Clinical Innovation + Technology published a viewpoint on Feb. 5 by Ken Elek, MD, about information versus data. The following is a response submitted by Brian Martin, MD, founder and CMIO of Sedeo, a clinical analytics firm delivering strategic intelligence to the pharmaceutical industry, along with Eleck's rebuttal.
In the paper world, in general, data and information were the same thing; you wrote something (or typed it) into the chart, hopefully in the place it belonged, and it told you what you needed to know. There were no automatic alerts that fired off that information/data that told you of a potential interaction or allergy if you were prescribing a medication the patient shouldn’t take for either of those reasons. You had to physically look at the allergies for that individual and have memorized or look up all the information regarding a medication. In the digital world, data are often not the same thing as information and it’s important to know the difference between the two.