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AMIA Develops Eligibility Requirements for Advanced Health Informatics Certification

June 29, 2016
by David Raths
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Cynthia Gadd to lead entity charged with creation of examination board

The American Medical Informatics Association has developed requirements for an Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC).  The certification is intended for informatics professionals representing the spectrum of primary disciplines, and the eligibility requirements are comparable in rigor to the clinical informatics subspecialty for physicians, AMIA said.

The core eligibility requirements are broken down into:

Practice focus on information and knowledge problems that directly impact the practice of healthcare, public health, and personal health;

Education in primary health fields and health informatics at the graduate level; and

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.

AMIA has named Cynthia Gadd, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.S., the executive director of a new certifying entity that will be capable of offering an AHIC exam within the next two years. She is currently a professor and vice-chair for educational affairs in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and is taking sabbatical to establish a health informatics certification entity.

Gadd is responsible for developing core content, eligibility requirements, and a certification examination in accordance with AMIA board directives. “Dr. Gadd's leadership is a crucial component for building a credible, strong, and independent voice for initial and ongoing certification of eventual AHIC candidates. As such, AMIA is committing significant resources to move certification forward. In the future, AMIA intends to be the primary source of preparatory education and maintenance of certification support for individuals involved in AHIC,” said Thomas Payne, M.D., chair of AMIA’s board of directors, in a prepared statement.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of two papers on AHIC published this morning in the Journal of the America Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). The papers published in the JAMIA July 2016 issue detail the development process and the requirements: “Creating Advanced Health Informatics Certification” and “Eligibility Requirements for Advanced Health Informatics Certification.”

AMIA’s development work on advanced certification germinated in a 2005 town hall meeting at AMIA’s 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. 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, and pharmacy.