Clinical Informatics was first designated as a nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1992 and Clinical Informatics was approved by the American Board of Medical Specialty (ABMS) as a certified medical subspecialty in 2011. Since that time, the focus of informaticists has been on the implementation, support and optimization of electronic health records across the United States spurred by meaningful use and the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. However, many do not understand what these professionals do in their practice and their full future impact. Informaticists blend their clinical knowledge, experience and expert understanding of clinical workflow with information management and analytical sciences. They bridge the science and art of care with the exciting world of technology bringing both skill in their areas of practice and a keen aptitude in information technology. Coupled with the promise of predictive analytics, precision medicine and other advanced technologies, this distinctively skilled group is uniquely poised to dramatically impact individual care as well as population outcomes, uncover major cost saving opportunities and give back time to the bedside care providers who have long been burdened with entering copious amounts of data often without significant benefit.
Many industries have already been harnessing the power of predictive analytics. The airline industry uses predictive analytics in determining consumer purchasing patterns and real time pricing. Shipping and logistic workers can optimize delivery times using predictive analytics to determine best shipping routes, timing and carriers. Oil and gas companies use analytics to determine the best potential for drilling locations. What all of these have in common is large amounts of diverse data that must be interpreted relationally to each other.