Your working life in clinical informatics will involve looking at how information and data can help patients and the delivery of care. This could include:
- analysing information about falls on wards to prevent hospital patients having accidents
- helping to develop electronic patient records that link healthcare organisations, for example GPs and hospital clinics.
- running systems that store and share X-rays, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
Clinical informatics staff are usually qualified health professionals, such as doctors, nurses or allied health professionals who develop a strong interest in using IT and information to find better ways of working. There are also a number of roles at a more junior level where clinical experience isn’t necessary.
Roles in clinical informatics
Explore some of the roles in clinical informatics:
- administrative assistant in clinical informatics
- clinical informatics specialist manager
- pathology links manager
- picture and archiving communication system (PACS) adminstrator
Administrative assistant in clinical informatics
Administrative assistants in clinical informatics could work in a variety of areas. An example could be supporting the Informatics Learning Networks (ILN). ILNs provide networking and continuous professional development opportunities for clinicians and other healthcare staff. They offer a variety of support, including seminars, small focused learning groups and web support.
Clinical informatics specialist manager
Clinical informatics specialist managers carry out full or part-time research, using their understanding of clinical practice to find ways to improve services. They manage information services for a specialist area such as maternity services and will assist in the development of specific IT and/or information projects, such as the electronic patient record.
Pathology links manager
Pathology links managers are usually healthcare professionals. They are responsible for the IT systems and applications that link shared pathology services.
Clinical informatics involves the capture, communication and use of data and clinical knowledge to support health professionals
Their role is to ensure that the IT system works reliably and is compliant with national information governance regulations. The work will involve a range of tasks including:
- collating and inputting data into specialist computer programmes,
- ensuring information meets appropriate requirements for information
- analysing data and drawing conclusions based on set reporting procedures.
To become a pathology links officer, you will usually need to have trained and worked in a relevant clinical area. A good example would be someone who has trained and worked as a biomedical scientist.
Picture archiving communication system (PACS) administrator
A PACS administrator supports the radiography department by storing and images such as x-rays, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. They’ll also use digital systems to transfer them to specialists within a trust and around the country.