What is health informatics? best updated in 2021

What is health informatics? Health informatics encompasses many things ranging from but not limited to the use of information communication technology in the health sector.

Health care informatics is very significant and important in the health care system because it helps in the improvement of clinical outcomes, facilitating wonderful experiences for both patients and caregivers, and creating a cost-friendly environment for patients with the overall improvement on efficiency in health care service delivery.

Introduction to what is health informatics

American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), describes “health informatics as the application of principles of computer and information science to the advancement of life sciences research, health professions education, public health, and patient care.

This multidisciplinary and integrative innovation focuses on health information technologies (HIT), and involves the computer, cognitive, and social sciences.”

AMIA made it known that this innovation is now pronounced in different sectors of the health practice and professions including but not limited to doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, and optometrists.

Also, health information covers a diverse group of topics as outlined below;

  • Clinical decision support and documentation
  • Complex socio-technical systems design, implementation, and adoption
  • Health data analytics and data visualization
  • Population health and High-Reliability health care
  • Provider order entry systems
  • Visual imaging (radiological, pathological, dermatological, ophthalmological.)

What is a health informatics job title?

There are different job opportunities in this specialty of health informatics and each job title brings clarity to what one does better;

Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

These occupations are projected to add about 667,600 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.

  • Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO)
  • Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO)
  • Clinical Informaticist
  • Clinical) Informatics Lecturer, Professor
  • Director, Clinical Informatics
  • Electronic Medical Record Trainer
  • Health (or Clinical) Informatics Technician, Specialist, Product Manager,
  • Health Informatics Analyst
  • Health Informatics Consultant
  • Healthcare Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Healthcare Informatics Security and Data Manager

What does a health care informaticist do?

There are many duties of a health informaticist depending on the area of specialization. From the above job titles, one can easily decode some of an informaticist’s duties and roles.

Health care informaticists use their training and knowledge of health care, information systems, databases, and information technology to gather, store, analyze and manage patient data and medical records.

A bachelor’s degree in information technology or database management and a master’s degree in health information management will greatly help qualify a candidate for a job in health informatics. However, medical knowledge is also important to help employees understand their work.

They can also use these data for a broad range of applications, including but are not limited to analyzing trends, improving clinical workflow, improving the overall quality of care of patient outcomes, and the improvement of the health of the general public.

What is the health informatics importance?

Health informatics advantages cannot be over-emphasized, if not so we would not have been put much energy and time into explaining what is health informatics.

This technological innovation is an outstanding one in different health care practices to improve the delivery of services in the system.

In the same vein, there is less stress in the validation of information for patients and caregivers and as such making the health care run smoothly.

Health care informatics is revolutionizing how clinicians diagnose and manage patient care; thereby ensuring care is delivered safely. In the same vein, informatics is improving the operational efficiency of health care delivery systems through the identification of trends as earlier mentioned, outcome prediction, and identifying care gaps and disparities between and among groups of patients.

Health informatics has contributed and it is still contributing to medical advancement and health care innovation by providing not only data, but the actionable information to improve processes, clinical outcomes, and the overall experience for patients and providers.

The importance of health informatics keeps broadening and such people now understand the concept properly. With these advancements of health care technological innovations, many companies and organizations are venturing into it because indeed it has come to stay.

Requirements to Get a Degree in Health Informatics

There are many degree options for health informatics offered b different schools around the globe.

Although it is a new innovation, it is rapidly gaining dominance in the healthcare sector, however, there is a need to get more hands and desk and for people to trust and understand how it works and for the general adoption of this innovation, there must be a need for effective training and certification.

Some schools even offer combined bachelor’s and master’s programs that allow students to complete both in a shorter time than if they did them separately. People who know and understand medical coding, medical billing, and medical database operation will have the best chance to advance in the field of health informatics.

There are degree programs offered by different universities both online and offline and having the right training will ascertain how productive and creative you will be in the profession.

