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Friday, September 5, 2014

Is HealthIT Software Development an Informatics Job?

I'm working on a term paper for my Business of Health Informatics class.  This question cropped up while I was writing the paper.  My answer is fairly simple: it depends.  The developer writing straight forward middle-tier database access code, or implementing the service layer, or the user interface probably doesn't need (but might benefit from) informatics training,

However, the designer and architect would certainly benefit from it.

So, is it an informatics job?  No for most.  And yes for some.  In general, I would say about 2 or even 3 orders of magnitude more people writing Health IT software would answer no.

What do you think?


  1. A career context is instructive. If all the developer wants is an IT job, without much of a chance of significant career advancement, then informatics training is not necessary.

    However, a career requires more. I'd recommend honing one's writing skills first, as lack of them inhibits advancement in any field. Also, education outside one's technical skill-set, e.g., business school, helps develop cross-discipline collaboration skills. Of course some in-depth education in one's own chosen career industry, e.g., health informatics, is most useful to open doors.

  2. I agree, it depends and certainly isn't required. Can you imagine though a group of health IT developers with at least a strong passion for, and maybe some training in, health and biomedical informatics? I've worked on dev teams where people just did the job and didn't care about the domain. I'm working on a team now where the majority are developer-informaticians and have innovative ideas for the solutions they create. I much prefer the latter. I think there is more passion in the work, and more developer minds with an informatics slant that are looking at solving a problem.