About BIME

Vision, Mission, Values

We are engaged in training, research, and the practice of biomedical informatics and medical education across the breadth of health sciences and health care.  Our vision is to unleash the potential for information to improve biomedicine, health and education. Our mission is researching biomedical and health data, information, and knowledge and their effective uses for scientific inquiry, problem solving, education and decision making to improve health. Our values are to actively foster a supportive collaborative culture 
for faculty, staff and students including specifically focusing on mentorship, camaraderie, diversity and bridging disciplines.

Our Department

The Department (BIME) is engaged in training, research, and the practice of biomedical informatics and medical education across the breadth of health sciences and healthcare. BIME consists of 32 core faculty and 57 extended faculty who work closely with 14 staff. Our core and extended faculty have appointments in 30 schools and departments across UW, including Nursing, Global Health, clinical departments, and Engineering. We have a very active research program with faculty and students involved in about 100 research grants. BIME faculty play key practice roles in research and clinical computing and in medical education and evaluation. We are in the process of a 50% expansion in our core faculty.

Our Sections

The UW Division of Medical Education and Evaluation provides training, research and service in educational areas central to health professions education including faculty and course evaluation, construction and scoring of exams, curriculum development, implementation of innovative educational methodologies such as standardized patients and web-based simulated patients, faculty development and research consultation. The UW Division of Biomedical and Health Informatics is a nationally renowned program in biomedical and health informatics that stresses the importance of teaching, research, and service.

Our Programs

UW’s Biomedical and Health Informatics program is a nationally renowned program that stresses the synergy between teaching, research, and practice. Our Graduate Program (partially funded by an NLM training grant) offers a full-time research focused M.S. program, Ph.D. program, and a Postdoctoral fellowship program that all prepare students for careers in research, teaching and information management in academia, within healthcare organizations, and in the healthcare computing industry.

In collaboration with UW’s School of Nursing we offer a distance learning M.S. program in Clinical Informatics and Patient-Centered Technology (CIPCT). Our ACGME-accredited Clinical Informatics Fellowship program builds on the CIPCT program and additionally provides 2 years of experience-based learning that prepares physicians for board certification.

Our department also provides training, research and service in several educational areas central to medical education including faculty and course evaluation, construction and scoring of tests, curriculum development, implementation of innovative educational methodologies such as standardized patients and web-based simulated patients, faculty development and research consultation. We are the home of the Teaching Scholars Program, a year-long educational curriculum dedicated to preparing faculty for positions of academic leadership.

Our Research

Our research portfolio crosses a broad range of disciplines in many departments and schools, focusing on using biomedical information to improve health and education. Members of our faculty, our graduate students, and our postdoctoral fellows have opportunities for collaboration with almost every discipline. Faculty and student research interests range from foundational to applied, and some faculty take their applied work and put it into practice via tight collaborations with our clinical computing and research computing environments.

Foundational research in the Department includes: data modeling, data management, data visualization, data security/privacy, data integration, knowledge representation and ontologies, computable knowledge resources, information design, inference, machine learning, data mining, modeling uncertainty in data and knowledge, information workflow, people and organizational issues, observational/fieldwork methodologies, natural language processing and text mining. Application areas range from translational bioinformatics, to clinical research informatics to clinical informatics including consumer health informatics and population or public health informatics. Many research projects bridge foundational and applied research.

At the heart of a cluster of our research projects are electronic health records. These projects focus on both the front end of electronic health records (e.g., collection and management of health information) and on the back end (e.g., manipulation and mining of “big data” to extract health information) at the population level for predictive analytics.

Opportunities for applied research that can be put into practice are also available, as several members of our faculty are key players in the day-to-day operations of the clinical computing systems of UW Medicine including our Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Research Information Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, and Chief Technology Officer.

Other examples of informatics research include: a) the use of models and simulations to identify the most effective responses to emerging diseases and infections; b) improvements in medical care and in the delivery of medical information through the use of electronic devices (e.g., cell phones); c) the use of devices and monitoring applications to improve care and quality of life for older adults; d) the use of semantic annotation of the physical dynamics of biological processes to merge models from different sources; e) machine interpretation of medical imaging as a basis for medical decisions; f) development of reliable computerized assessment of medical records collected in hospital and clinical settings; g) machine translation to improve public health delivery; h) precision medicine informatics applications; and i) informatics tools to improve global health.

Cordially,

Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, MD, FACMI
Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education