name that fits and covers the expanded scope that would be great.

HIT is a common acronym meaning "health information technology" -- a bit like DIY.stackexchange.com instead of homeimprovement.stackexchange.com. The HIT in the url is an sensible mnemonic for users and the full name could still be "Health IT" or "Health informatics" or "Health information technology" if we want to be anal. I just want to drop the "care" bit. – Lisa Jul 26 '11 at 5:09

I think people see your question as an overreaction. I still don't understand what the difference would be between 'Health IT' and 'Healthcare IT'; you're splitting hairs.

Rather than suggesting a name change you are better of asking the question: "Will this site include the health IT approaches to modelling and managing health information in general?"

I guarantee you that if you went and created a 'Health IT' proposal, people would scream until it was merged with this one. So I don't see what you have to worry about.

I work in the pharma industry and want to discuss questions around social media in the regulatory environment of the pharma industry. That's not covered in the title or in any of the example questions, however I am pretty much assured that it will be covered on the site because most people don't want to stupidly fragment the communities. Each site has to cover a reasonable area, they don't want 10 proposals if 1 will do the job.

So think of Healthcare IT not as someone working on a new piece of software for some scanner in radiology, think about it as the Healthcare industry which is about 'caring for patients' so any IT aspect of caring for patients. I think that is broad enough, but not overly broad.

I've spent a lot of time on new sites in beta and they are quite democratic and its usually only the questions that are totally unrelated that get given the boot.


Just noticed the top 2 comments on the site, I think that pretty much answers your question:

I think that the definition of Healthcare IT (Or Healthcare IS, HIS, HCIS, etc.) is inclusive of all provider types, so wether you're a doc in a box, Dr. 90210, the nursing home down the street, a large Academic medical center, the community hospital, critical access, the St. Paul Island (AK) clinic, or a home health agency, you'll want to come here for your answer. For the record, I'm a hospital IT guy.

Having occasionally followed the Wikipedia talk pages on health informatics, electronic health record, and electronic medical record there does appear to be politics around the names used. So I don't think it's splitting hairs to aim for the most generic, unbiased name possible here. – Lisa Aug 18 '11 at 0:11
BTW I have posted this as a question, but I would prefer to make it a call to action. I just don't know of a mechanism to do this. – Lisa Aug 18 '11 at 0:11
@Lisa - That's fair enough, if you feel it is important. To me it seems unnecessary and I was suggesting that others may feel the same way; that may be why there hasn't been a huge response to this discussion. – going Aug 18 '11 at 0:41
Just as an FYI, it appears there is no way to change the proposal name at this point. Perhaps when the site goes live, this can be discussed a bit further. – Steve Wranovsky Aug 22 '11 at 6:25
There have been a few name changes to other sites during the commitment stage and there have also been some changes after the beta has been opened. (Changes during beta for electrical engineering, audio video production, and science fiction & fantasy all come to mind.) If it's a major concern then it's probably okay to send Stack Exchange an email. – moberley Aug 23 '11 at 0:10
@Dori what a shame – Lisa Oct 13 '11 at 2:29

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