What is Health Care Informatics?

Health Care Informatics and Why It's Important

Informatics is a label being used to describe many educational programs from medical coders to biomedical informatics researchers. Providing education in this field has grown exponentially with the demand for more informatics specialists. When we initiated our program, we made a decision to emphasize healthcare and not just nursing, although all our masters students are nurses. It was a conscious decision to label it healthcare instead of nursing informatics for two reasons: the discipline of informatics is interdisciplinary and informatics specialists interact with all clinical professions. We also wanted to encourage clinicians from other health disciplines (medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, public health, and allied health) to partake in our courses and our certificate program.

The American Medical Informatics Association defines informatics as” the science of how to use data, information, and knowledge to improve human health and the delivery of healthcare services” (amia.org/fact-sheets/what-informatics).

Informatics is an important field as more and more of healthcare become digitalized. Healthcare transformation is highly dependent on the use of digital tools to ensure safe, effective, and efficient care. As healthcare institutions adopt health information technology tools, there is a greater need for informatics specialists to guide the process. This is particularly important as we examine the patient/consumer experience with healthcare. More and more patients, families, caregivers, and consumers are using digital tools to engage them in their health.

College of Nursing Adaptation

Our program has also evolved over time to recognize the changes in the field and the program is updated accordingly. The curriculum provides students with the essential knowledge and skills for an informatics specialist role. It is built upon broad precepts and concepts from the American Nurses Association (ANA) Scope and Standards of Nursing Informatics Practice and the competencies and foundational domains put forth by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) for graduate level education in health informatics.

We are a fully accredited program through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The CU Experience

Hear from some of our students, grads, and faculty about the CU experience and how it's made a difference in their lives!

I have gained subject expertise that has given me the confidence to relate to both my internal and external clients. The program provided me with the resources and contacts necessary to influence decision makers seeking best practice input. - Teresa Gocsik, HCI 2011, Manager, Clinical Informatics Center of Excellence
Since, I am trusted and have a good relationship with physicians as Director of Pharmacy; the plans are for me to play a role in CPOE implementation. My new skills and certificate have opened this door for me. Also the broad understanding and overview of the IT landscape in America in regards to current and future trends, law and implementation has been very beneficial. Prior to this program I had a very rudimentary understanding of the depth and expanse of IT issues. I understood it from the users’ perspective, not from a leadership point of view. While I was always effective in achieving the ends necessary for the department of pharmacy, I now understand the risks and opportunities to the hospital. This makes me valuable to current and future employers, as I can be conduit between various levels in the organization. - Amy Goldstein, HCI 2011, Director of Pharmacy
The program provided me with the tools to evaluate the synergies between workflow process and technology solutions. As well as lead, innovate and support change for achieving transformation in healthcare. - Kami Lee Poole-Warder, HCI 2011, Clinical Director of Emergency Services
The program provided a diverse and comprehensive curriculum focus on current informatics content that enhanced my knowledge and understanding of HIT. With this certificate, I have the necessary understanding of HIT systems to confidently perform in my role. I also gained knowledge of HIT policies and current topics such as Meaningful Use. This has positioned me to actively contribute to the organization's goals. - Cathleen Danforth, HCI 2011, Clinical Nurse Leader
This program has truly broadened my knowledge of health information management and technology. The tools I gained from this program were instrumental in receiving approval to construct and manage a new Health Information Management Department at my organization. - Michael Gilhooly, HCI 2012, Health Information Manager