The number of jobs available in health informatics is expected to increase in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for health information and medical records technicians will increase 15 percent between 2014 and 2024, representing 29,000 new openings nationwide.
There are a number of factors that contribute to this positive career outlook, including the wider availability of health insurance, an aging population and rapidly evolving medical systems and technologies. In addition, this field encompasses two hot disciplines, healthcare and technology, combining skills such as organizational analysis, coding and systems management. Here are several promising careers open to graduates with a degree in health informatics.
Health Informatics Specialist
Health informatics specialists work as a go-between for information technology (IT) departments and clinical practices. They help to determine what types of information technology is necessary in order to achieve a specific healthcare provider’s objectives and goals. These professionals must be tech-savvy as they may also train others on the IT systems, create manuals and act as a liaison between clinical personnel, the IT department and software vendors. Finally, health informatics specialists must troubleshoot problems that arise with the IT systems, offer administrative support and remain up-to-date on any developments in regulations or technology.
Health Informatics Manager
Also known as a clinical informatics manager, these individuals operate at an executive or managerial level, developing and implementing a health informatics system. In order to ensure that the facility adopts the technology as seamlessly as possible, they periodically assess the needs of the clinic and use that information to modify or develop a customized IT solution. A clinical informatics manager must also present these systems to employees and train them how to use it. They work with a number of other clinical and technology professionals, including developers, drug safety specialists and data quality associates, to make the IT systems as effective as possible. The manager will monitor the system to determine whether it’s appropriate for the specific healthcare setting and, if necessary, oversee the implementation of any adjustments or enhancements. Depending on the size of the facility, a health informatics manager may also manage a team of nurse informatics and health informatics specialists.
Clinical Informatics Data Analyst
Clinical informatics data analysts work directly with the IT system implemented by a manager or director and perform a number of tasks related to data acquisition, use and storage. Specifically, these professionals assess how data is acquired in a clinical setting as well as how the facility documents, maps and analyzes the data. In addition, clinical informatics data analysts may perform a quality assurance role, making sure that the data integration and documentation processes are not only efficient but also meet the needs of the clinic. Above all, they monitor systems to guarantee that the maintenance methods, storage and acquisition of healthcare data are performed in compliance with certain healthcare legislation such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, according to the Department of Labor.
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These are only a few of the opportunities available to graduates with a background in health informatics. While there are certainly overlapping responsibilities among the job titles, one thing is for sure: individuals with skills and education at the intersection of healthcare and technology are expected to have access to a significant number of jobs available in health informatics.