Medical Informatics

Career Options

Information management is critical to the provision of health care in the 21st century. The tools of medical informatics help make patient care safer and more effective, and the increased use of electronic patient records promises enormous cost savings and improved efficiency. As modern health care becomes increasingly dependent on information management, employment prospects for those skilled in the field of medical informatics will continue to grow. Graduates of Northwestern's MMI program — whether their backgrounds are medical or technical — will benefit not only from the growth of the health care industry but also from an increasing demand for efficiency in health care.

MMI Potential

To comply with federal legislation mandating the use of electronic medical records, jobs for medical records and health information technicians are projected to increase 18% through 2016, driving a projected 16% increase in jobs in medical and health services management.

A Range of Opportunities

The top job in medical informatics is the executive position of CMIO, Chief Medical Information Officer, one of the fastest-growing positions in health care, according to the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems. Typically the CMIO is a board-certified or board-eligible physician who maintains a part-time clinical practice while developing and implementing IT strategies and educating users of clinical information systems.

Other strong areas for medical informatics jobs are:

Health Care Administration and Management

  • Design, extract and analyze management information from health care information systems
  • Develop implementation and financing strategies for integrating electronic health record systems into organizations
  • Create innovative applications for electronic health records
  • Provide information management consulting services to health care organizations

Clinical IT Leadership

  • Promote the design and deployment of new technologies to improve patient outcomes
    Design and develop clinical decision support and knowledge-based systems

Research

  • Develop new techniques and technologies for integrating clinical and research data and information
  • Collaborate with industry as a consultant, providing clinical input during design process

Education / Academic

  • Teach medical and clinical students, residents and fellows core informatics concepts
  • Develop education programs in biomedical informatics

Organizations Needing Medical Informatics Professionals with Master’s Degrees include:

  • Hospitals and other health care providers
  • Private health care practices
  • Medical software companies
  • Health care consulting companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical device and medical technology companies
  • Medical libraries
  • Public health organizations
  • Government and non-governmental agencies and health care associations
  • Insurance and other health care related companies
  • Research laboratories
  • Universities and colleges