What is Health Informatics?
As you can see from common interaction with the healthcare field, there is constant innovation and change taking place in order to accommodate new technologies and products being made available to the public. Entering into the healthcare field as a career option can lead to fascinating and knowledgeable careers that play a part in making every day healthcare more available and more efficient for the general public. Depending on what your interests and talents are, you could potentially choose many different specialties areas for your master’s program – which can help you find better paying jobs in the field and more job satisfaction overall.
Matching Healthcare Data and Technology
Technology is a huge part of what keeps healthcare facilities and hospitals operating efficiently over their lifespan. The blend of IT-based systems and services with the healthcare field has helped create a new type of degree program for students that have an interest in both. Health Informatics is a subject area that you can choose when entering into master’s level degree programs.
As part of the curriculum of an Online Master of Health Informatics, you can learn about computer systems, information storage and retrieval, and methods for stable operation of such systems. In addition to these computer-related topics, you may also learn more about the effective functioning of healthcare systems and organizations, as well as the purpose of IT systems within this domain.
What Can Graduates of an Online MHI Program Do?
Professionals that are already working within the healthcare field at the undergraduate level are typically enrollees of MHI programs. However, anyone with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Biology, Nursing, or other related field can be accepted into the programs.
Since the goal of this program is to extend a student’s knowledge of the healthcare field and technology, those that already have education or experience in the field may get the most out of the program. The curriculum that is covered within master’s level programs in this domain can help shape tech-savvy professionals that can assist in continuous improvement of the healthcare system.
After completing a degree program, professionals can take on many different roles within the healthcare field. Health Informatics specialists can become a part of an IT team within a healthcare organization, help during the creation of new technologies for hospitals, working to find more effective means of treatment through technology, or even operate businesses that test technologies. In terms of career options, this type of degree program can potentially open doors in many different areas of business and healthcare.
What is the CAHIIM?
The first step to becoming a Health Informatics specialist or professional is to find a degree program with the right specifications. Since technology has also led to an increased number of online programs for master’s level students, the issues of quality is also a great concern for upcoming college students. In order to help students find reliable programs that are reviewed and approved, accreditation agencies were developed within different specialty areas to guide students on their search for the right educational program.
The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is the leading source of accreditation information for colleges that offer Health Informatics Management degrees across the country. The goal of accreditation agencies such as this one is to provide a relevant set of standards in which degree programs in this discipline must meet prior to being approved for accreditation. This organization’s website contains helpful information and data for students that are seeking reliable degree programs within Health Informatics. A list of accredited universities and programs can be found through a simple internet search.
If you are moving towards a Master’s degree in Health Informatics, the first step you should take is to identify which programs are available and accredited within your area. Programs that receive accreditation are under constant review to ensure that the information taught within each program is relevant and up to date with the current standards. Employers and higher degree programs often look at accreditation when determining whether or not you would be a good fit for their open positions or programs. In areas that require licensure, accreditation is mandatory in relation to higher degree programs.
14 Masters in Health Informatics Programs accredited by CAHIIM
- Boston University: Masters in Health Informatics – On Campus and Online
- College of St. Scholastica: Masters in Health Information Management – Online
- East Carolina University: Masters in Health Informatics – On Campus and Online
- Louisiana Tech University: Masters in Health Informatics – Online
- Marshall University: Masters in Health Informatics – On Campus
- Oregon Health and Science University: Masters in Health Informatics – Online
- Temple University: Masters in Health Information Management – On Campus
- University of Illinois at Chicago: Masters in Health Informatics – Online
- University of Maryland University College: Masters in Health Information Management – Online
- University of Mississippi Medical Center: Masters in Health Informatics – Online
- University of Pittsburgh: Masters in Health Information Management – On Campus
- University of South Carolina – Columbia: Masters in Health Informatics – On Campus
- University of Tennessee Health Science Center: Masters in Health Information Management – Online
- University of Washington: Masters in Health Informatics – On Campus
The Master of Health Informatics
Now that you have seen what is available in terms of accredited programs, you may want to know more about what is provided throughout these programs. The Master in Health Informatics degree program includes topics that are relevant to computer information systems, healthcare delivery, and even management. Each program has a different estimated time of completion, most ranging from 1.5 to 3 years total. These programs are also available in both traditional and online environments – which can add to the convenience for students looking for the easiest path to a higher degree.
