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.
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).
Hear from some of our students, grads, and faculty about the CU experience and how it's made a difference in their lives!
Before the program, I knew a limited amount. Now, I can review the project, requirements and apply evidence-based theories and standards to the build and training I'm doing. I didn't realize how much I didn't know and how this degree would help me with my current job. I apply the concepts every day.
Danielle PerleyMS specializing in HCI, Danielle Perley, MS specializing in HCI
There are a ton of online schools. But none like CU Nursing. What drew me to the program was Dr. Diane Skiba. She is so well-known in the field and is considered the mother of healthcare informatics. She was what sold me. It also didn’t hurt that Children’s Hospital Colorado is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus – the same campus as CU Nursing – providing greater access to resources. Doing it all online was a challenge to get used to. It was very different than my undergraduate years at the University of Pennsylvania. Because of the excellent curriculum and access to legends in the profession, I couldn’t think of a better place to earn my degree. It was the only place I considered.
Emily ReyesMS specializing in HCI, December 2021, Emily Reyes, MS specializing in HCI
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 GoldsteinHCI 2011, Director of Pharmacy