Health Informatics

What is a Health Informatic?

The National Library of Medicine defines health informatics as an intersection of computer science and health care. In other words, these professionals are the IT and computer systems specialists of the medical industry. They help design and implement computer-related technologies for health care environments like hospitals, physicians groups, and even medical or research laboratories. There are a number of sub-specialties within the field of health informatics that influence the types of technologies or information health informatics manage. These specialties can include clinical informatics, information and communication technology, knowledge management, and nursing. Specific duties vary.

What is a Health Informatic's salary?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) does not maintain salary data for health informatics specifically, but based on salary data for related careers -- like computer systems analysts and networking specialists -- one might expect health informatics' earnings to exceed the national average for all occupations in 2012. Note that earnings can vary tremendously from one position to the next. Generally speaking, those who earn higher degrees or have more experience tend to earn more than junior or lesser-trained colleagues. Location and employer can also impact earnings.

*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Is it difficult to find a job as a Health Informatic?

Because bls.gov does not track employment data for health informatics specifically, it can be difficult to predict how much demand for these professionals will grow over the next decade. Bls.gov does note, however, that demand for health care professionals has been growing rapidly the last several years, and should continue to do so for some time. The same holds true for computer science and information technology professionals.

*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Is there room for advancement as a Health Informatic?

Health informatics with the right combination of education and experience may eventually move into a more managerial position. These professionals could be asked to direct and mentor junior colleagues, and serve as liaison with other health care groups.

Do Health Informatics need to be licensed or certified?

Health informatics may choose to pursue voluntary professional certifications such as those offered through the American Health Information Association. Professional certifications are often voluntary, but some employers may prefer hiring candidates who invest in them.

Sources:
American Health Information Association,
http://www.ahima.org/

National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health,
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/

Health Information Management / Informatics Schools

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