What Careers are Available in Health Informatics?

Health InformaticsAs demands for secure and ethical ways to manage medical data increase globally, so do the expansion of careers available in health informatics. This growing field deals with the responsibilities expected of healthcare organizations to accurately safeguard personal medical data. The process involves understanding and using appropriate technology systems, electronic platforms, digital record-keeping and coding procedures to manage the inflow and outflow of medical information relating to patient care and healthcare operations, according to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).. As a result, many occupations related to healthcare informatics have emerged across health-related settings in public and private sectors, such as school clinics, insurance companies, pharmacies, and even research settings.

Qualifications for Health Informatics Professionals

Careers available in health informatics start at accredited schools to earn medical coding certification or associate degrees in the field. Graduates with these minimal credentials can work in entry-level positions as medical coders or record-keepers. Management or administrative roles require bachelor’s or graduate degrees accompanied by industry certification provided through The American Health Information Management Association. Personal foundations for successful health informatics careers require:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Adaptability to fast-paced working conditions
  • Aptitudes for math, technology and science
  • Mastery of medical coding and billing procedures
  • Ethical handling of sensitive and confidential health information
  • Ability to maintain compliance standards according to government regulations

Career Trends for Health Informatics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, health informatics jobs will increase must faster than average through 2022. This growth will require highly trained health informatics specialists with advanced competencies. Careers will be geared towards medical, IT, accounting or insurance professionals already working in healthcare-related settings, or those just entering the field with master’s degrees in specialized areas of the profession.

Settings for Health Informatics Careers

Health informatics careers span public and private sectors. Responsibilities vary according to the level of each position with those holding higher degrees or specializations finding more lucrative managerial or administrative slots, according to the Journal of Health and Medical Informatics. Settings for healthcare careers include

  • Community hospitals and public health clinics
  • Private medical facilities
  • Rehabilitation or senior care centers
  • Practices for doctors, dentists or other allied health professionals
  • Pharmaceutical companies and dispensaries
  • Public or private schools at all levels
  • Insurance providers including Medicaid and Medicare
  • Research or educational organizations
  • All non-profits and charitable groups
  • Military and veterans groups
  • Emergency relief or management teams
  • Government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health

Career Specializations in Health Informatics

Health informatics careers go beyond medical coding. Depending on the setting, level and job specialization, health informatics professionals can build careers as:

  • Medical software programmers and developers
  • Health application and software designers
  • Corporate technology or innovation officers
  • Data management supervisors
  • Medical analyst consultants and strategic planners
  • Program evaluaters and quality improvement specialists
  • Research or education supervisors
  • Healthcare public policy managers
  • Pharmaceutical representatives
  • Insurance billing specialists
  • Medical legal advisers

Related Resource: Careers Available in Information Technology

Given the current healthcare market’s need for skilled healthcare informatics specialists, individuals with a desire to work within healthcare and a knack for managing data should consider entering this dynamic career field. For those who do, choosing from the many careers available in health informatics will be the most difficult decision they need to make for successful and rewarding futures.