Sponsored by Oregon Business

Informatics: a new kind of health worker

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, January 01, 2008

MEDFORD Asante Health System found itself recently in a sort of technological no-man’s land.

On one side, the IT workers who keep Asante’s day-to-day technology systems up and running. On the other, clinicians who’ve found themselves not only using more and more health-care-specific IT, but who’ve also found technological glitches and large volumes of electronic data harder and harder to handle.

What the hospital system needed for relief was a new kind of worker who could combine IT know-how with health-care savvy.

So Asante teamed up with Rogue Community College, landed a $433,000 grant and created a new kind of employee: the health-care informatics assistant.

Through a training program set up with RCC, 22 Asante employees — receptionists, phlebotomists and the like — will take a total of 16 courses in everything from anatomy and chemistry to networking and databases.

When finished, they will be promoted into the position of health-care informatics assistant to train new clinicians on department systems, troubleshoot, install equipment and perform other tasks.

“Which will allow our health-care providers to spend more time with patients,” says Mike Hancock,  Asante’s HR director.

The development of this position is the latest evolutionary step for medical informatics in Oregon, which 40 years ago was little more than a few doctors tinkering around with early-model computers. Now medical informatics permeates health care in everything from electronic  records to computerized databases, websites and more.

“Anyone who’s involved in clinical information really needs to understand how it operates,” says Bill Hersh, professor and chair of the department of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology at Oregon Health & Science University. “And it’s not just computers and IT; it’s an entire understanding of health care.”


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

100 Best Nonprofits: Working for equality inside and out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Striving for social equity is the mission of many nonprofits, and this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey shows employees are most satisfied with their organizations’ fair treatment of differing racial, gender, disability, age and economic groups. But as a national discourse about racial discrimination and equity for low-income groups takes center stage, data show Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For still need to make progress on addressing these issues within their own organizations.


The God complex

Linda Baker
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
093015-zydellren-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

The media coverage about Pope Francis must have put me in a Biblical frame of mind. Because after touring the latest phase of the South Waterfront development, a mind boggling 1.5 million square feet of office and retail space that will spring up north of the aerial tram over the next few years, I couldn’t stop thinking about the massive project as a modern day creation story.


Photos: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon awards dinner

The Latest
Thursday, October 01, 2015
100best202thumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the big 2015 celebration of worker-friendly organizations that make a difference.


Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


100 Best Nonprofits announced

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1015-nonprofits01Oregon Business magazine has named the seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon. The rankings were revealed Wednesday night during an awards dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.


Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Salad Days

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

How Portland's Garden Bar plans to become the Starbucks of salad.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02