Like everything else, health informatics has a beginning and believe it or not… fun facts!! So here’s a few things that we think would interest you.
But first off, what is health informatics?
Health informatics is a specialization that links information technology, communications and healthcare to improve the quality and safety of patient care.
- Health care informatics started out with a variety of different names. Some of these names included medical computing (which is still used today), computer medicine, medical electronic data processing, medical information science, and medical automatic data processing. These different names mostly fizzled out, to be replaced by the term informatics. (Admin, 2011)
- One of the reasons that informatics is so important in today’s world is due to the development of the Internet. However, the precursor to the Internet was ARPANET, a Defense Department funded research project. It linked universities and other research centers all over the country. The first two nodes on the project were UCLA and Stanford. Interestingly, the third node was the University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City. Without the Internet that eventually developed from ARPANET, we wouldn’t have access to all the medical information we have today. (Admin, 2011)
- The industry is multi-faceted.There are three main disciplines involved in health informatics: health care, technology, and business. So a background in any or all of these areas can lead to jobs in this field. But a number of sub-disciplines are also represented, albeit in a format that is potentially more niche. If you’re interested in nursing, health care administration, biology, chemistry, mobile app development, or a number of other related fields, health informatics could be a viable career option that allows you to explore your interests. (UIC)
- Electronic medical records (also called electronic health records) have been in existence since the 1970s. Having access to this information can be useful for patients and doctors. Indeed, it is becoming more common to see health care informatics presented this way so that it is easy for health care providers and patients to quickly see the medical data that relates to them. One of the goals of those pushing the use of medical informatics is to try to increase the access to electronic medical records, and encourage their widespread use. (Admin, 2011)
- More recently, health care informatics got a boost from its inclusion the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act of 2009. Some of the informatics related projects that have received funding as a result of the Act include electronic health records, tracking disease and health, as well as DNA sequencing. Medical informatics are gaining more attention every day, and more people are recognizing how information technology can contribute in the health care arena. (Admin, 2011)
- Earning potential is high. According to a survey conducted by HIMSS (Health Care Information and Management Systems Society), the average salary for a nursing informatics position in 2014 is just over $100,000 per year. And it is estimated that jobs in nursing informatics could range from about $66,000 for a Nurse Informatics Specialist to an estimated $140,000 a year for a Director of Nurse Informatics, and those are just the jobs that revolve around nursing. With a wide variety of informatics degrees to choose from, students can pursue their passion for health care, technology, and/or business and find an exciting and profitable career as a result. (UIC)