What Are the Best Entry-Level Health Informatics Jobs?
June 16, 2022
Entry-level health informatics jobs in public health, healthcare systems, and medical clinics include health information technician, health informatics specialist, and clinical informatics analyst.
Health informatics occupies the intersection of information technology and healthcare. It's a branch of data science focused on collecting, digitizing, storing, retrieving, and exchanging patient records and medical data across systems, networks, and devices, and even more crucially, mining that data to drive efficiency and effectiveness.
As the field has developed, health informatics specialists have become increasingly active in improving healthcare delivery quality, safety, results, and cost-effectiveness. In recent years, three significant trends have sparked increased interest in the use of health informatics:
- Healthcare providers' have grown significantly more reliant on healthcare technology and electronic health records (EHRs)
- The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled smart devices to collect and send data
- The expansion and widespread use of telemedicine has allowed doctors and other healthcare professionals to treat patients remotely
These digital healthcare trends proved essential to both public and private healthcare systems' patient and population management during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through health informatics, public health officials and medical clinicians leveraged "available information systems and standards to rapidly identify cases, triage infected individuals, and monitor population trends."
The pandemic highlighted the importance and potential of health informatics, as evidenced by the increased and widespread use of telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, patient engagement, artificial intelligence (AI)-based drug development, precision medicine, and clinical decision-making support. In short, health informatics—a discipline that combines predictive analytics, big data, health information management, and healthcare—proved critical to the pandemic response. The pandemic will eventually recede, but the insights and outputs gained through the COVID-19-related health informatics efforts will continue to yield benefits into the foreseeable future.
If you're considering a full-time move into the health informatics field to lend your talents and skills in the fight against COVID-19 and other diseases, you'll probably need to start at the entry-level. We've listed some of the best entry-level health informatics jobs currently available.
What are the best entry-level health informatics jobs?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 34,300 jobs in the health informatics medical records and health information openings will open each year from 2020 through 2030. A subset of these will be entry-level health information positions (whose salaries vary significantly depending on location and setting), including:
- _Clinical informatics analyst (average salary: $89,398):_ Data analysts in clinical informatics collect, transmit, and evaluate health data. Their data analysis work may be used for clinical applications to enhance patient outcomes via their organization's procedures, methods, and workflows. A hospital may engage a clinical informatics specialist to figure out how to reduce postoperative readmission rates, which might be as easy as teaching patients adequate wound care to prevent infections.
- _Health informatics specialist (average annual salary: $66,932):_ Health informatics specialists deal with patient records and data. Health systems, hospitals, and clinics, medical equipment manufacturers, pharmaceutical firms, commercial insurance companies, and governmental or other policy-focused enterprises are among the most common employers of health informatics specialists. Depending on the organization's needs, health informatics professionals may operate in analytical, project management, consulting, or support positions.
- _Health information technician (average annual salary: $43,411):_ Health information technicians gather and analyze patient data to improve patient care and minimize costs. They record data in computer systems so it can easily be indexed and cross-referenced and verify that the data is accurate and complete. Health information technicians may design and manage information systems and assign clinical codes for reimbursement from insurance companies.
What are the best mid-level health informatics jobs?
Job opportunities in this rapidly evolving field are expanding. There are many opportunities to advance and excel in the field beyond entry-level positions. For those with a master's degree and several years of experience, these mid-level health informatics jobs may be a good fit in the next phase of their careers:
- _Clinical data manager (average annual salary: $115,295):_ Clinical data managers work with data in clinical trials for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Preparing reports, statistical comparisons, data charts, and other presentation materials is an important part of the collaborative process between the clinical data manager and the research team. Data managers also ensure that data complies with ethical research standards and regulations from organizations like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- _Clinical informatics manager (average annual salary: $119,167):_ A clinical informatics manager works to put in place systems and processes for collecting, transferring, and storing data in the form of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) in healthcare facilities. They employ their database administration skills to make the data available to the right individuals at the appropriate times. They also may analyze the information flow to identify trends and inefficiencies.
- _Healthcare IT project manager (average annual salary: $109,736):_ A healthcare organization's project manager for IT services connects with other project members to ensure that goals and objectives are met on time. Professionals in this sector are expected to develop and implement project plans, making appropriate adjustments to meet changing requirements and demands.
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