Medical informatics professionals use information technology to benefit the health and human services industry. They create and maintain new ways for hospitals to keep records, making essential medical information as accessible as possible. Medical informatics specialists create new ways for hospitals and research centers to communicate with one another, while streamlining the interpersonal communication between staff members and patients.
Though every industry employs informatics specialists, they are particularly important in the medical field. The speed and accuracy with which medical information is conveyed can be the difference between life and death. For instance, if a doctor prescribes a common medication that the patient is allergic to, the effects could be devastating. But if the doctor has access to detailed medical records, indicating allergies and medical history, this sort of situation can be avoided.
This young and growing field offers many opportunities. As a medical informatics major, you may enjoy the opportunity to enter an industry that is poised to expand rapidly. Healthcare, already the nation's largest industry, is also its fastest-growing. The graduates of today's degree programs in medical informatics will be the pioneers of the field.
Informatics grads work in a variety of environments: hospitals, medical research laboratories, health insurance companies, Internet companies, health information technology suppliers, consulting organizations and more. They serve as database administrators, project managers, project designers, computer programmers, researchers, and systems analysts.
What medical informatics specialists do within these areas depends entirely on their concentration. Generally, they provide technical support for databases, design new systems, and make purchasing decisions for new equipment. They also evaluate usability, figure out ways to enhance systems, check data for accuracy, and...