The Role of Clinical Informatics and Clinical Informaticians in Improving Health and Social Care

As we are a newly founded faculty, we wanted to take the time to explain exactly what ‘Clinical Informatics’ is and how it can improve service delivery for professional health and care providers. Clinical Informaticians use information and information technology to capture, use and communicate clinical knowledge, providing vital support to health and care professionals. Their work ensures that health and social care workers can provide safe, efficient and effective person-centred care to all.

The Faculty of Clinical Informatics is the first and only professional membership body for Clinical Informaticians in the UK* and momentum towards full establishment of the Faculty is gathering as we enter the tail end of 2018. The Faculty’s long-term goal is to become the UK professional membership body for clinical informaticians, who use their unique knowledge of person-centred care alongside informatics concepts, methods and tools, to promote safe, effective, efficient, timely, and unbiased care.

By the end of last year, the we were delighted to have gathered more than double our intended intake of Founding Fellows, welcoming over 100 health and care professionals who range between dentists, nurses, medics, pharmacists, social workers and other clinical professionals; this has been boosted this year with the intake of a further 44 Fellows. Vital expertise will be provided by this extensive spectrum of professionals, which is set to guide the direction of our fledgling faculty to being able to provide the best possible service for members and care recipients. The next stage is to grow our membership categories, to include more specialist informaticians from the health and social care community, to bring us one step closer to developing and enhancing care throughout the UK.

Bringing clinical informaticians together through Faculty membership will enable us to support members and firmly establish clinical informatics as a recognised and respected profession by providing several resources and services including:

  • publication of initial standards for competence and conduct for clinical informaticians;
  • advice and support for doctors’ appraisal and revalidation in medical informatics;
  • providing professional accreditation for individuals and training courses;
  • supporting health and social care clinical informaticians at every stage of their career;
  • promoting the profession;
  • and providing professional leadership.

Drawing from expertise provided by the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the P2020 Building a Digital Ready Workforce Programme, the Faculty is set to provide a range of services to enhance professional standards and career development to members, who will consist of clinical informatics specialists within health and care-giving fields. We value your professional opinion and we are also interested to hear from students, so we encourage you to register your interest to keep abreast of developments and be in a position to help shape what we are set to become.

The FCI has been established to demonstrate the value of clinical informatics in health and social care, whilst enhancing person-centred care through the best use of information technology. More importantly, it exists to support safe, efficient and effective health care for all. To achieve our landmark goals for 2018 and beyond, the Faculty is committed to setting and meeting the highest standards in everything we do, with a focus on working collaboratively with others to achieve our aims. We are ensuring that our primary focus is on people and we are embracing new ideas and innovation to drive the Faculty and its objectives forwards whilst using and building the evidence base in education and training in informatics. Openness, transparency, equality and diversity are keystones for the Faculty.

2018 is set to be a very exciting year for Clinical Informaticians in the UK and whether you join us on our journey as a member or simply wish to keep informed of the positive effect this new Faculty is going to have on the health and care professional landscape, be sure to sign up for regular updates or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

* We are working closely with the Federation for Informatics Professionals (Fed-IP), which is being developed as an umbrella professional body for non-clinical informaticians.