The field of health informatics is growing fast. As new technology continues to facilitate a higher quality of healthcare through the data analytics and increased efficiency, the demand for health informatics professionals continues to rise. Obtaining a master’s in health informatics allows you many different paths to a long and satisfying career in the healthcare industry. From jobs in data analysis to hospital administration, health informatics is a growing field with many great job prospects.
Consumer Health Informatics (CHI)
By examining the medical information and history of a large (or sometimes small) population of patients, one can gain valuable insights and see trends that provide opportunities for customized care that meets the health goals and needs of consumers. This is the idea behind consumer health informatics.
Another goal of professionals in this field is to help patients take a more active role in their healthcare. In the past several years, many new applications have been created to allow patients to take an active role in their care in a way that was impossible for them in the not-too-distant past. These
apps allow them to input their medical history, or monitor their health status at home and then easily share the information with doctors and hospitals.
CHI professionals are often a bridge between the technical / computer-driven aspects of the field and the doctor / patient side. With a variety of professional backgrounds entering the health informatics field, there are many roles one can take, depending upon the hospital or practice group. But if you love the idea of integrating medical information so that it can be used to more effectively treat patients, this might be the field for you.
Clinical Informatics Specialist
Transferring millions of pages of medical records from hardcopy to digital format is an enormous task. It’s been happening in doctors’ offices and hospitals for years as they implement electronic medical records. The huge added benefit of making these record digital is that it creates structured data – a database that allows researchers to use data to improve healthcare. Clinical informatics specialists are the brains behind this process.
Clinical informatics specialists create and institute the processes involved in this type of work. Their primary focus is the information used by healthcare professionals in treatment of patients. They work closely with physicians and other members of the care team to provide expertise used to improve the systems that deliver critical information.
Clinical Research Informatics (CRI)
This sub-discipline of biomedical informatics deals with translating scientific discoveries into practicable therapies. As clinical and scientific advancements continue to be made, CRI professionals attempt to use new data and findings to figure out ways to engage in more efficient health care practices.
The opportunities in this field are many. It is still very new and professionals in this field are still continuing to define their roles. The clinical informatics field is for people who are able to have long-range goals. This sort of work can be somewhat repetitive from a day-to-day operations standpoint, and though the possible long term medical science and public health ramifications are impossible to know for sure, they are very promising. Researchers, hospital administrators, doctors and patients alike are looking forward to the advancements made through clinical research informatics.
Clinical Data Analyst
Clinical data analysts help organize, understand, and process clinical data entered into electronic medical records applications by medical providers. While not helping produce primary source medical documentation, analyst’s job becomes increasingly important as EMRs evolve and mature, with numerous hospitals, medical groups, payers, and technology companies entering the business of secondary data processing for analytical needs such as population health management, predictive and prescriptive analytics, disease surveillance, life sciences research, and more. Analytical models help identify and/or strengthen previously challenging or impossible workflows that have potential to take medical care and public health management to new levels. Demand for clinical data analysts who combine deep understanding of the data as well as methods this data is generated in medicine is rising.
Healthcare Data Scientist
This futuristic sounding role actually does indicate one of the future directions for informatics data empowered, at the crossroads of computer and medical sciences. Healthcare data scientists use their broad knowledge of mathematics, statistical modeling, data visualization, and computer programming combined with medical domain knowledge expertise to analyze massive amounts of data in search of answers to medical, public health, and business challenges. This role working with clinical decision support systems typically requires collaboration with medical subject matter experts, computer scientists, clinical informaticists, and clinical data analysts. As a team, all of these professionals drive utilization of electronic medical records to a new phase of development: deriving the value beyond digitalization of patient information.
Sources referenced in article:
http://www.usfhealthonline.com/resources/key-concepts/consumer-health-informatics/#.VvV9n4SvbBs http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781724/ http://www.monster.com/healthcare/a/health-informatics-jobs http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2732242/ http://www.academicinvest.com/sciencecareers/biologycareers/howtobecomeaclinicaldataanalyst http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/06/tellkidsdatascientistsdoctors/ http://www.cio.com/article/3001216/analytics/4bigreasonswhyhealthcareneedsdatascience.html