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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 health care and not just nursing, although the all our masters students are nurses. It was a conscious decision to label it health care 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 health care services” (amia.org/fact-sheets/what-informatics).

Informatics is an important field as more and more of healthcare becomes digitalized. Health care 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. To read more about graduate education foundational domains used in our curriculum, you can go to: AMIA Health Informatics Core Competencies for CAHIIM.

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

The CU Experience

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

"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, Health Information Manager (2012 Program Graduate)

"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, Clinical Nurse Leader (2011 Program Graduate)

"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, Clinical Director of Emergency Services (2011 Program Graduate)

"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, Director of Pharmacy (2011 Program Graduate)

"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, Manager, Clinical Informatics Center of Excellence (2011 Program Graduate)