When studying for a masters in health informatics, you may be coming from a discipline far removed from healthcare. At leading schools like Adelphi University, it is understood that informatics is an important part of literally every industry because it involves the gathering and evaluation of statistical digital data.
You may not have a working knowledge of medical or homeopathic terminology, but you will certainly have a background in IT with an emphasis on informatics when advancing to an online MSHI degree. Since the two disciplines often approach healthcare from opposing directions, it would be interesting to do a statistical analysis of homeopathic outcomes for a number of reasons.
An Overburdened Healthcare System
It is no secret that the healthcare system is overburdened and there is a significant shortage of doctors and nurses in literally every state in the nation. Some are in worse shape than others, but this presents a problem for patients presenting with an illness and a lack of doctors to treat them. A statistical analysis may shed some light on whether or not homeopathic remedies and preventatives may provide remedies for which prescriptions aren’t required.
A Misunderstanding of Homeopathic Treatments
While some people who prescribe to homeopathic treatments in lieu of MDs don’t really understand that there are actual doctors of homeopathic medicine; those with the designation of D.H.M. after their name rather than MD or DO. The focus of homeopathic practitioners is to find a natural treatment or remedy to common health issues, which is the real difference.
But, no one ever said you needed to make your own diagnosis. Homeopathic doctors exist and just like MDs and DOs, they are also required to keep accurate patient records. It would be these records which the health informatics student would analyse to get statistical data on patient outcomes. Millions of Americans prefer homeopathic treatments, so records should not be difficult to locate.
Prevention Is a Main Focus of Homeopathic Medicine
One area which would make for a good study would be to look at those patients who truly subscribe to the homeopathic view of medicine. In much the same way as a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) has a more focused attention on prevention than those doctors graduating as an MD, a homeopathic doctor also relies heavily on prevention. It would be interesting to follow those homeopathic patients who use homeopathic remedies to avoid common illnesses such as colds and any number of illnesses such as arthritis. Following these patients over the course of several years may give way to valid data which could be used in a scientific comparison between the two fields of medicine.
The one problem which many people have with homeopathic medicine is the misconception that homeopaths don’t believe in doctors. They, indeed do, but may take exception to the school philosophy of other types of doctors. As mentioned, prevention is huge with homeopaths. This is one statistical analysis which would be extremely interesting given the current state of a dying healthcare system in the US as well as abroad.
It should also be noted that many MDs and DOs also practice homeopathic medicine which, in itself, is really quite telling! There may be a ray of sunshine in here yet?