Diagnostic informatics

Diagnostic informatics

What is Diagnostic Informatics?

Diagnostic informatics relates to the gathering, integrating, interpreting and communication of data and information, an integral part of the diagnostic process and crucial to the quality and safety of patient care.

Diagnostic informatics involves laboratory medicine, anatomic pathology and medical imaging. Whilst diagnostic testing may account for a small (less than 5%) proportion of most hospital budgets, it is considered to have a huge influence on medical decision-making [1]. It underpins much of our health care system, generating information that is crucial to the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, stratification of risk and treatment of disease [2].

Diagnostic informatics encompasses major areas of research across the diagnostic analytical process. This ranges from the clinical choice of diagnostic request, the quality and efficiency of the analytical process, right through to the interpretation and follow-up of test results and their impact on patient care outcomes.

  1. Rohr U-P, et al. The value of in vitro diagnostic testing in medical practice: a status report. PLoS One 2016; 11: e0149856.
  2. Rubinstein M, et al. Effectiveness of Practices to Support Appropriate Laboratory Test Utilization: A Laboratory Medicine Best Practices Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Am J Clin Pathol 2018; 149: 197-221.

Clinical Excellence, Safety and Value

The diagnostic informatics research team is committed to generating quality evidence to enhance clinical excellence, patient safety and the value of care. This involves:

  • An outcomes-based approach to diagnostic research
  • Optimised clinical workflows, engagement, governance and accountability
  • Shared decision-making and patient-centred care
  • IT-enhanced decision support, data analytics and knowledge management systems

Our people

Diagnostic Informatics team members


Prof Andrew Georgiou

 Prof Johanna Westbrook
Professor and Director
 A/Prof Ling Li
Associate Professor

Dr Maria Dahm
Research Fellow


Dr Nasir Wabe
Research Fellow


Dr Rae-Anne Hardie
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Chrissy Imai
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Mr Guilherme Franco

Ms Yu Jia Julie Li
Research Assistant


Ms Melissa Miao
Research Assistant

Mr Gorkem Sezgin
Research Assistant

Dr Judith Thomas
Research Assistant


AIHI Diagnostic Informatics research on rapid diagnostic testing for respiratory viruses to be published internationally

For respiratory viruses like the flu, Dr Nasir Wabe and a research team including Associate Professor Ling Li, Dr Mary Dahm, Professor Johanna Westbrook and Professor Andrew Georgiou have found there are better patient and laboratory outcomes associated with rapid diagnostic testing in Emergency Departments compared to standard testing. The research will be published in the Medical Journal of Australia and the American Society for Microbiology’s Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

AIHI Diagnostic Informatics systematic review of the impact of Health Information Technology on test result management to be published in JAMIA

Ms Yu Jia Julie Li, Dr Mary Dahm, Professor Johanna Westbrook and Professor Andrew Georgiou from the Diagnostic Informatics stream of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research have conducted a systematic review of the evidence on “The impact of Health Information Technology on the management and follow-up of test results”. It has been accepted for publication in the highly regarded Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), the Association’s premier peer-reviewed journal for biomedical and health informatics.


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Higher Degree Research students

PhD candidates

Craig Campbell

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Georgiou

Co-Supervisors: Professor Johanna Westbrook, Associate Professor Ling Li, Professor Rita Horvath

The implementation of safe and effective HIGH-RISK result management practices in pathology

Craig’s project is focussed on developing systems to ensure that pathology results that indicate a high risk of serious harm to the patient are reliably identified by the laboratory and communicated to the treating clinician in a timely manner

Gorkem Sezgin

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Georgiou

Co-Supervisors: Associate Professor Ling Li and Professor Johanna Westbrook

Diagnosing iron deficiency in general practice: a study on pathology tests and clinical decision making in diagnosing iron deficiency based on primary care electronic health records

The use and interpretation of pathology tests can be challenging. Pathology tests used in diagnosing iron deficiency is believed to be often incorrectly interpreted in general practice, which may have an undesirable impact on the practitioner’s decision-making process. Further, ferritin levels - which are used in diagnosing iron deficiency - shows variation by age and gender that are generally not taken into account when interpreting the results. This study has two major objectives: 1) to determine how pathology testhttps://www.mq.edu.au/research/research-centres-groups-and-facilities/healthy-people/centres/australian-institute-of-health-innovation/Research-Streams/Diagnostic-informatics/_edit#s are being utilised by general practitioners in diagnosing iron deficiency, and 2) to determine the impact of variation in age and gender on ferritin test results in diagnosing iron deficiency. The outcomes of this study will provide valuable information that could be utilised to improve diagnosis of iron deficiency.