If you want to learn more about what types of courses you may take once enrolled in this program, read along in this guide. Our team of educational experts has provided a list of common courses you may see throughout your degree program below.
- Population Health Management and Analysis: This course can introduce students to programs that are available for population health, methods for analyzing different populations of concern, and designing and implementing interventions for those target populations.
- Introduction to Health Informatics: This introductory course helps students learn the basics of Health Informatics, such as the technological, mathematical, and health-related orientation of the concentration itself. Computer information systems and methodology may also be discussed.
- Database and Modeling Applications: Students within this course can learn how the integration of Health Informatics systems and processes are designed and used within the healthcare field. This course may involve hands on practice with actual systems currently used within the healthcare field.
- Leadership in Clinical Environments: This class outlines what is required of effective leaders within the healthcare field. Conflict management, personnel function, and structure may be a few topics that students can review in this course.
- Clinical Decision Support and Evidence-Based Medicine: While in this course, students can learn about the common mistakes and mishaps that are present in human decision making. Increasing the quality of service through IT-based systems is the main focus of this course, as well as challenging some common ideas and struggles that are currently pressing in the healthcare field.
This degree program is unique in that is complements the interests of students from different educational backgrounds. Since most Master in Health Informatics programs require that students have a minimum of a Bachelor’s in Information Technology, Computer Science, Biology, or other related field – there is a high variation of students that can become a part of this program. If you want a diverse career that can lead to many profitable positions within the healthcare field, this is definitely a field to consider.
Related Degree Programs
Your search for the right degree program may also introduce you to the different degree programs and lingo that are present within this sector of healthcare. Some degree programs have similar outcomes and provide similar curriculum to what you may see in the MHI program. Other degree programs may take a slightly different perspective into the field of healthcare, which can help to strengthen a student’s knowledge of the medical field overall.
Degree programs that are indirectly related to the healthcare field such as those focusing on IT or management can help to provide students within skills that are relevant within many different fields. Choosing degree programs that provide a generalized specialty can set students on track for careers that have a particular focus within the healthcare field, such as IT management, leadership, or even business. Take a look at the related degree programs you may run into throughout your journey below.
- Master’s in Health Administration
- Master’s in Public Health
- Master’s in Business Administration
- Data Science
- Computer Science
- Information Technology Management
As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of related degree programs for students that are interested in Health Informatics. Since a lot of the topics covered throughout this degree program are relevant in other disciplines, it is not a surprise that such a wide range of related degree programs are available. Leadership skills, health policy and law, business, and computer science are all subjects that are taught within Health Informatics programs, which can also be found in the programs above.
There are many designations for students that graduate with a Master’s in Health Informatics. Since the curriculum involves a look into management, IT, and healthcare systems, your expertise touches in many facets of the healthcare field. Some of the most common careers for graduates within this major include those that are responsible for the upkeep of computer information systems within a health care environment. However, you may not be limited to just these types of careers after achieving your degree. Some students move on to higher tier positions in management, analysis, or even private practice.
Health Informatics specialists can be a part of a team of researchers that are seeking out helpful solutions for common healthcare-related dilemmas. In a normal day’s work, you could address overcrowding concerns by working towards creating a more effective method of intake through computer information systems. As part of your duty in research, you may oversee testing and report results in order to determine efficiency. This is just one example of how Health Informatics could be found in research – which is one popular field for graduates within this discipline.
Informatics specialists may also be a part of training for new technologies that are implemented within the medical setting. New technologies are constantly being released for use with patients in a clinical setting. As a Health Informatics specialist, you may be responsible for teaching other health professionals how to operate this equipment – and monitoring the new equipment in case the need for troubleshooting arises.
In addition to the examples our team has provided above, there are many other designations that HI graduates can obtain after graduating from these programs. Our team of experts has provided some salary data for common positions below for you to review.
- Health Information Technicians: $38,040 on average per year (BLS).
- Health Services Manager: $96,540 on average per year (BLS).
- 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).