The American Medial Informatics Association released details of its clinical informatics subspecialty that it says will enhance physicians ability to use health information technology to provide safe, effective and efficient patient care.
The content has been in development for two years, when AMIA first received a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a base for defining the clinical informatics subspecialty and establishing medical training requirements for it. The organization this week released two white papers in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association defining the subspecialtys core content and detailing the requirements of a clinical informatics fellowship program. AMIA said it is now reaching out to the American Board of Medical Specialties to formally establish the subspecialty.
AMIA executives said in the white paper that the work provides a starting point for developing clinical informatics as a way to help integrate the health professions. John Halamka, chief information officer of Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, said the group is working toward finding the right medical specialty through which to move the subspecialty forward. There appears to be significant interest in supporting AMIA to achieve this goal, he said in an e-mail.
According to the AMIA white paper, the subspecialty transforms healthcare through analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of information and communication systems. Practitioners certified in clinical informatics, or clinical informaticians, combine their knowledge of patient care with informatics concepts and tools to assess information needs of healthcare professionals and patients, refine clinical processes, develop decision-support systems and participate in the management and improvement of clinical information systems, the white paper authors said.