Health Informatics a Fast-Growing Field

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Key Health Care IT Trends

The good news is that primary focus now seems to be squarely on improving the overall quality of health care and the reduction of human errors.

At the end of last year, when I wrote about the jobs expected to be hottest for 2012, I added health informatics to the list. A new study confirms it's a fast-growing field.


The job postings for health informatics grew by 36 percent from 2007 to 2011, compared with a 9 percent growth in all health care postings, and 6 percent increase in all U.S. jobs, according to a study by Credentials that Work, an initiative that uses labor-market data to help colleges align their offerings with real jobs.


Like many tech jobs, these positions aren't fully tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It follows just one one type of health informatics position, medical records and health information technician, that accounts for only 60 percent of health informatics jobs. It fails to track the growth in positions such as supervisor and manager, auditor and compliance review staff, and clinical documentation and improvement specialists, the report says.


These positions at the intersection of health care and IT are lucrative, but employers have been looking for some pretty specific skills - hard-to-find skills. These positions have become more skilled, with entry-level jobs upgraded, lower-skilled positions shrinking, and greater clinical knowledge required for higher-level jobs, according to the study. It notes that its evaluation of job ads helps pin down exactly what those skills are.


A new directory of training programs in health care IT has been launched by the Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS), through its State HIT Dashboard. The directory lists 499 programs at 395 institutions. Many of them are the community-college-level programs that offer short-term training funded through the federal stimulus package. But because the required skills are increasing, new grads might not be mobbed with job offers.


One Pennsylvania consultancy, however, is taking on "junior consultants" in health care IT projects, at the same time easing the shortage of qualified staff and providing real-world training to those new to the field, EHR Intelligence reports. Stoltenberg Consulting in Bethel Park, Pa., pairs the junior consultant with a seasoned pro to learn project management principles, hospital workflow, clinical transformation and vendor-specific technology.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 24, 2012 3:49 PM Lucas Lucas  says:
Interesting post and definitely a sign of change in terms of changes in both informatics as well as health-care fields. I would though have liked one piece of information. The growth percentages referred to (from 2007 to 2011) are rate irrelevant when just stated in percentages. What are the base link comparable, absolute numbers e.g. 9% on 100000 or 36% on 500 or? Cheers, Lucas Reply
Nov 14, 2014 10:06 AM Niall @ Health Informatics Jobs Niall @ Health Informatics Jobs  says:
This is good to see! Reply

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