What is the Best Way to Become a VP of Clinical Informatics?

The specialized field of clinical informatics relates to the collection and aggregation of medical data to safeguard patient care while delivering healthcare services. It is a growing field that encompasses health professionals from a range of occupations, including:

  • physicians
  • nurses
  • pharmacists
  • ophthalmologists
  • dentists

To become a VP of clinical informatics, health professionals need to hold the appropriate certifications outlined and administered by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). This is in addition to having experience working in the field.

What Health Informatics Specialists in VP Positions Do

General medical informatics specialists work with technological information systems to document and provide:

  • Digital transcriptions from staff and personnel about patient procedures and results.
  • Visual diagnostics from pathological, ophthalmological, dermatological, radiological and other imaging systems.
  • Technological programs that innovate, maintain and incorporate state-of-the-art software for medical coding, billing and inputting information into the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system.

In particular, VP informatics specialists in clinical settings assume a leadership role. They provide staff working with guidance to follow regulations and implement programs that store and use patient information appropriately. A VP in health informatics will be expected to:

  • Facilitate development of clinical programs that improve the efficiency of EMR documentation.
  • Update and innovate EMR software.
  • Develop and implement EMR strategies to improve organizational performance and data retrieval.
  • Train and supervise staff in EMR procedures and use.
  • Consult with administrative personnel from other medical departments to coordinate information services.
  • Demonstrate technology expertise.
  • Expect high standards for patient safety and the confidentiality about their personal data.

Qualifications for Becoming a VP in Clinical Informatics

VP positions in this specialty area are based upon the background and experience of the candidate. Currently, the demand is high for certified, health IT specialists who also have clinical experience. As a result, those individuals who have the the appropriate credentials are most likely to be hired. In addition to having the appropriate medical training and degree for the job, candidates must also possess:

  • Technology expertise in the form of coursework or documented on-the-job experience.
  • Formal training in leadership and mentoring through internships or work experiences.
  • Board certification in informatics offered through the American Board of Preventive Medicine sponsored by AMIA.

Pathways for Becoming a VP in the Health Informatics Field

Candidates for VP positions in informatics will already have obtained their professional health or medical degree and have employment experience in the field. To prepare for a VP job, candidates should look for advancement opportunities at work that will hone their leadership and IT skills, take appropriate continuing education coursework, and enroll in programs designed for preparing informatics specialists to work in administrative roles. These programs will also provide the information and knowledge to qualify for board certification.

Resource: State Listing of Health Informatics Degree Programs

Information technology has changed the way that medical information is collected and used. When documenting patient information, there increasing demands for:

  • efficiency
  • accuracy
  • accountability

The need for qualified leaders in clinical positions of health informatics has never been greater. For candidates considering becoming a VP of clinical informatics, obtaining the appropriate experience, educational background and certification can make this career a reality.

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