Career Center -
Careers in Health Informatics
Health Informatics Career Paths
As health informatics has evolved into a broad and dynamic career, career path
opportunities have become more diverse. Some of the opportunities can be found
Medical and Public Libraries:
These are required to collect clinical information and need people with the
appropriate skills to collect, retrieve and sort such information.
Hospitals and Nursing Facilities:
Deployment and management of computerized medical records and information
systems have given rise to roles for medical informaticians.
Insurance Industry: Roles can be found at insurance companies as they
require people to analyse the wealth of information they collect from
Roles here would involve analyzing the patterns of the drug use and other
services in the different population groups, prescribing patterns of
physicians, and information from clinical trials.
Public Health Sector:
Public health reports and health data compilation are just some of the duties
that need to be done by skilled professionals.
There are now an increasing numbers of companies that produce software for use
in the healthcare sector.
International Agencies: Agencies such as the World Bank, World Health
Organisation, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organisation are
involved in planning healthcare and require experts in the field of informatics
to do so.
Some of the roles that can be found amongst those involved in health informatics
are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list but should give a clue to the
kind of roles those who undertake training in health informatics have to look
The individual who wishes to pursue this route would have a good research track
record in an area of informatics. Tertiary teaching experience and a doctorate
would be advantageous. It would normally be in a tertiary institutions and
would combine both active research and teaching. He or she would have a BSc in
a relevant discipline.
Clinical Data Manager
The Clinical Data Manager is responsible for performing tasks associated with
the full life cycle of data management including start-up through data cleaning
and database security. Additionally the CDM must manage manual and automated
data validation, quality control, query writing and integration of query
responses. Prerequisites include; several years experience with Data Management
and excellent communication skills. SAS and exposure to Oracle Clinical is
usually required in North America.
Chief Information Officer (CIO) of a Healthcare organization (Chief
Medical Information Officer)
The CIO is responsible for overall leadership, planning, development, and
management of information technology resources across the Organization. The CIO
will have responsibility for developing, managing, coordinating and integrating
information systems, resources, and services to support the research, service
and administrative activities of the business. A wide variety of individuals
could take on this role, but experience in a consultation role would be a
Clinical Information Manager (CIM)
A CIM requires project management experience and the ability to communicate with
disparate groups of staff such as clinicians, managers and information
The consultant plays a key role in health informatics organizations specifically
in performance/operational management, strategic planning, financial and
clinical analysis projects. Other responsibilities include;
Working on wide variety of projects, knowledge management within the
organization, conduct and summarize interviews with client staff, assist in the
development of proposals and detailed project work plans. A consultant could be
from varied backgrounds; a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science (BScN)
or individuals possessing a Masters in Nursing, Health Administration or
Good communication skills are required as is work experience in a clinical
This position could also be known as Webmaster, Web Technology Manager/Director,
Chief Web Technologist or Chief Web Officer. The Healthcare Webmasters
responsibilities include Managing the technical end of Healthcare organizations
Internet presence (Internet/intranet). This includes managing Web servers. He
or she would supervise development staff and evaluate and recommend Web
hardware, software and security solutions. A webmaster will need a grasp of Web
and Internet technology as well as Web development tools.
Information Security Manager
This role acts to protect the confidentiality and integrity of information, and
maintain the technical mechanisms of legitimate access to it. Other
responsibilities include implementing the organization's information security
policies and procedures and providing direct information security training to
all employees, monitoring compliance with the organization's information
security policies and procedures and internal control systems to ensure that
appropriate information access levels and security clearances are maintained.
He or she would also have to prepare the organization's disaster recovery plan
and keep abreast of advancements in information security technologies.
Medical Director for Informatics
The Medical Director's purpose is to promote high quality cost effective medical
care, patient satisfaction, and healthcare provider/staff satisfaction
throughout the Healthcare System by facilitating the efficient use of computers
and information technology. He would have training and experience in Medical
Informatics and actively liaise with all departments within all organization
and reports to the Medical Director. Project Management skills are a must in
order to assist in developing and implementing strategies, for example
developing and maintaining a clinical information system.
Medical Director of Information Systems
These individuals will be responsible for supporting the design and development
of clinical information systems that assist clinicians in the delivery of
patient care. They will participate in representing the needs and requirements
of the physician community and serve as an advocate of management in promoting
the use of information technology in the clinical setting.
Pharmacy Systems Analyst
This role performs routine and complex analysis, design, testing, implementation
and support of application systems and projects. The PSE would also provide
training, support and implementation of the systems used for processing
medication orders and patient evaluations. A high degree of technical awareness
is required and knowledge of the specific systems used within the organization.
Training and management skills are required. Work will involve close
interaction with Information Systems and Pharmacy staff to understand system
programming requirements, capabilities and limitations. He or She should
possess a degree in Pharmacy or Computer Science.
The software engineer will participate in the development, implementation,
and maintenance of software applications and databases using various relational
database, client/server, and object-oriented tools and programming languages.
Experience in Hospital environments or healthcare training would be expected.