What is clinical informatics?
Clinical informatics is the intersection of health care, technology and information sciences. Especially concerned with the analysis and interpretation of large data sets, informatics professionals strive to improve health care processes. Workflow enhancements can lead to improved health outcomes for patients and populations, including better care, disease prevention and patient safety.
Clinical informatics professionals drive decisions across all health care settings, including hospitals, medical centers, public health agencies and more. They can make an impact on small and large scales, from creating efficient bed usage strategies at your local hospital to addressing national health concerns.
What does a clinical informatics analyst do?
Integral members of health care teams across settings, clinical informatics analysts use health care data to improve clinical practices and drive business decisions. From reimagining workflows to enhancing drug safety, analyzing and interpreting data are the focal point of an informaticist’s job function.
Additionally, clinical informatics analysts are master communicators. They have the privilege of presenting their findings and recommendations to a wide range of audiences, including doctors, scientists, educators, health care consumers and more. Informaticists are tasked with communicating complex information appropriately to all stakeholders.
Like most professional roles, a clinical informatics analyst’s job tasks differ from day to day. While they may present data findings to a team of clinicians one day, they may train staff on a new electronic health records (EHR) system the next. Common tenets of a clinical informatics analyst’s role include, but aren’t limited to:
- Collaborating with multidisciplinary teams within an organization.
- Contributing to business decisions through a data lens.
- Creating dashboards, data visualizations and data tools.
- Developing programs and databases to capture data.
- Extracting, analyzing and interpreting health data.
- Recommending workflow solutions.
What makes a successful clinical informatics analyst?
Clinical informatics analysts must possess a unique combination of technical knowledge and interpersonal abilities. Informaticists should also be comfortable with collaborative work that spans multiple business units. Desirable skills for clinical informatics analysts include:
- Analytic and technical skills: Interpret intricate data to improve workflows and create positive outcomes for the organization and patients alike.
- Communication skills: Communicate data findings across multidisciplinary teams, business units and stakeholders.
- Innovation skills: Contribute innovative health solutions to problems identified by organizations.
- Leadership skills: Train staff on new technology programs and updated regulations.
- Organization skills: Manage the competing priorities and objectives of projects occurring simultaneously.
Clinical informaticist salary info and job outlook
Health care informatics is a growing field due to a number of factors, including the increased use of electronic health records and the health needs of an aging population. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also predicts that health care as an industry will continue to grow rapidly in the next decade. According to the BLS, overall employment in health care occupations is projected to grow 13% from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Clinical informatics analysts play a vital role in this growth because as the demand for health care increases, so does the need for efficient workflows, cost reduction and a higher quality of care.
Learn more about becoming a clinical informatics analyst
While a bachelor’s degree is the typical career entry point for a clinical informatics analyst, many professionals in the field opt to further their education with a graduate degree. Obtaining an advanced education can lead to more technically complex roles and health care leadership opportunities. Top health informatics professionals hold titles, such as director of clinical informatics or chief informatics officer.
Arizona State University’s Master of Advanced Study in health informatics online degree program prepares you for a career as a clinical informatics analyst. Through your online courses, you’ll build a unique set of skills that transverse health informatics, health care, information technology and health analytics. Additionally, you’ll gain expertise in the proper management of health information and resources.
No background in health care? No problem. You can succeed in the Master of Advanced Study in health informatics if you have a background in business, education, law, information technology and more. Take your next step toward becoming a clinical informatics analyst today.