Three leading health informatics associations will launch a new health informatician certification program at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC2013) in Adelaide in July.
Developed by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) in collaboration with the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) and the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA), the program is aimed at addressing the lack of formal recognition for health informatics skills in the Australian health workforce.
Participation in the program will be via directed self-learning, leading to a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) award after successfully passing an exam.
Candidates must have an undergraduate degree plus experience in health informatics and associated health fields such as administration/management, clinical information systems, eHealth or information systems.
HISA CEO Louise Schaper said engaging clinicians and health informaticians early in the business case, design, implementation and evaluation of eHealth initiatives had proven positive outcomes, yet too often these initiatives were treated as ‘IT projects’ that don’t have health informatician involvement.
That is a mistake, Dr Schaper said. “As Australia’s peak body for health informatics and eHealth, [we] hear from institutions and individuals alike complaining either of a lack of skilled workers or a lack of job opportunities.
“What is desperately needed to help address this issue is training and recognition of health informatics knowledge and skills for those already part of the health workforce.”
The certification program has been developed by a committee composed of representatives from HISA, HIMAA and ACHI and includes leaders in health informatics academia and the health and IT sector.
The core competencies tested in the exam have been developed with reference to similar programs by the American Medical Informatics Association, the International Medical Informatics Association and the Canadian Health Informatics Association's COACH program, and build on the previous work done by the Australian Health Informatics Education Council.
The learning streams for the Australian program are ICT, health sciences, information sciences, management sciences, human and social context, and core principals and methods.
The official program launch will take place at HIC on July 16, in conjunction with a workshop and education session. The first exams will take place in October 2013.
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