Health Care Informatics, Career Placement and Outcomes

Health Care Informatics is a rapidly expanding field with excellent career prospects. Health care informatics specialists work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, clinics, healthcare and public health agencies, information technology firms, research institutes, and the insurance industry.

The demand for specialists in health care informatics is on the rise. Job security is one positive aspect of a career in health care informatics. While other types of IT jobs are being outsourced, health care informatics specialists continue to hold positions in the U.S. due to the complex nature of the field and the high level of contact required between the informatics specialist and her employer.

Physicians and health system administrators want to keep their experts in health care information systems close at hand in case problems or questions arise. Additionally, the push to implement Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) in all U.S. medical facilities by 2014 has caused a large number of technology vendors to enter the field of Health Information Management, pushing demand for workers, and consequently salaries, even higher.

There are a wide variety of career options in health care informatics. The list below is not exhaustive, but it will give you a broad overview of some of the possible career paths that are available.

Health Care Informatics Project Manager: These managers oversee a team of other informatics specialists to create or implement databases and other technology systems for hospitals, clinics, and research or teaching facilities.

Health Care Informatics Project Designer: Designers tailor different types of systems to an individual client's needs by figuring out the most effective way for them to collect, store, and access medical data.

Health Care Informatics Researcher or Research Assistant: Working at the forefront of their field, health care informatics researchers attempt to discover new ways of utilizing technology to benefit medical professionals and their patients.

Health Care Informatics Systems Analyst: These specialists analyze existing systems and workflows in clinics or hospitals and develop recommendations for ways to update or streamline these work processes to maximize efficiency and patient safety.

Software Trainers/System Support Specialists: These individuals have primary responsibility for training an organization's staff to use databases and other information systems effectively. They must be skilled at communicating difficult and complex concepts to demanding medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who will be the primary users of any medical information system.

Salary Information for Careers in Health Care Informatics:

The typical starting salary the medical informatics field ranges from $35,000 to $50,000. There is a great deal of opportunity for advancement, particularly if the specialist decides to focus on project management or administration. Many professionals who work their way up through the ranks of the health care informatics field can end up earning six figure salaries, particularly if they seek additional education in order to remain current in their knowledge of the field.

Licensure and Certification:

A career in health care informatics requires no special licensure or certification at this time. However, it is a very competitive field. Graduates without at least a bachelor's degree in health care informatics will have a more difficult time advancing. It is also wise to choose a specialization within informatics to give you an advantage over other job candidates. Fortunately, Montana Tech's curriculum prepares the graduate to sit for two major certification exams, which may also give a recent graduate an "edge" in their job search.

Tuition & Gainful Employment

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