Technology Careers

Careers in Health Informatics
Day in the Life of a Clinical Systems Analyst

Jane Meyers
IT Specialty:
Nursing/Health Informatics
Job Title:
Project Manager, Clinical Systems Analyst
Legacy Health Systems
B.S. in Healthcare Administration

Q. How long have you had your degree?
A. BSN since 1992

Q. In what ways do you feel your degree adequately prepared you for your nursing informatics career?
A. It did little to prepare me for this field.

Q. How many years have you been in the IT field?
A. IT related 5 years

Q. How long have you been in nursing informatics?
A. About 7 years

Q. Have you ever been in an IT specialty outside of nursing informatics?
A. Preoperative (surgical services)

Q. Why did you choose to go into nursing informatics?
A. I have always liked what computers could do to help make data more accessible and easier to read. I like to play with computers.

Q. What personality traits and skills do you possess that you feel help you in nursing informatics?
A. Analytical, logical, and a problem solver.

Q. What steps does someone go through to get a job in nursing informatics?
A. Actually the field is pretty wide open right now. I do know some who are doing this who didn't want it. If it's a hospital, they will usually grow their own.

Q. What are ways to advance in your field?
A. Earning your masters in informatics doesn't hurt. I would suggest one with some computer programming combined. It helps to understand the limitations and the possibilities of what computers can be used for.

Q. What is the most enjoyable thing about your job?
A. Training new nurses how to use computers in the OR. It's challenging, but fun. They need lots of support and encouragement because they have to use this for direct pt care very soon after training. It is gratifying when it goes well for a “go live” because they had adequate training and time to practice before going “live”.

Q. What is the biggest challenge regarding your job?
A. Salary. At the facility I work at they do not consider this an important area to be, so we are salaried but paid much less than nurses who do direct pt care. We are working on getting this changed, but it takes time to help others understand the importance of something they can't put their finger on.

Q. What are your daily tasks like?

  • Pull up the beginning reports for daily database updates (on computer).
  • Add new listings to database and send out communication to others that it is completed.
  • Look at calendar, identify if project is on track.
  • Identify who and what is needed for upcoming week and verify their schedule is completed.
  • Respond to support phone calls from end-users and help them through their questions.
  • Respond to email support requests from end-users & help them through their questions.

Q. Run multiple reporting needs for administration.
A. Build preference cards for upcoming facility go live. Build training database for upcoming training sessions.

Q. What skills do you use at work?
A. Political, computer, problem solving, time management, process improvement, etc.

Q. What are three current "hot topics" or topics of discussion in nursing informatics?
A. Whether it is truly better to be automated with any system that is available on the market, or whether there is truly one that is "better". How the electronic documentation changes will affect healthcare truly be cost effective. How long will it really take to get everyone on the same page in regard to an electronic healthcare record?

Q. Why do you feel nursing informatics is “THE” field to be in?
A. If you like working with computers and helping others with their computer questions and searching for answers, you will like this field. It is a field that is growing astronomically (explains why so many are just moved into it without any experience). It will be here for a long time to come. The salaries will get better and be more competitive with an IT and nursing perspective. They already are in many regions, just not in the northwest yet.