Disaster Medical Informatics

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1. Developing medical information systems for disaster medicine
The disaster management cycle is divided into four phases: “response,” “recovery,” “mitigation,” and “preparedness.” Information systems for disaster medicine should be built to meet the specific requirements and challenges of each phase, from the setting up of adequate information infrastructure and collection of essential information for triage, to the provision of critical clinical support and efficient management of patients and staff members. Besides developing disaster-ready medical information systems, we are helping others to develop such systems as co-researchers. However, our primary goal is not the use of information technology (IT), but the compatible use of IT and paper materials under disaster conditions.
 
2. Promoting backup of hospital clinical data 
We aim to promote efficient backup systems for clinical data using the SS-MIX (Standard Structured Medical Information Exchange). The Gemini project (backup of clinical data in national university hospitals), Miyagi Medical and Welfare Information Network (backup of shared clinical information among hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture), and the Sentinel project (development of a large clinical database in Japan for detecting adverse drug effects) are all progressing well in Tohoku University Hospital.
 
3. Improving the hospital information system at Tohoku University Hospital
While no “perfect” hospital information system for medical staff exists, we are currently developing applications that will further improve the system at Tohoku University Hospital. Developing excellent information systems that take into consideration each member of the medical staff would contribute to efficient clinical activity and enhancement of medical safety in hospitals.