Health informatics jobs available with the government are increasing due to the demand for qualified professionals to ethically and efficiently manage medical data using information technology. According to the National Institute of Health, trained health informatics specialists adapt and use information technology to confidentially provide healthcare services. The NIH also generates resources and statistics from professional organizations and government agencies about the latest health informatics trends, including training and career readiness viewpoints. As a result, qualified healthcare informatics specialists are sought for all levels of government work to promote public awareness about how information technology affects healthcare services and implement technology programs that secure and use patient information appropriately.

Educational and Certification Standards for Government Employees

Government standards require health informatics employees to hold degrees from schools accredited regionally through the Council on Higher Education Association (CHEA). Additionally, accredited HI curricula is recognized and overseen by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Health informatics jobs available with the government at state and federal levels will usually require at least a bachelor's degree in the field. Some local level jobs may accept those with associate's degrees. Employers are looking for graduates to have applicable knowledge of:

  • Appropriate management of digital healthcare records
  • Professional, legal, confidential and behavioral ethics for handling patient information
  • Medical coding for diagnostic and treatment procedures, pharmacology, and billing protocols
  • Human and social issues affecting the attainment and use of healthcare information
  • Staff and program management principles
  • Statistics and research

Some health informatics jobs available with the government require that employees hold national certification from the Healthcare and Information Management Society (HIMSS). Two options are available:

  • Certification for those at the associate level with less than five years of work experience
  • Certification for professionals holding at least a bachelor's degree with five or more years of continuous employment

Government Careers in Healthcare Informatics

A number of healthcare informatics jobs exist at local, state and federal levels. Healthcare informatics specialists find that employment at government agencies offers a sustainable career with reasonable salary potential and possibilities for advancement. Settings where health informatics professionals might find government employment include:

  • Local level: Health departments, emergency preparedness programs, regional hospitals, public schools, municipal offices, insurance companies, substance abuse programs, environment health agencies, and non-profit organizations such as the American Cancer Society or the Red Cross
  • State level: Public universities, military installations or training academies, veterans centers, medical research facilities, state sponsored health groups and insurance carriers, Medicaid and Medicare providers, research facilities associated with state schools or federal programs, disaster response teams, and environmental health programs
  • National level: Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology, Rural Health Technology Center, Consumer Health Informatics Research, National Center for Health Statistics, and others

Related Resource: Public Health Advisor

All levels of government have responsibilities towards citizens to provide effective, confidential healthcare management of personal, medical information. As a result, agencies are seeking the most highly trained, health informatics specialists to appropriately and competently provide quality healthcare informatics services. Those possessing degrees from accredited health informatics programs along with requested certifications will find numerous health informatics jobs available with the government.