The Division of Clinical Informatics (DCI) is one of the oldest academic and research groups focused on the effective use of information and communication technologies in patient care.  Founded in 1970  by Drs. Howard Bleich and Warner Slack, DCI was among the first academic divisions in the world to concentrate on the use of computers for patient care, teaching, and medical research. The goals of DCI have been to improve the quality and reduce the cost of medical care, to enhance the quality of medical education, to enhance the relationship between doctor and patient, and to explore innovative approaches to research through computing.

Beginning in 1976 the faculty and staff of the Division designed, developed, implemented and studied hospital-wide, integrated computing systems for doctors, other clinicians, and students that would give the results of diagnostic studies immediately upon request; offer access to the biomedical literature with PaperChase (the first program of its kind, which in turn gave rise to a new field of literature searching and spawned numerous derivative programs); offer advice, consultation, alerts and reminders; assist with communication by electronic mail (with the Division's home-grown system, which was the first e-mail to be installed in a clinical facility); assist with order entry; and assist in the day-to-day practice of medicine, both for inpatient and ambulatory care.

Our faculty has developed hospital-wide clinical computing systems at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Our faculty were the very first to engage patients in direct dialogue with computers, and have been building and evolving clinical decision support systems for four decades. Today, DCI faculty continues to lead the evolution and study of personal health technologies, web-based clinical computing systems, national health systems, and international comparative approaches. Our faculty is driven to find solutions to real-world problems.

Current research areas of interest include: design and evaluation of clinical information systems, translational research platforms, patient portals and patient engagement, quality improvement processes and analytics, clinical decision support systems, online learning systems, mobile health applications, global e-health applications.

See the landmark contributions developed by Division Faculty Members and our five-decades of publications.

See also the Dr. Warner Slack Lifework archive.

For more information about DCI, contact Yuri Quintana, PhD, Chief, Division of Clinical Informatics, BIDMC, at email: yquintan@bidmc.harvard.edu or telephone: (617) 278-8162.