GLOSSARY: Laboratory Informatics

Laboratory Informatics is a relatively new field that aims to expedite the exchange of laboratory data via electronic data exchange. Laboratory informatics specialists design standards and systems to support the acquisition, retrieval and communication of test results and other laboratory data. Information systems are as critical to public health laboratories as instrumentation and reagents. Public health decisions and patient treatment hinge upon the rapid delivery of test results and other public health data. Mounting threats from terrorism, global disease and natural disasters make the need for electronic data exchange even greater.