Each university has different requirements to get a degree in health informatics. Students would tailor their junior and senior classes toward their chosen specialty within the field and reach out to the school they wish to offer for the requirements to get a degree in health informatics.

What are the Degree Options for a Career in Health Informatics?

One of the popular degree programs within the field of healthcare management is the subfield of health informatics. Most positions require either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree because the field is heavily technical and business-oriented.

  • Bachelor of Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science Business (Information Technology Management)
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics
  • Master of Health Informatics
  • Master of Information Systems
  • Master of Nursing Informatics
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics

It is important to note that pursuing a master’s degree in health informatics; you typically must earn a bachelor’s degree.

Although most programs do not require applicants to major in a specific area during their undergraduate studies, you may benefit from coursework in computer science, statistics, and health policy, or other related areas.

What is health informatics?

Health informatics salary            

Health informatics salary ranges from as low as $40,000 to $100,000 annually. Health informatics salary is dependent on different factors ranging from but is limited to academic acquisition, work experience, place of work, and other factors that determine wages such as the nature of the contract.

The field of health informatics is diverse and rewarding. Such jobs include opportunities to manage medical databases and maintain records on a secure network.

Medical records, histories, treatments, prescriptions, locations, doctors, insurance policies, and educational programs are all important aspects of health informatics.

Since the field represents a combination of computer skills and medical knowledge, health informatics workers are unusually qualified to help the industry progress.

Examples of health informatics               

Below are the perfect examples of health informatics;

  1. Clinical Image Capture
  2. EHR Alert Optimization
  3. Predictive Analytics
  4. Secure Texting
  5. Shift to the Cloud
  6. Syndromic Surveillance
  7. Voice Dictation

Clinical Image Capture

Clinical image capture is a perfect example of health informatics. An imaging system would be able to easily capture any type of image and share it in a single, secure yet easily-accessed file that is also connected to the rest of the patient’s record which is essential for effective health care service delivery.

EHR Alert Optimization

EHR alert optimization is an essential tool in the healthcare system and it helps a caregiver to easily note different issues linked to a particular patient.

This may include screenings, drug interactions, chronic disease management, overdue lab tests, prescription recommendations, admission, discharge, transfer (ADT) notifications, and more.

Predictive Analytics

This is a very advanced technological innovation in the healthcare system. It can work using artificial intelligence software for efficiency.

In healthcare, predictive analytics studies a massive amount of data to find indications of common symptoms, diagnoses, workflows, and other outcomes.

Secure Texting

Using secure texting, medical professionals can communicate encrypted PHI from a desktop computer or mobile device within a private communications network.

Patient portals have brought a host of accessibility to patients and providers, opening up patients’ access to their own records, prescriptions, and lab results, and creating a new line of communication between the patient and the provider.

Shift to the Cloud

This is an important example of health informatics. It helps in the security of data on the cloud. So much data can be retrieved at any given point in time.

Syndromic Surveillance

Using both predictive analytics and EHR alerts, real-time patient surveillance can instantly identify potential adverse events.

Voice Dictation

This helps in improving artificial intelligence voice recognition to digitally transcribe healthcare providers’ notes and medical orders in real-time. This could reduce the amount of time spent on data entry and increase the amount of time that healthcare providers can spend interacting directly with their patients.

Top types of Health Informatics

Below are the most popular types of health informatics. As the names imply, these health informatics involve the use of information and communication technology in the different professions as outlined below for efficiency and effectiveness in the healthcare service delivery.

Conclusion on what is health informatics

From the descriptions we have given so far, you can proudly give a renowned answer when asked what health informatics is.

The importance of health informatics cannot be over-emphasized. Having a sophisticated health care system will improve health care service delivery at all levels.

Informatics is being used to improve both individual patient care and the health of entire populations of people. Health informatics makes it possible for the health care industry to handle and maximize the massive volume of data within the healthcare system.

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