CC BY 4.0 · ACI Open 2020; 04(01): e22-e29
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1701021
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

KOI Pond: The “Elevator Pitch” that Adapts to Describe the Breadth and Variety of Clinical Informatics Practice

John D. Manning
1  Department of Emergency Medicine, Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Michael Wang
2  Department of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States
Chethan Sarabu
3  Department of Pediatrics, Stanford Medicine, Palo Alto, California, United States
Kelly Goonan
1  Department of Emergency Medicine, Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
William R. Toth
4  Department of Clinical Informatics, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington, United States
Elijah J. Bell
5  Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, United States
John F. Pearson
6  Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Bruce P. Levy
7  Division of Informatics, Geisinger Health, Danville, Pennsylvania, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

22 September 2019

04 December 2019

Publication Date:
04 March 2020 (online)



Background The practice of clinical informatics (CI) is diverse and frequently tailored to individual skills and interests or to organizational/departmental needs. Prior studies have sought to define core content areas, educational milestones, and practice patterns within the clinical informatics subspecialty (CIS). Unfortunately, no single tool or framework currently exists that can succinctly define an informatician's role regardless of setting. The diversity of informatics practice makes it difficult to have one “pitch” that describes all possible domains, tasks, knowledge, and skills available to an informatician.

Objective Using qualitative data from multiple informaticians, provide a succinct framework to describe and compartmentalize the various functions an informatician can contribute to the healthcare field.

Methods We created an iterative focus group of five CIS fellows enrolled in different fellowship programs nationwide, one CIS program director, and an MD-PhD candidate in biomedical informatics. After much discussion, iteration, and consideration of career options within a young and burgeoning subspecialty, a dual-axis model was created that describes CIS practice in terms of settings (internal, external, and policy) and focus areas (knowledge, operations, and innovation).

Results and Conclusion By combining both axes into a single “KOI pond” and then prioritizing sections by interest/resource investment, we are able to generate a unique snapshot for each informatician. These snapshots can be used (1) by informaticians to characterize their own practice succinctly as a pitch, (2) by CIS fellows who are considering career options, and (3) by those unfamiliar with CIS who want to learn more.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

No human or animal subjects were included in the project.