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Integrative Health Informatics: The VHA Experience.

Goulet JL, Zeng Q, Marshall N, Morioka C. Integrative Health Informatics: The VHA Experience. 2017 Mar 27. Available from:


[Panel] AMIA Joint Summits on Translational Science, San Francisco, CA In past two decades, the practice of integrative health has been embraced by healthcare systems and providers. Integrative health combines modern western medicine with complementary integrated health (CIH) (formally call CAM) such as herbal therapy and acupuncture. CIH services are widespread and increasing in the U.S. The Veteran Health Administration (VHA) has been at the forefront of providing integrative healthcare to patients. According to a 2011 study, 125 out of 141 VHA facilities surveyed provided some type of CIH practices, and there was an increase in the number of CIH modalities offered within VHA. Although CIH is widespread, the benefits of CIH are not well understood. For instance, debate on acupuncture's effectiveness to relieve pain continues in the literature. The cost-effectiveness of CIH is even less understood. In addition, some CIH therapies may be harmful for patients. The interaction between herbal supplement and prescription drug, for example, could potentially be life-threatening. Informatics technologies are being developed to meet the unique needs of CIH research. This panel will bring together a group of informatics, health services, and clinical researchers, who will share their experience in leveraging information technology in integrative health research to fill the knowledge gap regarding the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CIH therapies and transform the integrative health research.

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