AMIA’s Path Toward Establishing Informatics Certification
AMIA has developed Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) eligibility requirements, intended for informatics professionals representing the spectrum of primary disciplines, and defined eligibility requirements comparable in rigor to the clinical informatics subspecialty for physicians.
Papers published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) July 2016 issue, detail the development process and the requirements. The requirements were approved by the AMIA board in November 2015.
Creating Advanced Health Informatics Certification
Cynthia S Gadd, Jeffrey J Williamson, Elaine B Steen, and Douglas B Fridsma. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2016; 23(4):848-850.
Eligibility Requirements for Advanced Health Informatics Certification
Cynthia S Gadd, Jeffrey J Williamson, Elaine B Steen, Katherine, P Andriole, Connie Delaney, Karl Gumpper, Martin LaVenture, Doug Rosendale, Dean F Sittig, Thankam Thyvalikakath, Peggy Turner, and Douglas B Fridsma. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2016; 23(4):851-854.
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In 2016, Cynthia S. Gadd, PhD, MBA, MS, FACMI, was named the Executive Director of a new certifying entity to manage the AMIA-developed AHIC that will be capable of offering an exam within the next two years. She is currently a Professor and Vice-Chair for Educational Affairs, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University and is taking sabbatical to establish a health informatics certification entity.
Scope of AHIC
Health Informatics professionals lead the development, implementation, management and evaluation of information and communication systems designed to improve clinical and public health processes and outcomes, enhance patient and health professional interactions with the health system, and strengthen the ability of communities and individuals to manage their health. – AMIA Advanced Interprofessional Informatics Certification Work Group 2015
The core of the eligibility requirements as published in JAMIA rest in
1) Practice focus on information and knowledge problems that directly impact the practice of healthcare, public health, and personal health,
2) Education in primary health fields and health informatics at the graduate level, and,
3) Significant experience in health informatics establishing an advanced level of real-world accomplishment.
It is expected that during AHIC’s early phase of certification a “practice” or “experience” pathway will offset the health informatics education requirement for experienced candidates.
Development of the Eligibility Requirements
AMIA’s development timeline for advanced certification germinated in a 2005 town hall meeting at the AMIA 2005 Annual Symposium. Progress through subsequent task force and research led the AMIA Board of Directors to empanel the Academic Forum Advanced Interprofessional Informatics Certification Work Group in 2014. Dr. Gadd chaired the Work Group that was charged with making recommendations to create health informatics certification for the full spectrum of primary disciplines, including the necessary eligibility requirements. The Work Group included representatives from dentistry, health informatics research, nutrition, nursing, osteopathy, pharmacy, public health, and radiology. They surveyed subject matter experts (66 total individuals) to develop the foundational eligibility requirements.
When the Advanced Health Informatics Certification is established, AHIC will join the Medical Subspecialty of Clinical Informatics as the standard bearer for the highest and most rigorous level of evaluation for health informatics professionals.
- Strengthen the profession of health informatics by creating a way for advanced practitioners to demonstrate their expertise.
- Establish advanced certification in health informatics that meets the needs of individuals from diverse health professions and is equivalent in rigor to the clinical informatics medical subspecialty.
- Create a clear pathway for professionals seeking advanced certification, including those who need more education and training.
- Dedicate significant resources toward the realization of the certification program launch.