Since the start of my academic career, my research interest has been centered around the applications of Information Systems in the medical and healthcare domain. Early in the process, I realized my passion for Health Informatics, an interdisciplinary field that draws on scientific theories and methodologies from a variety of domains including medicine, information systems, computer science, psychology, social and behavioral sciences among many others.
Recent advances in the practice of medicine have been spurred by, among other things, the rapid development in the health information technology (HIT) and Information Systems. The widespread use of these technologies and systems has raised a new set of research and practical challenges to the burgeoning field of Health Informatics. For example, Electronic Health Record adoption and use have been fraught with significant challenges including issues related to poor system usability and user experience, limited integration with healthcare workflows and systems, lack of standardization, inadequate training of clinicians to use these systems, and cost-related issues. Arguably, effective and efficient development and use of information systems can address the issues with the quality of care, healthcare costs, and health outcomes. For these purposes, various healthcare systems around the world have supported Health Informatics through the creation of various regulatory bodies (e.g. the US Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT).
My passion for Health Informatics has translated into involvement in scientific research locally, regionally, and globally along with professional development, engagement, and service to the field. Due to these contributions, I have been selected to serve as a member of the first Digital Health Technical Advisory Group (20 members) at the World Health Organization from a total of 700+ applicants. Recently, I was also elected as a fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association as the first Arab researcher to gain such honor in recognition of my contributions to informatics in the healthcare field. Together with my students and colleagues at the Kuwait University and other international organizations, I conduct research on the intersection of health services and Health Informatics by taking a socio-technical perspective towards understanding how the adoption of information systems in healthcare can better improve care quality, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.
I mainly follow an empirical approach to research based on data collection, analysis, and interpretation to support evidence-based research and practice that ultimately can be translated into policy. It was my duty to contribute to the body of knowledge in Health Informatics to serve the Kuwaiti healthcare system and its context given the young nature of research in the field in Kuwait as evident by the low number of journal publications. I also continue to engage in Information Systems research in other areas of focus to broaden my scope and research as I continue to learn from colleagues in other specializations and disciplines.