It’s a good time to be involved in any field with data analytics, and anytime is a good time to be in the healthcare industry, from a financial and job-security standpoint. The field of health informatics marries these two occupational locales, and is an industry expected to be worth more than $500 billion by 2025, according to a digital health market report conducted by Grand View Research.
What is Health Informatics?
Used synonymously with “Health Information Systems,” Health Informatics is the analysis and organization of healthcare information and records to improve healthcare outcomes for patients. In a very vast field, the best health informatics professionals possess a strong knowledge of the healthcare industry as well as an ability to collect and analyze enormous banks of data, and an ability to work alongside people throughout the healthcare spectrum in order to fully utilize the data an analysis they collect and deduce.
How Do I Get into Health Informatics?
As a technical and business-oriented job within the healthcare industry, a master’s degree will certainly make your life easier when looking for work, but generally a bachelor’s degree is the required minimum education. For people pursuing education for the first time, bachelor degree programs in IT or information systems will suffice, but given the industry’s rapid growth, some colleges are offering both in-class, and online health informatics programs.
For people who already have a secondary education, many fields of study in or around healthcare, big data, or technology will be good enough bases to confidently pursue a higher degree such as a master of science in health informatics, or a master of nursing informatics.
What are Some Job Examples?
For people who choose to pursue an education in health informatics, job options are aplenty, but all fairly similar in their uses of healthcare data. Clinical data analysts utilize past and present information on a given ailment to inform doctors and nurses on public health informatics regarding proper treatment for said ailment. Health information resource managers are in charge of ensuring folks like clinical data analysts have access to any and all relevant information, not only from internal records, but also massive-scale data. IT consultants within the confines of a healthcare facility are often also educated in health informatics.
How is the Pay?
Given that a health informatics professional is a dual expert in both healthcare and IT, one would think the financial benefits were good… and one would certainly be correct. Clinical Informatics Analysts make, on average, $85,000 per year. Directors of Health Informatics (patient records) make around $90,000, Directors of Clinical Informatics (big data in healthcare) make more than $125,000, and Chief Clinical Informatics Officers average $180,000 per year. Not bad.
What’s the Catch?
There really isn’t one if you don’t mind a heavy workload in an exciting field. The education is a bit long, as master’s degrees will make the journey much more feasible, and it truly is a field where the best need to be masters of two completely separate trades, but the rewards are endless. It is a job that truly helps people every day and legitimately saves lives. The pay is very high, and only expected to rise as more and more healthcare information is being utilized online.
Whether you’re a college-aged student, an IT professional looking for a bit more reward, or a healthcare professional looking to get into the tech side of the business, the now is better a time than any before to get into the diverse and growing field of healthcare informatics.