Professionals in health informatics use technology to deliver health care more effectively and efficiently to provide the link between patient care and evolving technology. Due to government mandates for access to health information, the health informatics field of employment is exploding, creating increasing employment opportunities. An online master’s degree program in health informatics allows students to gain the fundamentals of information technology, health care and management. These programs are well suited to experienced health care professionals who are looking to advance their careers or those in information technology roles who want to enter the Healthcare industry.
What Are Some of the Courses I Will Take?
Some of the courses included in Healthcare informatics Programs may include:
- Core Fundamentals of the Current Healthcare System
- Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Issues in Healthcare and Informatics
- Foundations of Information Systems
- Social and Organizations issues relevant to Health Informatics
Are there Specific Requirements to Apply to an Online Health Informatics Master’s Degree Program?
Although having a background in information technology can be helpful, it is not required. A strong background in mathematics is essential to succeed in the program. Many programs will require a bachelor’s degree in an area that supports this graduate training program.
What are Some of the Skills I Will Gain From an Online Health Informatics Master’s Degree?
Some of the important skills on can expect to gather from these programs includes:
- Ability to utilize health information technology for knowledge management
- Identify issues that are related to implementing electronic health records
- Apply systems development in utilizing health information systems
- Understand key legal, regulatory, and ethical issues in utilizing health information technology
- Use of information technology in the improvement of healthcare quality
- Contribute to planning in utilizing health information systems
- Understand the organizational needs of health information technology solutions
- Leadership in managing organizational change
- Understand language, terminology, coding, and classification systems of health informatics
Can I Complete the Program Entirely Online and In What Time Frame?
Although there are many programs that allow completion of a Master’s in Informatics entirely online, there are some programs that may require students to participate in a practicum or intern based experience to have hands-on experience.
Most programs in Health Informatics can be completed in two years but it is best to check the requirements for each specific program.
Is a Graduate Health Informatics Certification the Same as a Masters of Health Informatics Program?
Online certification programs in health informatics are available at many universities and colleges. They are more short-term programs that will cover the basics of health informatics and are more applicable for those students who are not in a position to complete the traditional master’s degree program.
What is the Job Outlook and Salary for a Healthcare Informatics Graduate?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment of health informatics workers is expected to grow 22 percent from 2012-2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. According to Payscale.com, Graduates of a Health Informatics Masters Program can expect the following median salary:
- Clinical Analyst – $64,000
- Clinical Applications Specialist – $64,000
- Informatics Nurses – $67,000
- Informatics Specialist Consultant – $71,000
- Health Information Management Director – $72,000
- Clinical Informatics Management – $91,000
- Chief Information Officer – $144,000
What are Potential Career Paths for Graduates with a Masters in Health Informatics?
Graduates of an online master’s in health informatics program are prepared to pursue careers as positions in the following:
- HIM Director
- Chief Medical Information Officer
- Clinical Analyst
- Health Data/Information Resource Manager
- Health Information System Application Designer
- Chief Information Officer
- IT Consultant
- Informatics nurses