AMIA Announces Advanced Health Informatics Certification Eligibility Requirements

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Cynthia S. Gadd Appointed as Executive Director Charged with Creation of Examination Board

Cynthia S. Gadd

The President and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Douglas B. Fridsma, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI, presented the anticipated eligibility requirements for Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) today at the InSpire 2016 Academic Forum Conference in Columbus, Ohio. AMIA has developed AHIC 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. 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).

AMIA has named Cynthia S. Gadd, PhD, MBA, MS, FACMI, as 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, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and is taking sabbatical to establish a health informatics certification entity. Dr. 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, MD, FACMI, Chair, AMIA Board of Directors.

The papers published today 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.” The requirements were approved by the AMIA board in November 2015.

The paper outlines eligibility requirements in detail, the core of which rests 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.

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. 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.

“AMIA is the steward of the health informatics profession. It is our members who define the body of knowledge and set the standards for informatics practice that underpins the professionalization of the field. With rapid advance in EHR adoption and health information technology, there is a demand for qualified expertise and an understanding of best practices that goes beyond the skill set for basic health data management. AHIC will define the career pathway for health informatics professionals and provide employers with reliable information for hiring, training and promotion.” said Dr. Fridsma.

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.

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

About AMIA
AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,000 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.

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