Clinical informatics to become a board-certified medical subspecialty
Exams to begin in 2012
WASHINGTON – In October, Healthcare IT News reported that American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) would recognize clinical informatics (CI) as a subspecialty, with exams beginning in 2012 and certification to begin in early 2013.
The certification will be available to physicians who have primary specialty certification through ABMS.
According to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the ABMS inclusion of CI as a subspecialty follows a multi-year effort on AMIA’s part to get the subspecialty recognized.
AMIA officials said many of its members have pioneered the field and supported CI’s new status as an ABMS-recognized area of clinical expertise.
“It is entirely appropriate and timely to certify clinical informatics as a specialized area of training and expertise in an era when more and more clinicians are turning to data-driven, computer-assisted clinical decision support to provide care for their patients,” said AMIA’s Board of Directors Chair Nancy Lorenzi, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Clinical informatics blends medical and informatics knowledge to support and optimize healthcare delivery.”
“Establishment of the clinical informatics medical subspecialty is consistent with the current emphasis on broadening and professionalizing the health information technology workforce,” said AMIA president and CEO Edward Shortliffe, MD. “With the need over the next decade for 50,000 informatics professionals in the health sector with various levels of expertise, this focus on physician expertise in clinical informatics is clearly a step in the right direction.”
“The CI exam will encourage more medical schools to build informatics into their training programs and to begin addressing real-world information management needs of physicians in virtually every work environment,” said Shortliffe.
Kevin B. Weiss, MD, ABMS president and CEO said, “As medicine continues to evolve, new subspecialties are created or enhanced to broaden the scope and quality of care provided to patients.”
“We are pleased that clinical informatics has been approved as a new subspecialty, which will ensure that physicians seeking to practice in this area receive the proper training and certification necessary at this time when U.S. health care is rapidly advancing the use of health information technology,” Weiss added.