Newswise — The Jan-Feb 2011 issue of JAMIA, the scientific journal on informatics in health and biomedicine, introduces not only a new Editor-in-Chief, but also a number of changes to the journal’s business operations and contents.

The first issue published under the editorship of Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, MBA, PhD, FACMI, University of California, San Diego, reveals the new editor’s influence throughout the publication:

• A new publication policy that enables JAMIA articles to be accessible earlier by everyone: Articles will appear free of charge on the JAMIA website and at PubMed Central twelve months after publication, to encourage broader acceptance and usage of new research findings and informatics knowledge among professionals in the biomedical and health communities. Articles also will be available online to all subscribers shortly after acceptance, eliminating wait time until the printed edition is published.

• JAMIA is positioning itself as the source for important developments about integration and analysis of vast amounts of genomic data and information from medical records, which is transforming biomedical research and clinical practice. New content will include articles in the areas of translational bioinformatics, public health informatics, and clinical research informatics. The journal will continue to cover the most innovative, high-impact clinical and consumer health informatics research and applications. It also will contain news and opinions from AMIA, the organizational thought- leader in informatics, and the journal’s co-publisher. A bimonthly message from AMIA leadership is intended to improve communication between AMIA, the center of action for informatics professionals, and the health, biomedical, health policy, and computer science communities it serves.

• A new editorial management system is set to handle increased numbers of submissions and to streamline communication between authors, reviewers, and the editorial team.

• JAMIA’s cover and masthead reveal smart new designs and incorporate a new logo.

“We are living in a most exceptional time,” says JAMIA Editor-in-Chief Lucila Ohno-Machado, “when informatics permeates all aspects of biomedical science, healthcare, and global health initiatives. JAMIA serves not only as the reporter on scientific findings in informatics but also as the town-crier on discussions that are shaping the history and impact of our field.”

The Jan-Feb issue of JAMIA includes articles on some of healthcare’s most hotly discussed topics, by prominent experts working in health and biomedicine today:

• “Never too old for anonymity: a statistical standard for demographic data sharing via the HIPAA privacy rule,” by Bradley Malin, Kathleen Benitez, Daniel Masys. The authors use simple techniques to demonstrate the effective use of clinical data in research without compromising individual patient privacy.

• “Challenges in ethics, safety, best practices, and oversight regarding HIT vendors, their customers, and patients: a report of an AMIA special task force,” by Kenneth W. Goodman, Eta S. Berner, Mark A. Dente, Bonnie Kaplan, Ross Koppel, Donald Rucker, Daniel Z. Sands, and Peter Winkelstein. The authors make recommendations that strive to imbue the HIT vendor-customer relationship with transparency, veracity, and accountability, in combination with enterprise-wide ethics education to support patient safety.

• “Modeling shared care plans using ContSYS, openEHR to support shared homecare of elderly,” by Maria Hägglund, Rong Chen, Sabine Koch. The authors explain how international standards for care plan documentation are used to facilitate the work of healthcare teams.

• “Test-retest reliability in a computer-based medical history,” by Warner V. Slack, Hollis B. Kowaloff, Roger B. Davis, Tom L. Delbanco, Steven E. Locke, Howard L. Bleich. The authors show, contrary to the belief of some clinicians, that information about medical history entered online by patients, is reliable.

JAMIA, jointly published by AMIA and the BMJ Group, has the highest impact factor of any journal in its category. It is widely regarded as the premier scholarly journal that reports what is happening in research, application, training, and policy in biomedical and health informatics.

As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA plays an important role in medicine, health care, and science, encouraging the use of data, information and knowledge to improve both human health and delivery of healthcare services. AMIA is an unbiased, authoritative source within the informatics community and the health care industry, committed to driving health improvements and improving health care delivery.