Health informaticists are employed by hospitals, offices of physicians and dentists, long-term care facilities, biopharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, government agencies, medical libraries, law firms, medical device and technology companies, veterinary offices, wearable technology design firms, nonprofit organizations that collect or analyze medical data, and information technology consulting firms that provide health informatics–related services to other companies and organizations.
People can enter this career via a variety of paths. A recent graduate with a degree in health informatics might be hired as an entry-level data analyst. Some information technology professionals with considerable experience in data analytics and programming can transition to the field after obtaining health care–related experience and/or earning a certificate in health informatics. A nurse, medical technician, or other health care worker may break into the field after obtaining hands-on training in health informatics at their employer and/or by earning a certificate or degree in health informatics.
Current and aspiring health informaticists can learn about job openings by attending career fairs and networking events, through contacts made during internships and other experiential learning opportunities, by using the resources of their college’s career service center, and by visiting the career Web sites of companies and other organizations that employ health informaticists. Those who are seeking employment with federal government agencies can access job listings at https://www.usajobs.gov.
A health informaticist with strong leadership, managerial, organizational, and communication skills, a graduate degree, and at least five years of experience could be promoted to the position of health informatics director. These professionals lead the health informatics department at their employer, manage staff, and work with other executives regarding health informatics research goals. Directors can advance to the position of chief medical information officer. These professionals—who are often physicians—spend part of their work days treating patients and the other half designing and integrating health information management systems and analytical software. They also serve as the bridge between medical and IT departments at a health care organization. A health informaticist with an interest in entrepreneurism might start his or her own health informatics consulting firm. Others choose to teach informatics at the college level.
Tips for Entry
Visit https://jobs.amia.org and https://jobs.ania.org/jobs for job listings.
Read JAMIA (a peer-reviewed journal for biomedical and health informatics) and Applied Clinical Informatics to learn more about the field. Both can be accessed at https://amia.org/news-publications/journals. The Journal of Health & Medical Informatics (https://www.hilarispublisher.com/health-medical-informatics.html) is another useful resource.
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