Health Informatics is a constantly evolving field that adapts to the world’s healthcare needs. Simply put, it is the use of technology and data analytics to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare expenditures. HI is embedded in almost all types of healthcare organizations that are using technology to improve their practice. If you are interested in a different approach to healthcare outside of direct patient care, this could be the career for you!
What is Health Informatics?
The University of South Florida defines Health Informatics as the “acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of healthcare information to foster better collaboration among a patient’s various healthcare providers." To maximize patient care, it is essential that providers can share information securely to improve communication and reduce the risk of any duplicate testing. Health Informatics strongly focuses on figuring out how to make systems interoperable, specifically the electronic health record (EHR), which you have likely seen your provider use during a doctor’s appointment. Other types of technology include remote patient monitoring devices, such as blood pressure meters or blood glucose meters that can be used at home and gather data to share with your provider.
As a current student, my introductory courses taught me extensively about the Affordable Care Act, government mandates on healthcare technology, Medicare and Medicaid, and business practices and challenges when optimizing health information technology. Some of my assignments involve analyzing the outcomes on communities from implementation of this technology. This is one of my favorite approaches to learning because it is a big picture approach to understanding the effects of informatics. Possible jobs are Health Information Specialist, Clinical Informatics Manager, Data Analyst, Nurse or Pharmacy Informatics, among many others.
When the government introduced mandates and incentives to adopt greater use of the electronic health record, the field of Health Informatics boomed. As technology develops, so do degrees, career opportunities and concentrations. Health Informatics is an industry that will continue to be an integral part to improving health outcomes, population health, and reducing national healthcare expenditures.
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