Northern Kentucky University has received a $1 million gift from the late George Rieveschl and his wife, Ellen, which will be used to help equip the university’s soon-to-be-constructed Center for Informatics. George Rieveschl, who died Sept. 27, is known for discovering the world’s first commercial antihistamine, Benadryl.
Dr. Douglas Perry, dean of the NKU College of Informatics, described informatics as the digital intersection of the arts, sciences and professions.
“Many fields contribute to informatics, including business information systems, communication in media, computer science and information technology. In turn, informatics contributes to many fields such as biology, health care, chemistry, law and art (among many others),” Perry said. “Health informatics refers to the development and application of specialized information and communication systems to facilitate the delivery of health care and extend biomedical research. A major obstacle to abating the explosion in health costs is the currently primitive state of health care-related information technology, which is widely regarded as being 20 years behind its counterpart in banking and commerce. Health informatics has rapidly grown as a field in response to this need.”
Perry noted that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has mandated that a national health care information infrastructure, including electronic health records, be in place by 2014. As a result, interoperability and transparency of health care systems and records are now major priorities in the industry.
The Rieveschl gift will be used to create a state-of-the-art health informatics laboratory that will replicate a clinical environment to study, develop and demonstrate the application of health informatics tools in clinical practice.