What is Health Informatics?
Health informatics studies methods and resources for the management of health information. This discipline is comprised of information science, healthcare and computer science. Health Informatics is also known as Health Information Systems, HealthCare Informatics, Medical Informatics, Nursing Informatics, Biomedical Informatics and Clinical Informatics.
Healthcare Informatics utilizes resources, methods and devices in order to optimize acquirement, storage, retrieval and usage of health and biomedical information. Health Informatics involves multiple systems such as electronic health records, electronic medical records, health information exchange standards, medical terminology and portable medical devices for the collection of data.
Tools Used in Health Informatics
Various tools are used in the field of Health Informatics. These include computers, formal medical terminologies, information and communication systems, clinical guidelines and more. Health Informatics can be applied to the following areas:
• Clinical Care
• Public Health
• Physical Therapy
• Occupational Therapy
• Biomedical Research and more…
Health Informatics Sub-Areas
Several categories fall under the umbrella of Health Informatics, such as:
1. Clinical Informatics – This area is concerned with how clinicians use information in the health care system. Health Informaticians in this area can improve health care by analyzing, creating, implementing and evaluating medical systems, which enhance health outcomes, improve patient care and help to build the patient-clinician relationship.
2. Computational Health Informatics – This is a branch of Computer Science that handles computer-related techniques pertinent to healthcare. Using computers to analyze medical data and various topics is an example of Computational Health Informatics.
3. Clinical Research Informatics – Also known as CRI, Clinical Research Informatics takes the core principals and technologies used in Health Informatics and combines them with clinical research contexts. CRI has exploded over the past few years due to growing clinical research information and data.
Health Informatics Programs and Job Outlook
There are many types of Health Informatics programs and certifications throughout the world. Many universities and colleges offer a M.S. in Health Informatics degree or some type of Health Informatics certification, for those who want to add a specialty to their current degree. The need for Health Informatics Technicians is expected to increase by 21 percent up until 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, landing it in the “faster than average” category regarding job growth.
Health Informatics Expert, Dr. Steven R. Gerst
Dr. Steven R. Gerst is Dean Emeritus of the Masters of Science Program in Applied Health Informatics at Bryan University (Los Angeles, Sacramento, Toronto and Phoenix) where he serves on the Board of Advisors and teaches on the faculty. Dr. Gerst also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Currently, Dr. Steven R. Gerst most recently has been Vice President,one of the leading clinical decision software companies in the nation. He began his career as a Senior Consultant for what is now Premier, Inc., serving 2,400 hospitals nationally. He currently consults with a variety of leading national health care information technology companies around Accountable Care Organizations and Electronic Medical Record systems with clients that include Cleveland Clinic, Tenet Hospitals, Sutter Health, and over 100 IPA, MSO, ACO and Medicare Advantage plans providing services to more than 20 million patients nationally and internationally.