Appl Clin Inform 2015; 06(04): 748-756
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2015-10-RA-0147
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

Improving Bridging from Informatics Theory to Practice

R. Haux
1  Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, University of Braunschweig – Institute of Technology and Hannover Medical School, Germany
S. Koch
2  Health Informatics Centre, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 30 October 2015

accepted: 30 October 2015

Publication Date:
19 December 2017 (online)


Background: In 1962, Methods of Information in Medicine (MIM) began to publish papers on the methodology and scientific fundamentals of managing data, information, and knowledge in biomedicine and health care. Meeting an increasing demand for research about practical implementation of health information systems, the journal Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI) was launched in 2009. Both journals are official journals of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA).

Objectives: Based on prior analyses, we aimed to describe major topics published in MIM during 2014 and to explore whether theory of MIM influenced practice of ACI. Our objectives were further to describe lessons learned and to discuss possible editorial policies to improve bridging from theory to practice.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational study reviewing MIM articles published during 2014 (N=61) and analyzing reference lists of ACI articles from 2014 (N=70). Lessons learned and opinions about MIM editorial policies were developed in consensus by the two authors. These have been influenced by discussions with the journal’s associate editors and editorial board members.

Results: The publication topics of MIM in 2014 were broad, covering biomedical and health informatics, medical biometry and epidemiology. Important topics discussed were biosignal interpretation, boosting methodologies, citation analysis, health-enabling and ambient assistive technologies, health record banking, safety, and standards. Nine ACI practice articles from 2014 cited eighteen MIM theory papers from any year. These nine ACI articles covered mainly the areas of clinical documentation and medication-related decision support. The methodological basis they cited from was almost exclusively related to evaluation. We could show some direct links where theory impacted practice. These links are however few in relation to the total amount of papers published.

Conclusions: Editorial policies such as publishing systematic methodological reviews and clarification of possible practical impact of theory-focused articles may improve bridging.