According to the definition of clinical informatics included in a 2009 American Medical Informatics Association white paper, the subspecialty transforms healthcare through analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of information and communication systems; and its certified practitioners will 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.
To qualify for certification (PDF), one must be a licensed physician already certified in another specialty and have practiced in clinical informatics for three years or completed a clinical informatics fellowship of at least 24 months. Time spent in a fellowship training program of less than 24 months can be applied to the three-year practice requirement.
Three test-preparation products are being offered by the AMIA, including a “competency tracker” that adjusts curriculum based on practice test performance. Current prices are $995 for AMIA members and $1,195 for nonmembers. Prices go up after Aug. 15. Also available are a review course that qualifies for continuing medical education credit and two online practice tests. Face-to-face courses are scheduled for Aug. 9-11 in Portland, Ore., and Sept. 9-11 in Rosemont, Ill., a Chicago suburb.
The American Board of Medical Specialties includes 24 medical boards that oversee physician certification in more than 150 specialties and subspecialties. In 2012, the ABMS approved a “dual primary certificate” for physicians specializing in interventional radiology and diagnostic radiology. The first certifications are scheduled to be awarded next year. It also approved a new subspecialty, adult congenital heart disease, but it's not yet determined when the first certifications will be offered.
The ABMS also is in the middle of a five-year pilot for recertifying internists as practitioners of hospital medicine.
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