Why NYU Langone Health combined informatics, IT

New York City-based NYU Langone Health has integrated informatics within its IT department to harness the potential of new technologies such as generative AI.

In 2023, the health system created the NYU Langone Health Medical Center IT Department of Health Informatics, a corporate operations department within IT to serve as an "enterprise-level hub of informatics activity" spanning clinical care, research and education, four NYU leaders wrote July 9 in Nature.

"IT teams have become the new stewards to the treasure trove of informatics research enabled by the EHR and other dimensions of digital medicine applied to innovative digital health research studies, including patient portals, smartphones, and apps," the leaders wrote. "In many academic medical centers, this gatekeeper dynamic has created an undefined and inconsistent partnership between IT and informatics teams that is likely to prove untenable moving into the future."

NYU Langone Health could serve as an example for other health systems pursuing a strategy to evolve alongside emerging technologies, the authors wrote. The new department has already leveraged its centralized capabilities to advance generative AI, establishing the first patient health data-safe OpenAI GPT-4 platform for in-house experimentation, hosting the first healthcare AI "prompt-a-thon," and deploying unified oversight of the technology.

The article was written by Devin Mann, MD, strategic director of health innovation at NYU Langone Health; Elizabeth Stevens, PhD, an assistant professor of population health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine; Paul Testa, MD, chief medical information officer at NYU Langone; and Nader Mherabi, chief digital and information officer at NYU Langone.

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