The Informatics portion of this degree program deals primarily with the use of technology within the health care system. Students that choose Informatics as a specialty can learn to work with and implement computer information systems, patient data storage, and applied technologies.
The course work for this specialty may include courses that teach students to write and comprehend computer languages, troubleshoot problematic systems, and provide leadership to health care teams that work with these technologies.
The George Washington University’s (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) programs for healthcare professionals, including a BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management.
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If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating specialty within Health Administration, read along in our guide below. Our team of educational experts has been researching educational programs for over a decade. They have found some helpful information that can help guide you along your way.
Example courses to expect
Entering into a MHA: Informatics degree program can be an exciting experience. Our team has researched some popular degree programs in order to give you a better look at the classes you can take throughout these programs. As you can see below, the topics that are included in these degree programs can touch on very different aspects of the health care field overall all.
- Health Care Law: As a leader and information technology specialist, professionals must be aware of the laws and regulations that are present within the field of health care. This course identifies relevant laws that are applicable within varying fields of health care and also may present scenarios in which students can apply their knowledge. Medical ethics, patient care, and employee treatment may also be addressed during this class.
- Computer-Based Patient Record: It is vital that students within this degree program not only understand the uses and purposes of computer-based patient record systems, but also know the regulations that are associated with using these types of programs. This course can help students broaden their understanding of the rules, requirements, and regulations associated with using computer-based information systems. Topics such as IOM standards, data warehouses, and integration technology may be discussed throughout this course.
- Epidemiology and Community Health: This course is a useful tool for students that are looking for broad knowledge within the field of health care. Some of the topics that may be covered during this course include those that focus on the overall health of the community, factors that can play a role in overall health, and data pertaining to these facts. Students that are interested in pursuing management positions can benefit from learning more about the risk factors of their communities.
Notable Schools Offering MHAs in Informatics
The University of North Carolina – Charlotte
In order to accommodate for the need for educational programs in both Health Administration and Health Informatics, schools such as UNC Charlotte have began to offer joint programs to interested learners. The joint MHA/MS Informatics program at this university can help students gain the skills needed to become technologically-advanced leaders within the health care field. This innovative program requires that students complete 65 credit hours of course work, which can be finished within 2-3 years at full-time enrollment. Students that graduate from this program receive both degrees upon completion.
Saint Joseph’s University
SJU currently offers the MHA: Informatics program to interested learners. At this school, students can learn more about what it takes to be a progressive leader in the health care field, while gaining multiple skills to help advance their career. This entire program consists of 42 credit hours, which can be completed in 1-2 years at full-time enrollment. The course work that is required for this program includes those that focus on the inner aspects of the health care environment and those that pertain directly to computer information systems and technologies in hospitals and health care agencies.
Difference between an MS, MSN, and MHA in Informatics
The MHA in Informatics can provide students with a subtle blend of some of the most important components within the health care system. The MHA on its own can provide learners with further information into home health care systems operate. Through this program, students can learn about the laws and regulations that are placed upon health care facilities, the financial management of said facilities, and methods for maintaining a healthy workplace for employees.
The Informatics distinction can be helpful in teaching students about the different health information systems that are utilized in health care settings. This information is increasingly important as society grows more accustomed to using computers and technology on a day-to-day basis. Choosing this specialization can give students skills in both areas, while other degree programs focus on other specifics.
Some similar degree programs that can you choose from, but provide different focuses are the MS in Informatics and the MSN in Informatics. The MS in Informatics focuses specifically on the computer and information systems that are used by hospitals and other health care organizations. Students that want to primary work with these systems may choose this degree program, which does not contain a lot of the content of management and organizational information that MHA programs provide.
The MSN in Informatics is another popular choice for upcoming college students. This degree program is for RNs that have worked in the field of nursing. The MSN distinction can teach students about the advanced practices available in the field of nursing, with a specialization in computer information systems and patient data systems.
Career Outcomes / Day to Day Job Responsibilities
- Providing leadership in health care settings
- Planning or troubleshooting patient information systems
- Training staff on patient information systems
- Providing input during data system analysis
- Budgeting and financial planning