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News & Info

What Is Healthcare Informatics?

The digitization of medical records in the field of healthcare informatics has seen a strong growth in accessibility and application over the last 20 years.

Today, medical records and informatics are playing a critical role in the streamlining of patient care information across the healthcare system. At the center of these advancements is the interdisciplinary field of healthcare informatics – a rapidly growing field that focuses on improving patient and healthcare outcomes through health records. Continue reading to explore what healthcare informatics is and what a career in informatics can look like.


What Is Healthcare Informatics?

Simply put, healthcare informatics applies various aspects of information technology to better organize and analyze health records to improve patient care outcomes. With the continued application and development of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) being so common, the need for informaticists to manage and analyze data has only increased – with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a total of 416,200 jobs in 2020 with a growth rate of 9% over the next 10 years.

Depending on the specific position, healthcare informaticists can perform various tasks, including:

  • Improve patient/consumer and caregivers’ use of existing and emerging technologies, including the electronic health record, for wellness and health care.
  • Accelerate the adoption of health information, communication tools, and technologies to rapidly realize the benefits for patients and caregivers.
  • Be an organizational resource for applying informatics concepts by demonstrating continuous learning and inquiry about the field.
  • Advocate for health information systems that reflect consumers’ needs, values, and preferences and empower them to participate in care decisions.
  • Promoting health information and communication technologies is foundational for a learning health system that includes the active engagement of healthcare consumers.


Who Benefits From The Work Healthcare Informaticists Do?

The answer is everyone. Healthcare informaticists don’t just organize and analyze data, they also assist in providing electronic access to patient medical records and health data across various entities within the healthcare industry. Countless healthcare professionals benefit from the work Health informaticists do.

  • Registered Nurses will access patients’ medical records or procedure charts to understand past care better and make informed decisions about future care during their visit.
  • Healthcare Administrators use data collected from patients to make informed improvements to a hospital system and structure, along with helping to improve individual patient care.
  • Clinical Mental Health Councilors use health records to understand medical histories, learn about patient diagnoses and monitor patient medications to target their clinical approach better.
  • Even Pharmacy Technicians use health data when interacting with patients by seeing past prescriptions and ensuring the correct dosage is administered.


How To Become A Healthcare Informaticist?

Not only can a career in healthcare informatics lead toward rewarding opportunities in healthcare, but healthcare informaticists play a critical role in all levels of healthcare, with jobs in the field ranging from entry-level specialist to Chief of Medical Information.

While there are many two- and four-year degree programs available, getting to start in healthcare informatics can be done a lot sooner with a certificate in health informatics from the University of Providence. Our 100% online certificate program provides a strong framework for preparing students to serve in the healthcare informatics field.