Informatics has become an important area of study and expertise in the health care industry. Various laws and regulations, including the Affordable Care Act of 2010, have pushed for greater use of information technology in the delivery of patient care.
But while technologists might benefit from a health information management degree, a solid background in health informatics can make sense for a number of professions, as Margaret Czart, Ph.D. in public health and assistant professor, health care informatics at American Sentinel, explains in this video:
There is a huge career opportunity for those with expertise in health care informatics. RnR Market Research estimates that the health care analytics market will grow from $3.7 billion in 2012 to $10.8 billion by 2017. People in a number of professions, including the following, could better position their careers with expertise in the topic:
- Health care professionals. Doctors and nurses will have to work with the new technologies that government, regulatory bodies, and insurance companies will increasingly demand. Expertise should advance someone’s practices, let them work more efficiently within an organization, and put them into a better competitive position going forward.
- Data analysts. Data will become a central part of health care practice to create preferred treatment protocols, better support public health initiatives, follow and predict the spread of diseases, and even enable better strategic planning by health care organizations. The insights derived from both an organization’s own experience and the broader statistical data that regulators will have available will need people who can derive the insights and put them into a proper context.
- IT professionals. Technology will increasingly influence and affect how health care professionals undertake their jobs and treat patients. That, in turn, will create a demand for people who can implement the technology and even design it to better serve the needs of a health care organization and securely share the resulting information among all those who need access to it.
- Health care managers. Administrators and executives need to combine the critical information that comes from informatics systems with other available information to devise better operational and business strategies for their organizations and to better understand how to provide care to the public.
Because much of the technology that will be used in health care informatics is new, most people, even veteran industry professionals, lack the specialized knowledge and experience of how the systems work and the best ways of using them to deliver value to patients and providers alike. That is why formal education in health care informatics can help so many types of professions in the industry.