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The Field of Clinical Informatics

Clinical Informatics is defined by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) as “the application of informatics and information technology to deliver healthcare service.” Now that electronic health record systems are amost universally used in all health care settings, clinical informatics trained physicians have become vital to the success of any hospital or health system. Chief Medical Information Officers (CMIOs), Chief Analytics Officers (CAOs), Chief Research Informatics Officers (CRIOs), Chief Innovation Officers all practice some form of clinical informatics.

In 2011, Clinical Informatics was approved as a board-eligible subspecialty. The first board certifications were awarded in 2013 by the American Board of Pathology. Up until the end of 2022, physicians have been allowed to sit for the board examination if they had spent 25% or more of their time over the prior 5 years practicing Clinical Informatics. Beginning in 2023, physicians must complete (at minimum) a 2-year fellowship program in clinical informatics to be eligible for board certification in Clinical Informatics.

Clinical Informatics is not about programming computers (although that can be part of it for some people). It is about using information systems and the data generated by them to enhance patient care, patient experience, and population health. To train Clinical Informaticians, our program will teach fellows how to analyze workflows, design and implement information systems, lead successful change across large organizations, and manipulate data (including use of machine learning) to generate new knowledge.