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AMIA Outlines Workforce Development Guidelines for Chief Clinical Informatics Positions

March 17, 2016
by David Raths
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CCIOs must complete clearly defined clinical informatics education and training, AMIA says

An American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) task force has developed recommendations addressing workforce development needs at the chief clinical information officer level within healthcare organizations.

The report presents a framework for the education, training and selection of chief medical informatics officers (CMIOs), chief nursing informatics officers (CNIOs) as well as the rarely used chief pharmacy informatics officer (CPIO) and chief dental informatics officer (CDIO) positions.

The task force concluded that while the role of the CCIO currently is diverse, a growing body of clinical informatics and increasing certification efforts are resulting in increased homogeneity. The task force advised that 1) to achieve a predictable and desirable skillset, the CCIO must complete clearly defined and specified clinical informatics education and training; and 2) future education and training must reflect the changing body of knowledge and must be guided by changing day-to-day informatics challenges.

The report references ongoing certification efforts. AMIA led the effort to create the clinical informatics subspecialty certification (initialized in 2013). Currently, work is proceeding through another AMIA task force to develop an Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC).

The report was developed by the AMIA Task Force on CCIO Knowledge, Education, and Skillset Requirements and led by Joseph L. Kannry, M.D., lead technical informaticist-EMR project, Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

“In the past 10 years the chief clinical informatics officer position has flourished in the healthcare landscape, albeit without many guidelines for expected skill and education or the operational scope of the role,” said Dr. Kannry, in a prepared statement. “AMIA is offering these guidelines to help advise C-suite executives on potential staff selection criteria for CCIOs, as well as inform informatics professionals broadly on the state of the field. The stakes are high when addressing improved quality of care, better outcomes and lower costs. Organizations cannot afford to fill a CCIO position with a person of uncertain skill, education or knowledge.”