Technological advancements have spawned several new occupations that combine the practicality of human labor with the aspects of information technology. These career paths are innovative, progressive, and less labor-intensive; therefore, more popular and high in demand. Among such fields is health informatics, which is steadily gaining momentum. Let’s take a closer look at what this profession has to offer.
What is Health Informatics?
Before considering health informatics as a potential career goal, it is important to become well-versed with it. Health informatics is a field that combines the principles of IT and healthcare into a single prospect. Specialists in health informatics are required to perform various functions like collecting, distributing and managing patient data, all using electronic means. Generally, those involved in this field strive to reduce the workload and “smoothen” operations within the healthcare industry by improving patient care and decreasing human involvement.
Should I pursue health informatics as a career choice?
Using technology to improve patient care is a rewarding career choice that offers many opportunities for growth and new experiences. While the decision ultimately lies on your goals and interests, health informatics may be a promising career choice for someone looking to make a significant impact on human health. Here are some reasons why one should pursue a degree in this area.
1. The Nature of Work
Health informatics is a unique career pathway and an immensely interesting and engaging field that is guaranteed to stimulate interest. Applying for a degree in the field will give you an understanding of the goals and career paths this field offers. The masters of science in healthcare informatics program will provide you with the necessary skills required to secure a position as a health informatics specialist. If you choose to work in this field, you will be exposed to various new applications. Telemedicine, patient portals, and remote monitoring are some of these tools that will allow you to experiment with several new features.
Seeing how this discipline is rapidly growing, there will also be a constant input of newer hardware and software tools to test and work with. It can be a great opportunity for someone who has a passion for working in these fields. Moreover, not only is Healthcare Informatics highly interesting, but the work you do as part of this program will have a significant impact as well. The actions you take will have a major impact on the well-being of your patients, making you feel like you’re an important part of your organization – a very rewarding feeling indeed.
2. Increased Demand
Up until recently, clinical data was paper-based. Patient records, prescriptions and appointment slips were all documented on paper, which took up considerable labor and time. Today, however, patient information is more conveniently stored and processed using databases and computer systems, which has subsequently increased the demand for HI specialists. Health care settings now require specialized workers like clinical analysts, record keepers and informaticists as they are qualified to manage and regulate smooth workflow. For this reason, there has been huge growth predicted (in the requirement of these professionals) in the next few years. With a degree in this field, you can expect to have great earning potential and a number of other benefits. Therefore, the combination of all these benefits makes health informatics a highly lucrative choice.
3. Opportunities for Growth
Pursuing a degree in health informatics is also beneficial in terms of personal growth and improving your resume. Working in this field allows you to understand the complexity and management of operations that impact your patient’s life. As a result, it will amplify your skills and strengthen your concepts. The practical experience could serve as a great way to increase your knowledge and help you grow in this field both personally and professionally. Once you have specialized in the HI department, you may even be eligible for other career prospects, which is a very redeeming quality of the degree.
4. Job Outlook
The field of HI is not only bound to one discipline but rather numerous ones. A degree in HI paves the way for many different job opportunities that you can decide based on your interest. A few popular ones to name are:
Electronic record keepers: This job relies on the principle of keeping patient data up to date, secure, and protected from hackers. Electronic medical record keepers keep track of patient details like symptoms, times of operations, procedures, medication, insurance details etc. They also have to keep the data accessible to positions in power like physicians and nurses. Simultaneously, this information needs to be hidden from everyone else. Other than that, record keepers must also ensure the data is accurate and that systems are updated frequently to ensure compliance with data protection laws.
Medical information officers: Chief medical information officers are assigned to maintain the structure of the system so that it works to the best of its ability. These individuals constantly work with software specialists, designers, and maintenance teams to keep everything up to date. They may also conduct research with the staff to see the status of each application hardware or software. Upon collection of results, they may choose to make modifications to the system.
Informatics analysts: The role of a clinical analyst is to organize patient data and ensure that it gets delivered timely. They act as the fundamental bridge between patients and storage databases. They must ensure that all user expectations are met (for example, ease of using the system, costs, etc.) and that complaints (software issues like lag or incorrect patient details) are addressed in a timely manner. It helps keep the system running smoothly.
The role of a Healthcare Informatics specialist is challenging but highly rewarding. There are many reasons why it is becoming more and more popular among students. One of the many reasons is that institutes are now offering an online degree program, which is equally valuable as an on-campus program. Interest stimulation, salary prospects, demand, and career diversification are other reasons for going into this field. Even though decision-making ultimately rests with the individual, health informatics is an industry that is increasingly booming. Make your decisions wisely.