ITCH 2019: From Research to Practice

Improving Usability, Safety and Patient Outcomes with Health Information Technology

The School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria will be hosting the conference ITCH (Information Technology & Communications in Health) 2019 – an international conference with the theme of “Improving Usability, Safety and Patient Outcomes with Health Information Technology” from February 14 -17, 2019. The venue for the conference will be at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria B.C.’s beautiful inner harbour.

Health information technologies are revolutionizing and streamlining healthcare and their uptake is rising dramatically. The variety and range of technologies and software applications in Canada and worldwide is considerable and there is increasing demand for implementation of healthcare IT in hospitals, clinics, homes and in the virtual space of mHealth, pervasive healthcare and social media. However, to effectively implement these technologies greater collaboration, scientific research and industrial and governmental supports must be strongly in place in order to transform health care and build capacity at the regional, national and global levels.

The conference will take a multi-perspective view about what is needed in order to move technology along to real sustained and widespread use in moving research findings and approaches into practice. Solutions range from improvements in usability and training, to need for new and improved design of information systems, user interfaces and interoperable solutions, to governmental policy, mandates, initiatives and need for regulation. In addition, greater interaction will be needed among industrial, governmental and academic partners.

Our past conferences have drawn some of the top experts nationally and internationally in a wide range of key and emerging areas in health informatics. We will have over 70 presentations and there will be a series of workshops in emerging topics on the Thursday before the conference.

We are also excited to announce the opening keynote speaker will be Dr. Sabine Koch, Strategic Professor of Health Informatics at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Koch is the President-elect of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) and Editor-in-Chief of Methods of Information in Medicine. She has a broad background in health informatics including models for collaborative care, evaluation of information systems, consumer informatics as well as evidence-based decision support and information.

The second keynote speaker will be Dr. Yu-Chuan Jack Li is a pioneer of AI in medicine, medical informatics, research and is also a dermatologist in Taiwan. He has spearheaded many national projects related to topics such as applied AI in medicine, translational biomedical informatics and patient safety. He is an international expert on a number of key areas including national interoperability through pioneering work on the Taiwan Medical Template (TMT).

The final keynote speaker will be Dr. Thomas Payne from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Payne has done pioneering work in electronic health records, patient care, clinical research and quality improvement. His research interests are in natural language processing and more recently work on the multi-center effort in the United Sates to study the effects of patients viewing their notes written during clinical visits – the OpenNotes initiative.

We hope to see at ITCH 2019 this upcoming February 2019. We know the breadth and depth of presentations and discussions will make this another successful ITCH conference. We hope the conference will lead to continued advances in health informatics both nationally and internationally.

For more details please see their website at

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