Health Care Infomatics

At Misericordia University, informatics is more than using information technology. We believe this technology should be used responsibly and ethically to improve the human condition. Health informatics is an interdisciplinary specialty that combines aspects of information technology, information theory and management, health sciences, engineering and management science.

The person who works in this field is called a health informaticist. If they specialize in an area like nursing, they would have titles like nurse informaticist, public health informaticist, or the like. People who work on basic medical research in this area are called biomedical informaticists.

Informaticists work in many different health care areas, like hospitals, academic institutions, state and federal government health care organizations, consulting companies, and for insurance companies and companies that develop information technology products for health care. Job prospects are bright for people with formal training in health informatics. Currently there exists a critical shortage of health informatics professionals at all levels. Individuals with formal training can expect above average employment status and salary earnings. For example, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in medical and health care informatics to increase by 20 percent a year through 2020. That's greater than the average for all occupations in the United States.

According to national surveys their base salary is $45,000 to $80,000, with bonuses of $5,000 to $10,000, for a total compensation of $50,000 to $90,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that most public health informatics specialists average a yearly income of between $52,000 and $88,000, with those at health care facilities making $60,000 to $72,000 per year and those employed by the federal government averaging $87,200. The level of compensation varies with experience and training and the role of the health informaticist in the organization.

Health informaticists typically start their careers in a technical role, like developing systems and software, designing databases, or working with clinicians to make sure a new system operates properly. After a few years they acquire management skills and advanced training, enabling them to run project teams and handle the acquisition and deployment of a system. With more experience and training they move into senior leadership roles like a hospital's chief medical information officer or information systems vice president.

Misericordia's health informatics programs are designed to train health informaticists to climb this ladder of success in the technical, managerial, and leadership roles they will have in health care organizations.

For information on Health Informatics, please contact David Pasquini, at 570-674-8183, or dpasquin@misericordia.edu

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