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Acta Inform Med. 2009; 17(4): 233-238

History of Medical Informatics in Croatia

Gjuro Dezelic, Josipa Kern.


Medical informatics (MI) in Croatia started to develop in late sixties of the past century, not much later of the period, when the roots of this discipline were planted all over the world by various working groups and associations engaged in research and development of computer applications in medicine and health care. First MI projects in Croatia were dealing with data processing for not health insured persons, health statistics in the field of outpatient healthcare and occupational health, and the computerization of the Croatian registry of cancer. A little bit earlier Croatia started with education of MI subjects for postgraduate medical students. The development of MI in Croatia to the end of 20th century is presented. At the beginning of the 21st century Croatia initiated the integrated health information system, starting with family medicine as the leading part of the primary health care. Hospitals have not been included in this system yet, developing their information systems by their own resources. Most of applications include MI standards like HL7 and those of ISO and CEN. A four decades long tradition of MI education is described, starting in the beginning of seventies of the past century both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The postgraduate education of MI specialists, organized in the eighties, is at present suspended, but partially available in the form of several MI courses in other postgraduate and doctoral university programs. The first organization of medical informaticians in Croatia was established 1983 in the form of a Section for MI at the Croatian Medical Association, and in 1989 the independent Croatian Society for MI (CSMI) was formed. CSMI is an association of people involved in MI activities, like disseminating information in the field of MI in the country, promoting high standards in MI applications, and engaged in research, education and international cooperation in MI. CSMI especially organizes MI conferences and meetings, promotes MI education and its popularization, encourages MI standardization, and struggles for medical informatics dignity and dignity of people involved in medical informatics.

Key words: medical informatics, history, Croatia

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