Master of Research (MRES) students

Lia Asrianti

Supervisor: Associate Professor Ling Li

Co-Supervisors: Professor Andrew Georgiou, Dr Chrissy Imai and Dr. Sradha Kotwal

A retrospective study of patients with acute kidney injury and sepsis

Lia is currently working on a project that aims to understand the prevalence and demographic characteristics of patients with acute kidney injury and sepsis.

Wilson Punyalack

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Georgiou

Co-Supervisors: Associate Professor Ling Li, Dr Rae-Anne Hardie and Dr Tony Badrick

What is the Evidence for Total Serum Calcium Alert List Thresholds?

Wilson’s area of research is within the pathology testing discipline, in the area of “high risk results”– which are those results considered life-threatening to a patient in the absence of medical intervention. Specifically, Wilson is looking at critical risk alert thresholds for total serum calcium and their association with adverse patient outcomes.

Find out more about studying with us.

Honorary and visiting appointments

 Dr Tony Badrick
Visiting Fellow 

Dr Trevor Cobain
Visiting Fellow

Prof Heiko Gewald
Honorary Professor

Prof Andrea Rita Horvath
Visiting Fellow 
Prof Michael Legg
Adjunct Fellow 
 A/Prof Robert Lindeman
Visiting Fellow 

Dr Tze Ping Loh
Adjunct Fellow

Prof Paul Monagle
Honorary Professor 
Prof Roger Wilson
Visiting Fellow

Selected publications

  1. Campbell CA, Li L, Kotwal S, Georgiou A, Horvath AR, Westbrook JI, Endre Z. Under‐detection of acute kidney injury in hospitalised patients–a retrospective, multi‐site, longitudinal study. Internal Medicine Journal. 2019; Published Online First: 28 February 2019.
  2. Dahm M, Hemsley B, Hill S, Balandin S, Georgiou A. Health information infrastructure for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) living in supported accommodation: communication, co-ordination and integration of health information. Health Communication. 2019; 34(1):91-9.
  3. Dahm MR, Georgiou A, Bryant L, Hemsley B. Information infrastructure and quality person-centred support in supported accommodation: an integrative review. Patient Education and Counselling. 2019; (Accepted 16 March 2019).
  4. Georgiou A, Li J, Thomas J, Dahm M, Westbrook JI. The impact of Health Information Technology on the management and follow-up of test results – a systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 2019; (Accepted 26 February 2019).
  5. Georgiou A, Sezgin G, Li L, Wilson R, McCaughey E, Lindeman R, Vecellio E, Westbrook JI. Who gets a laboratory test in hospital, why, and how often? A retrospective observational study of four Australian hospitals. Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine 2019; (Accepted 1 March 2019).
  6. Hemsley B, Meredith J, Bryant L, Wilson NJ, Higgins I, Georgiou A, Hill S, Balandin S, McCarthy S. An integrative review of stakeholder views on advanced care directives (ACD): barriers and facilitators to initiation, documentation, storage and implementation. Patient Education and Counselling. 2019; (Accepted 10 January 2019)
  7. Wabe N, Dahm M, Li L, Lindeman R, Eigenstetter A, Westbrook JI, Georgiou A. An evaluation of variation in pathology investigations and associated factors for adult patients presenting to emergency departments with chest pain: an observational study. The International Journal of Clinical Practice. 2018; Published Online First: 10 December 2018.
  8. Wabe N, Li L, Lindeman R, Yimsung R, McLennan S, Dahm M, Clezy K, Georgiou A. Impact of rapid molecular diagnostic testing of respiratory viruses on outcomes of adults hospitalised with respiratory illness: a multicentre quasi-experimental study. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2018; Published Online First: 12 December 2018.

To view all Diagnostic Informatics publications


Pathology and radiology

  • Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB)
  • New South Wales (NSW) Health Pathology
  • Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Radiology (RANZCR)
  • Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)
  • Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs (RCPAQAP)
  • Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (Australia)
  • South Australia (SA) Pathology
  • Western Australia (WA) Pathology
Healthcare organisations

  • Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI)
  • Australia and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT)
  • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)
  • Emergency Care Institute (ECI)
  • Health Protection Authority (HPA)
  • NSW Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC)
  • Primary Health Networks (PHNs) – NSW and Victoria
Hospitals and local health districts (LHDS)

  • Canterbury District Health Board (New Zealand)
  • Prince of Wales Hospital
  • Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne)
  • Royal Eye and Ear Hospital (Melbourne)
  • South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD)
  • St Vincent’s Hospital
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital

  • Bond University
  • Macquarie University
  • Melbourne University
  • Monash University
  • University of South Australia
Consumer groups

  • HealthConsumers NSW
  • Safer Care Victoria
Industry partners

  • Outcome Health
  • Abbott Diagnostics

Content owner: Australian Institute of Health Innovation Last updated: 22 May 2019 12:12pm

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