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Health Informatics is a new and interesting field that combines certain aspects of computer programming and IT management with the healthcare field. In recent years, hospitals and other healthcare-related organizations have learned to rely heavily on computers and programs to help with assisting patients on a regular basis. Hospitals keep important health data, patient information, and employee records on computer systems - which must be maintained by trained professionals.
Online MHI Programs
Traditional MHI programs have long been the norm for upcoming students that are looking to advance their degree and career. However, in recent years, the increase in quality of online degree programs has led to a large number of students pursuing their degrees in an online setting. Online degree programs consist of the same curriculum as traditional programs, just in a slightly different format. Read more about online degree programs and what they consist of below.
Online degree programs require students to complete the normal application process and prerequisites present within traditional programs. For Health Informatics programs, students can expect to show proof of the acquisition of a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology or other relevant field prior to becoming enrolled. Once in the program, students will follow a required schedule of courses in order to get the most out of their educational experience.
Most master's level programs take about 2 years on average to complete. Depending on whether you are enrolled full-time or not - that timeframe can change drastically. Some online MHI programs can be completed in around 1 year if students are willing to take courses at a faster rate in order to complete sooner. Arizona State University currently offers an online Master of Advanced Study in Health Informatics to students that are interested in getting involved in the field of Health Informatics from their very own home.
Programs such as this one typically have around 30 credit hours total for the entirety of the experience and have a shorter duration. Online programs may also have multiple start dates per year - which is a big factor for students that are ready and willing to get started in the program as soon as possible. As you search for accredited and convenient programs in your area, be sure to consider your needs as a primary component of your choice.
Specific MHI Course List
Within each master's program, you might see a slight variation in the titles of courses and their descriptions. Almost no colleges are alike in their course names and topics, but all are required to provide a wealth of information into the IT and Healthcare components required for this degree program. Our team of educational experts has provided a list of courses that are common within MHI programs across the country. Take a look at some of the courses below to get to know the topics you may see throughout your college experience.
- Fundamentals of Health Informatics: This introductory course helps students understand how technology can assist through the patient care process - from intake to discharge and beyond. An overview of health informatics may be provided - including topics such as database management, operating systems, and IT support.
- Legal, Ethical, and Social Issues: The purpose of this course is to help student identify and analyze potential issues within the healthcare system. Having an ethical knowledge of healthcare can help students better prepare for system and identify protection, potential system failures, and social repercussions of such issues.
- American Healthcare System: Students within this course can learn about the economic and social topics that come into play within the American Healthcare system. Different topics such as financial support, social services, and provider regulations may be discussed in this course in an effort to help student better understand the system in which they will work.
- Healthcare Operations: This course can help student better recognize the responsibilities and duties of different areas within healthcare systems. Emergency care, patient billing and insurance, and clinical practice are a few of the topics that students can expect to indulge in within this course.
- Decision Support Systems: Students that are enrolled in this course may address topics that are related to the potential for human error within the healthcare field. Students may also learn about the different support systems that are available to help thwart the possibility of error within this field, so that patient care is improved for all people.
Health Informatics Career Options
Although you may have a strict idea of what to expect after obtaining your degree, there are actually many diverse options for pursuing a job after graduation. Below this section you will see a few examples of popular choices for graduates like you, but this is not an exhaustive list. Graduates in Health Informatics can pursue careers in research, development, and even leadership within healthcare agencies. Depending on your strengths as a professional and your previous work experience, you could take advantage of many different openings when you are ready to get started in the field.
- Computer Programmer: $79,840 on average per year (BLS).
- Computer Systems Analyst: $87,220 on average per year (BLS).
- Database Administrator: $84,950 on average per year (BLS).