For the first time, physicians will have the opportunity to become board-certified in the subspecialty of clinical informatics, the American Medical Informatics Association announced.
Clinical informatics to be certified subspecialty
The American Board of Preventive Medicine will administer a clinical informatics examination for physicians seeking certification in the subspecialty, which the American Board of Medical Specialties recently voted to recognize. Physicians who have primary specialty certification through the ABMS will have the opportunity to sit for the exam.
The target timeline is to have the exam available by fall 2012 and the first certificates awarded in early 2013, according to an AMIA news release. The association will develop materials for online and in-person courses for physicians wanting to prep for the exam, the release noted, adding that materials should be available next spring.
"Establishment of the clinical informatics medical subspecialty is consistent with the current emphasis on broadening and professionalizing the health information technology workforce," AMIA President and CEO Dr. Edward Shortliffe said in the release. "With the need over the next decade for 50,000 informatics professionals in the health sector with various levels of expertise, this focus on physician expertise in clinical informatics is clearly a step in the right direction."
In addition, the exam will "encourage more medical schools to build informatics into their training programs and to begin addressing real-world information management needs of physicians in virtually every work environment," he said.
"It is entirely appropriate and timely to certify clinical informatics as a specialized area of training and expertise in an era when more and more clinicians are turning to data-driven, computer-assisted clinical decision support to provide care for their patients," AMIA board Chairwoman Nancy Lorenzi of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, said. "Clinical informatics blends medical and informatics knowledge to support and optimize healthcare delivery."
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