New report highlights growth in medical informatics jobs

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According to a new report published by Burning Glass Technologies and Jobs for the Future, demand for skilled medical informatics professionals is on the rise.

Key findings from the study revealed that the number of unique job vacancy advertisements within the medical informatics field rose substantially from 2007 to 2011. Listings for positions in general healthcare fields increased by 9 percent during this period, while jobs in clinical informatics rose by 36 percent.

The report highlighted several factors that have driven demand for medical informatics professionals in the healthcare sector. Privacy legislation enacted in 2007 under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was cited as a major factor in the increased need for medical informatics workers.

Financial penalties introduced under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 is another reason many hospitals and care facilities are in need of health informatics workers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ meaningful use program, established under the HITECH Act, rewards hospitals for implementing electronic health records.

Another key finding of the report was the decline in demand for lesser-skilled positions such as medical records clerks. While job growth in clinical informatics increased from 2007 to 2011, the need for clerks dropped. This suggests that hospitals are in need of individuals with more specialized skill sets due to the pressures faced by the healthcare system, including financial reward programs, an aging population and increased competition in the sector.

Within the medical informatics field, demand for clinical documentation specialists and improvement analysts were among the fastest-growing specializations. Vacancy listings for these roles doubled between 2007 and 2011. Clinical positions within the medical informatics field represented 16 percent of all available vacancies last year, an increase of 7 percentage points from 2007.