Organised patient data or clinical knowledge used to make clinical decisions (adapted from Shortliffe et al); may also include directory information. Many activities in public health and epidemiology (e.g. surveillance systems, cohort studies to assess the effects of a risk factor of disease and clinical trials to estimate efficacies of new treatments) involve the organization of such data (e.g. case report forms for individual patients) into useable information (e.g. incidence of notifiable cases of disease from surveillance programmes and summary evidence from cohort studies or clinical trials, expressed as odds ratios for certain harmful and beneficial outcomes). See also: information.
Shortliffe EH, Perreault LE, Wiederhold G, Fagan K. Glossary. In: Medical Informatics-- Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine. New York: Springer-Verlag, 2001:749-820.