Many of us who work in health informatics sometimes struggle to articulate what it is we do. How many of you have parents, spouses, or older children who only have the vaguest notion about what you do and what it means? The breadth of the field means that it’s often difficult to enumerate and explain areas outside of our own area of emphasis.

I like infographics, because at their best they visually portray a concept in such a way as to make it easily understandable, even to those who are less familiar with the domain. At their worst they are biased, self-serving, misleading marketing pieces. Of course, an infographic can never convey the nuance and detail that can be communicated in an effective document or presentation, but is an overview.

From a visual standpoint, my problem with most infographics is that they usually have a very tall aspect ratio, and therefore better suited for blogs than for presentations.

This infographic from the University of Illinois at Chicago, does a reasonable job of explaining the field and it richness. It does not cover everything (and contains some glaring omissions, such as not even mentioning information science and not explaining fields like bioinformatics).  But for what it does cover, which is an overview of the benefits of clinical informatics, EHRs, and consumer health informatics, it’s a reasonable overview:

Other great infographics in this area include these, from HIMSS:

Impact of HIT from HIMSS.org

and this one about the value of health IT:

Realizing Value of Health IT from HIMSS.org

The infographics from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT are also good, but mainly cover the success of government incentives in achieving adoption of HIT, however this one is relevant to this topic:

Benefits of EHR from HealthIT.gov

By the way, Healthcare Intelligence Network maintains a blog with many other health and health IT related infographics.

What are your favorite health IT or health informatics infographics? Are they good enough to explain to you mother what you do for a living?