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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie E Mathis-Allen, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: This book reviews how computers and information technology can improve mental health organization, financing, policy, education, research, and the delivery of mental health services. It discusses the history of mental health informatics, the development of a national electronic health record, the research competencies and strategies to move research to practice, as well as the globalization and international aspects of telemental health.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to provide a useful starting point for future research and policy making in the area of mental health informatics.
Audience: The authors intend the book for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in public health, behavioral health, and information science; professionals managing mental health programs and information systems in hospitals, managed care organizations, mental health clinics, and community mental health centers; and policy makers at all levels of government. It would be appropriate for anyone interested in how computers and information technology can improve mental health delivery.
Features: This book reviews the basic concepts, definitions, and history of informatics before presenting the development, standards, and implementation of a national electronic health record, as well as legal and ethical issues. After examining research competencies and information-seeking strategies, the book discusses international aspects of telemental health and challenges facing public health and mental health providers, educators, and researchers. The book's unique structural elements include the quotes introducing each chapter, chapter organization, and the transitional endings of each chapter with highlights of the chapter and a brief discussion of the next chapter. The comprehensive nature of the book is its best feature. Areas particularly well covered are management information systems, legal and ethical issues in mental health informatics, and globalization of information. The book's only shortcoming is the low quality of the illustrations.
Assessment: This book presents an integrative perspective of how computers and technology are used in mental health services, education, research, and policy, focusing on the innovative use of technology. This is a high quality book that will be useful in the field of mental health informatics.