Healthcare Informatics Foundations and Concepts

The healthcare organizations chosen for the review are the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The membership fees of IEEE depend on members’ countries of residence and the duration of membership. The fees for full-year members vary from $155 to $205 depending on the country of residence and from $77 to $101 for half-year members (“2019 IEEE membership,” 2018).

The fees for electronic memberships vary from $83 to $97 for a one-year period and from $41 to $48 for a 6-months period. For students, electronic membership is unavailable, and the fees for full-year and half-year period are $27-$36 and $13-$18 correspondingly (“2019 IEEE membership,” 2018).

The benefits of membership include access to magazines, documents, and newsletters dedicated to technology, as well as job-search engines, databases of technical consultants, discounts on IEEE products and online degree programs, and scholarships. The website of the organization features information about membership, communities, conferences, industry standards, and IEEE educational programs. It presents necessary data for all groups of individuals, including researchers, authors, educators, employers, and young professionals.

AMIA individual membership fees vary from $50 for student membership to $380 for full professional membership (“Membership categories,” 2018). The organization offers corporate membership packages for $7,500 to $50,000 depending on the benefits. The benefits include the access to publications in ACI Journal and JAMIA, quarterly educational programs and webinars, professional communities, and discounts to AMIA meetings and publications.

The website features information about the available events and meetings dedicated to technology, as well as publications and news, and educational programs. Gadd et al. (2016) note that certification requirements include a master or a doctoral degree in health informatics and 18 months of qualifying experience in the field.

HIMSS membership fees vary from $30 for students to $199 for regular membership. The benefits include access to online courses and training sessions, as well as annual conferences and regional events. The website of the organization features information about professional development, available events, and the source library. HIMSS certification requirements include a high-school diploma or equivalent for CAHIMS certification. For CPHIMS certification, an applicant should hold a baccalaureate degree with five years of experience in information and management systems or a graduate degree or higher and three years of experience in information and management systems (“Certification eligibility requirements,” 2018).

The reviewed websites show significant differences although all of them present the necessary information in full. The primary benefit of the HIMSS’ web page is that it is user-friendly and all data is easily accessible through the menu. Its disadvantage is that it does not feature any additional information on the topic. IEEE’s website presents all of the information in detail; it is divided into several groups. However, some of the data is inaccessible, such as the information about certification. Although AMIA’s web page features all of the necessary details, it is not user-friendly due to small font and the chosen colors.

Masic (2014) notes that the key component that has shaped healthcare informatics during the last 15 years is the development of computer technologies. The implementation of computers allowed for the mergers between the methods of informatics and healthcare activities. Microprocessor technology has started to be used in diagnostic systems and for several types of interventions, including surgical procedures (Masic, 2014).

The factor that has shaped healthcare informatics in the last 5 years can be defined as the development of software aimed to computerize and simplify diagnostic and documentation processes. For example, hospitals have started to utilize electronic health records, which allows for keeping all necessary information in a single database and providing rapid treatment for individuals. Moreover, patients have gained an opportunity to have quick access to the information related to health and medicine, as well as log health-related data, such as, for example, glucose levels.

The last 12 months may be defined by the increased use of wearable technology, the emergence of which has also shaped the healthcare informatics and shown that it has made progress compared to the 1990s. Individuals are now able to track their heart rate, breathing patterns, blood pressure, and even blood glucose levels. It means that patients’ safety has increased over the past decades significantly. With new technologies, healthcare informatics becomes a vital part of individuals’ everyday life.

Lecture 2 mentions the following areas that offer certification: nursing informatics, laboratory informatics, and radiology informatics. The requirements of nursing informatics include an active license of a registered nurse, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, 2 years of professional experience, 30 hours of education in nursing informatics, and hour requirements varying from 200 to 2,000 hours depending on the degree of education (“Informatics nursing certification,” n.d.).

For laboratory informatics, the criteria can be divided into three categories and generally require the baccalaureate degree or a certification in the field, as well as one year experience in Laboratory Informatics and/or clinical laboratory experience (“Qualification in laboratory informatics,” 2017). Finally, to be qualified for certification in radiology informatics, the candidates must receive at least 7 points based on their experience, education, including both the degree and continuing education, and current certifications (“Current seven-point qualification,” 2018). The maximum points are awarded for academic education (5) and related working experience (4).

Although the certification requirements include similar qualifications, they vary significantly. For example, the minimum criteria for nursing informatics include both the degree and additional education, along with work experience. The qualification requirements for radiology informatics are the most flexible of the three mentioned areas. In my opinion, it would not be feasible to have a generalized healthcare informatics certification as the examination for each area of informatics may differ significantly. Moreover, some areas may require more knowledge and experience in the field, such as laboratory or pharmacy informatics due to the complexity of the related services (Jones, Johnson, & Batstone, 2014).

There are several challenges of interoperability between the various informatics areas. In Lecture 2, the possible obstacles are presented as the lack of clear strategy, informatics resources, and coordination between all specific areas of informatics. Without these factors, it is impossible to ensure the exchange of information across platforms, systems, and infrastructure. The study by Bhartiya and Mehrotra (2014) analyzes this issue in detail.

The authors note that the establishment interoperability may be challenging due to different methods of data representation, translation limitations, different interpretations of similar terms, the lack of standard rules for data sharing and centralized storage, and the issues associated with availability and confidentiality of electronic health records. Moreover, different network requirements within organizations for various departments and the question of data ownership may present challenges to interoperability as well.

The possible methods of improvement may include standardization of interfaces, procedures, and utilized vocabularies, enhanced quality control, monitoring, and assessment, as well as encouragement of cooperation between healthcare organizations and national authorities.

Moreover, training for the users of integrated systems may increase the interoperability between the various informatics areas. It is necessary for medical professionals and healthcare organizations to understand that cooperation between various institutions and fields of medical informatics is crucial to ensure patients’ safety and good health outcomes. New technology and innovations should be implemented to serve these purposes in all medical institutions.

References

2019 IEEE membership and Society membership dues. (2018). Web.

Bhartiya, S., & Mehrotra, D. (2014). Challenges and recommendations to healthcare data exchange in an interoperable environment. Electronic Journal of Health Informatics, 8. Web.

Certification Eligibility Requirements. (2018). Web.

Current seven-point qualification system. (2018). Web.

Gadd, C. S., Williamson, J. J., Steen, E. B., Andriole, K. P., Delaney, C., Gumpper, K.,… & Fridsma, D. (2016). Eligibility requirements for advanced health informatics certification. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 23(4), 851-854.

Informatics nursing certification (RN-BC). (n.d.). Web.

Jones, R. G., Johnson, O. A., & Batstone, G. (2014). Informatics and the clinical laboratory. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 35(3), 177-192.

Masic, I. (2014). Five periods in development of medical informatics. Acta Informatica Medica, 22(1), 44-48.

Membership categories. (2018). Web.

Qualification in laboratory informatics, QLI. (2017). Web.