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5 Emerging Careers to Pursue With a Degree in Health Informatics
Health informatics is an evolving field that focuses on developing systems for storing, retrieving, and securing healthcare information. The catalyst of the evolution of the health informatics field in the United States was a bill passed by Congress in 2009 that provided financial incentives to healthcare providers who adopted an electronic health record. A career in health informatics means you will be working on implementing technology to streamline patient record reporting, as well as making clinical information easily accessible to providers for high-quality treatment.1 Here are just a few of the emerging careers open to those who earn a degree and work in the field of health informatics.
1. Nursing Informatics
A career in nursing informatics focuses on how to boost the management of information and communications in the field of nursing. The aims are to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and improve patient care quality. Documentation is the major emphasis in the nursing informatics field. This is because high-quality care is dependent on strong communication among clinicians. As a nurse informatics professional, you will work to increase the speed and accuracy of the charting process, which will mean better access to patient notes and better decisions about care.2 A nursing informatics career is perfect for the person who has a strong desire to improve healthcare delivery with health informatics.
2. Director of Clinical Informatics
A director of clinical informatics is responsible for building and maintaining an organization’s electronic health record. Many people don’t realize how important an electronic health record is to both providers and patients, and as a result, how important a qualified director of clinical informatics is. For providers, an electronic health record shows a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, current medications, and other information that is necessary to provide safe and effective care. Electronic health records often allow for this information to be accessed even if the care was provided by a different organization. For patients, an electronic health record provides a way to easily see medical information and become informed and active in their own healthcare.3 An IT, data science or health informatics degree can provide a strong understanding of electronic health records and may even lead to a career as a director of clinical informatics.
3. Healthcare Information Technology Project Manager
The field of health information technology is becoming highly technical and complex. A healthcare information technology project manager is responsible for all aspects of taking an information technology plan from conception to completion. The projects can range from implementing new medical devices to sharing patient information with other organizations. These complex projects may mean solving problems that have not been worked through before. Healthcare information technology project managers are also responsible for keeping information technology projects on schedule and on budget.4 A master’s in the field of health informatics or information technology can help provide the technical skills needed to solve complex computer and information technology problems in a timely and efficient manner.
4. Chief Medical Information Officer
Chief medical information officers (CMIOs) are in a more senior position and oversee many of the tasks in the positions described above. They essentially serve as a bridge between medical providers and the information technology department. A CMIO’s tasks could consist of:
- Designing and integrating information technology systems in clinical departments.
- Analyzing the use of electronic health records to determine the effect on patient care.
- Training physicians in the use of software and other health information technology.
- Working with an organization’s leadership on a strategic information technology plan.5
A CMIO must have strong knowledge in many different areas of healthcare and health information technology. An information technology, software engineering, or health informatics degree can help you develop the essential skills to oversee a variety of tasks.
5. Translational Bioinformatics Researcher
A translational bioinformatics researcher analyzes the vast amounts of data being generated by health information technology and uses it to uncover new information that can be used to improve health outcomes.6 For example, data can be used to make predictions about how people’s health will be impacted by events or specific circumstances, like poor air quality or poverty. This type of researcher can also use data to recommend preventive measures to improve the overall health of specific populations. A health informatics or data science degree is a great fit for this career choice.
A health informatics degree can lead to numerous emerging careers. One of the best ways to earn your degree is through an accredited online college. An online degree program can provide you with the skills and experience necessary for the health information technology career you want while allowing you to maintain the most important aspects of your life.
A degree in health informatics can put you on the path to a career in a burgeoning field, and it can be the first step toward helping to improve the health of many people through data and health information technology.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in Nursing Informatics.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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