What is Clinical Informatics?
The ACGME defines clinical informatics as the subspecialty of all medical specialties 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. Thus, they must understand the culture, boundaries, and complexities of the field. Further, 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 by:
- leading initiatives designed to enhance health care quality and access by supporting and facilitating care coordination and transitions of care through the procurement, customization, development, implementation, management, evaluation, and continuous improvement of clinical information systems;
- securing the legal and ethical use of clinical information;
- assessing information and knowledge needs of health care professionals and patients;
- characterizing, evaluating, and refining clinical processes;
- analyzing, developing, implementing, and refining clinical decision support systems; and,
- participating in projects designed to use technology to promote patient care that is safe, efficient, effective, timely, patient-centered, and equitable.
The UAMS Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) is home to the UAMS Clinical Informatics Fellowship Training Program, which provides state-of-the-art training and broad informatics experience for physicians pursuing advanced medical subspecialty training in applied Clinical Informatics.
Our two-year program is ACGME-accredited. Eligible applicants have successfully completed an accredited residency program in a primary medical specialty (i.e., pediatrics, internal medicine, etc.). There are two training sites for the program: Arkansas Children’s Hospital and UAMS Medical Center. The fellow stationed at each site will also perform clinical duties at that location amounting to up to 20% of their time.
Our program leadership have several aims:
- Establish a nationally-recognized Clinical Informatics medical subspecialty training program for UAMS and State of Arkansas.
- Educate culturally and academically competent Clinical Informatics professionals equipped to providing high-quality, innovative, patient- and family-centered health care through evidence-based clinical informatics practices.
- Establish an integrated, supported educational training experience for Clinical Informatics trainees in UAMS.
- Develop the Clinical Informatics research, educational and technical assistance expertise that promote the improvements in quality and safety of care for UAMS and the State of Arkansas.
What does that mean for our fellows? As part of our program, you can expect to:
- Improve the Clinical Informatics systems used in quality of care and patient safety.
- Identify Clinical Informatics-related problems in healthcare and develop solutions.
- Commit to a culture of lifelong learning by developing a broad awareness of Clinical Informatics literature, as well as resources and skills from other disciplines that enable clinical informaticians to be more effective.
- Develop leadership skills by hands-on practice managing project implementation and deployment.
- Contribute to Clinical Informatics research.
- Build a foundation of knowledge, experience, and relationships to enable continued academic contributions to the discipline of Clinical Informatics.
The program includes up to 60 hours per week of learning hours and contains several components: didactics, rotations, operational duties, clinical responsibilities, and a senior research project.
- Didactics — Up to 6 hours a week – Includes time attributed to the Biomedical Informatics Certificate program and other learning activities, such as conferences and Journal Club.
- Rotations – Up to 18 hours per week – Year 1 includes 10 mandatory rotations and 2 electives. Year 2 is all electives. Rotations are designed to expose the fellows to specific informatics areas of interest to the specialty. Rotations will likely overlap with the fellow’s research and/or operational interests in Year 2.
- Operational Responsibilities – Up to 24 hours per week – The operational responsibilities allow the fellow to develop real-world informatics skills and their ability to lead.
- Clinical responsibilities – Up to 20% of time, for a maximum of about 12 hours per week – See more detail below.
- Research – Fellows begin working on their research project in Year 1 of the program, with the goal of completion, presentation(s) and publication by the end of Year 2.
Program coursework is part of the Clinical Informatics track of our graduate degree program in Biomedical Informatics. Fellows are required to complete a Certificate Degree in Biomedical Informatics, which can be used to complete a Master of Science Degree in Biomedical Informatics.
Fellows are also required to successfully complete the EPIC Physician Builder training series that is complementary to the fellow’s clinical specialty of interest.
The Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program coordinates with the appropriate clinical or surgical specialty in the UAMS College of Medicine to allow fellows to continue to practice in their primary medical specialty.
Fellows spend up to 20% of their time in clinical practice.
Feliciano “Pele” Yu, Jr., M.D., MSPH, MSHI, FAMIA
- Program Director, UAMS Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program
- Fellowship Training Site Director for Arkansas Children’s Hospital
- Professor of Pediatrics, Biomedical Informatics, and Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Chief Medical Information Officer, Arkansas Children’s Hospital
- Board-certified in Pediatrics and Clinical Informatics
Amy Widner, M.A.
- Fellowship Program Coordinator