AMIA report details future clinical informatics workforce

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A report from the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) lays out workforce development needs at the chief clinical informatics officer level to provide skilled executive level leadership in informatics science within healthcare organizations.

The AMIA Task Force Report on CCIO Knowledge, Education, and Skillset Requirements was developed by the AMIA Task Force on CCIO Knowledge, Education, and Skillset Requirements and led by Joseph L. Kannry, MD, Task Force Chair and Lead Technical Informaticist-EMR Project, Mount Sinai Medical Center. The report presents a framework for the education, training and selection of a CCIO workforce. The term encompasses the more commonly used chief medical informatics officer (CMIO) and chief nursing informatics officer (CNIO) as well as the rarely used chief pharmacy informatics officer (CPIO) and chief dental informatics officer (CDIO).

“In the past 10 years the chief clinical informatics officer position has flourished in the healthcare landscape, albeit without many guidelines for expected skill and education or the operational scope of the role,” said Kannry. “AMIA is offering these guidelines to help advise C-suite executives on potential staff selection criteria for CCIOs, as well as inform informatics professionals broadly on the state of the field. The stakes are high when addressing improved quality of care, better outcomes and lower costs. Organizations cannot afford to fill a CCIO position with a person of uncertain skill, education or knowledge.”

The task force concluded that while the role of the CCIO currently is diverse, a growing body of clinical informatics and increasing certification efforts are resulting in increased homogeneity.

The task force based its report on the following:

  • To achieve a predictable and desirable skillset, the CCIO must complete clearly defined and specified clinical informatics education and training.
  • Future education and training must reflect the changing body of knowledge and must be guided by changing day-to-day informatics challenges.

The report references ongoing certification efforts, an important goal which AMIA advocates for to continue the professionalization of the field. AMIA led the effort to create the clinical informatics subspecialty certification (initialized in 2013). Currently, work is proceeding through another AMIA task force to develop an Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC). In addition to presenting results from the CCIO Task Force report, at the iHealth 2016 meeting, AMIA will also conduct a listening session with attendees about AHIC and informatics certification.

Findings will be presented publicly at the AMIA iHealth 2016 Clinical Informatics Conference, May 4-6 in Minneapolis.