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Clinical Informatics (IM)
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Specialty Description

Clinical informatics is a subspecialty that transforms health care by analyzing, designing, implementing, and evaluating information and communication systems to improve patient care, enhance access to care, advance individual and population health outcomes, and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship.

Physicians who practice clinical informatics draw from the broader field of biomedical and health information technology (IT) as they apply informatics methods, concepts, and tools to the practice of medicine. They must understand the culture, boundaries, and complexities of the field. The stakeholders, structures, and processes that constitute the health system affect the information and knowledge needs of health care professionals and influence the selection and implementation of clinical information processes and systems. Physicians who practice clinical informatics collaborate with other health care and IT professionals and provide consultative services that use their knowledge of patient care combined with their understanding of informatics concepts, methods, and health IT tools to improve clinical practice. The educational program in clinical informatics is two years in length.