Health Informatics – Be Part Of A Growing Profession
In the past decade, sweeping changes have been made to the methods by which healthcare operations collect, manage, and share patient records. Health informatics plays a key role in the implementation of these changes.
Medical operations are adhering to federal mandates on using electronic healthcare records. This includes a transition from maintaining patient records on paper to the input and storage of patient information on searchable databases.
It’s helped in numerous ways. Patient records are now easier to access and more up-to-date. By using coding systems, medical operations are better able to work with insurance companies. Technology also allows for the sharing of patient records across different computer platforms in various departments. This sharing of data enables healthcare professionals to make better decisions in real-time.
All this requires skilled workers in health informatics, both in the technical aspects of the system and the business of healthcare. Those who pursue an MBA in Health Informatics learn expert-level skills in both areas.
Such a degree also sets you up to manage a health informatics department.
A Growing Profession
Health informatics is one of the fastest growing areas in the healthcare industry. Healthcare itself is one of the fastest growing sectors of the United States economy. Healthcare administrators also are in demand as the industry grows.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not break out health informatics specifically, but projects that jobs in medical records and health information will grow 13 percent by 2026. That translates into almost 28,000 new workers.
Healthcare administrators also are in demand. The BLS projects the number of medical and health service managers to grow 20 percent by 2026, with more than 72,000 new managers joining the workforce.
Jobs In Health Informatics
There are a range of jobs within health informatics. According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), “The need for health informatics has never been greater.”
That’s partly because healthcare leaders have learned that collecting and safely storing patient data is just the first piece of the technology puzzle. It’s what to do with that data that is of the utmost importance.
Medical operations have done well in adapting electronic healthcare records. So well that the sheer volume of data and the speed at which it is growing presents challenges. This is where informatics professionals play a key role.
In addition to managing health records, ensuring their accuracy and security, informatics professionals also gather and analyze large datasets for insights that leaders can use to plan growth and expansion. The information also is used to determine areas where improvements can be made in serving patients, leading to better patient outcomes.
The exact nature of a health informatics job depends on what department you work in. For example, some specialize in nursing while others might work in clinical research laboratories.
Health Informatics Managers
As the responsibilities of informatics grows, so does the need for people who are properly trained to oversee them. That’s where someone with an MBA in Health Informatics can make a difference.
Data systems are used for many purposes beyond improving patient outcomes. That can include containing costs, making operations more efficient, creating and expanding patient information exchanges, and reducing the number of errors in a healthcare operation.
All this points to a bright future for the profession. For those with both an interest in IT and medical care, choosing a career in health informatics can prove a smart choice.