The field of Health Informatics deals with the application of information technology in various branches of healthcare and medicine. It involves a number of technologies and techniques for the manipulation, analysis, organization and presentation of information and data related to healthcare. The field of health informatics also extends to dentistry, clinical medicine, pharmacies, patience care, laboratories, and research centers. A health informatics professional focuses on developing medical standards and clinical guidelines and to standardize medical terminology in addition to providing user friendly health information systems. Because of advancements in health informatics, our healthcare system has remarkably improved over the past few decades leading to greater life expectancy and better access to medical facilities for all citizens.
The origin of health informatics
Nowadays doctors can instantly pull up a patient’s medical history and other relevant information. The origins of the field of health informatics can be traced back to 1949, when Gustav Wagner introduced a basic filing system to store patient information and treatment methods. It wasn’t until computers became more common however, that the field caught on, and became a major part of hospitals around the United States in the 1980s.
What are the pre-requisites?
Due to its specialized nature, the field of health informatics requires serious commitment. If you have excellent communication skills, enjoy working with people and have a generous and compassionate nature, the field of health informatics may be right for you. Students considering a career in health informatics must be high school graduates or have a general equivalency diploma. There are no specific subject requirements, although taking computer classes and first aid training greatly enhances your skills and prepares you to best deal with patients. A large number of universities and community colleges offer health informatics certification programs in addition to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the field. For students interested in carrying out extensive research in the field, doctoral programs in health informatics are also offered.
What degrees are offered?
The basic four year long Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics includes a wide number of subjects, with courses ranging from microbiology to network management. Students also take courses in areas such as medical law and extensively study various medical terms and clinical procedures in order to become familiar with patient care. After graduating with a degree in health informatics, students can start their careers at entry level positions in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and insurance companies. For those who wish to enter the field of healthcare administration, master’s degrees in health informatics are also offered. Among the certifications available for health informatics graduates are the Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA) and the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certifications. The field of health informatics combines together two of the fastest growing fields in the country – IT and healthcare – and as such promises exciting prospects for the future.
Steps to Select an Online Health Informatics Degree
If you want to select a suitable online health informatics degree, you would need to follow the steps below.
Make a list of all the accredited online programs offering health informatics degree. Make sure that the programs are accredited by a recognized accrediting agency.
Find out about the tuition cost, method of instruction, and the coursework offered by the programs.
Shortlist programs according to your affordability, preferred mode of instruction, and coursework you want to study.
Also find out about the overall repute of the program and get alumni feedback to find out which program will be most suitable for you.
The coursework for health informatics degrees can vary, depending on the institute you select. However, there are some major courses that are a part of most health informatics degree programs. These courses are based on both the general education requirements and the core curriculum of health informatics. Some key courses are as follows:
Advanced health informatics
Electronic health records
Biomedical sciences and health IT
Introduction to health informatics
Health information systems analysis and design
Legal and ethical issues
Systems and database design
Quality assurance and management
What can you do with this degree?
With a degree in health informatics, you can:
Plan and implement health information systems throughout the healthcare industry
Become an IT professional
Work for pharmaceutical and insurance companies
Work in management roles in hospitals, pharmacies, non-profit medical and health associations, and consulting firms
Where can you work with a health informatics degree?
Physicians’ offices and hospitals
Nursing care facilities and government agencies
General and surgical hospitals
Residential care facilities
How much can you make with a health informatics degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians made an annual median salary of $34,160 in 2012.
The top 10% of professionals in this field made more than $56,200.
The projected rate of employment growth for this profession between the years 2012-22 is 22%. This is much higher than the average rate of employment growth for other professions.
Steps to pursuing a career in health informatics
The general steps that you would need to follow to pursue a career in health informatics are as follows:
Get a high school diploma.
It is recommended that you have taken computer classes.
Get first aid training.
Enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in health informatics.
Enroll in a master’s degree in health informatics, depending on your precise career goals.
Enroll in a Ph.D. program in health informatics if you are interested in going into research or academia in the field.
How Long Does It Take to Complete a Degree in Health Informatics?
Multiple schools in the US, such as the University of South Alabama, Northern Kentucky University, and St. John’s University, are offering degrees in Health Informatics. Students can opt for a Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Health Informatics which will take 4 years to complete. They can also opt for a Master of Science (M.S) in Health Informatics which will be completed in 1 year. After graduating, individuals can find challenging and exciting opportunities in global health organizations, government health agencies, medical centers and hospitals.
What Are the Requirements to Complete a Degree in Health Informatics?
Students opting for the Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Healthcare Informatics have to complete around 120 credits and those going for the Master of Science (M.S) in Health Informatics have to complete around 36 units. The curriculum incorporates a range of modules such as Healthcare Information Flow, Computer Programming Fundamentals, Data Mining, Healthcare Enterprise Systems, Healthcare Database Management Systems and Data Communication.
How Much Can I Earn after Getting a Degree in Health Informatics?
You can work as Health Informatics Consultants, Nursing Informatics Specialists, Healthcare Analysts, Healthcare Project Managers and Clinical Data Analysts. The data published by O*Net Online has indicated that Informatics Nurse Specialists made a yearly median income of $88,740 in 2018. Job outlook figures show that job opportunities for these professionals will grow by 7% to 10% from 2018 to 2028.
Frequently Asked Question(s)
Q:Which institutes offer the Health Informatics degrees?
A:There are several Health Informatics degrees being offered by the online institutes listed on our website. The prominent ones include Colorado Technical University Online, Walden University Online, Saint Joseph's University, Keiser University Online, Western Governors University, DeVry University, and Allied Schools.
Q:Why should I take the online Health Informatics degrees?
A:Online Health Informatics degrees are beneficial for the working professionals. These allow students to take classes whenever they want, however they want and from where ever they want with just a single internet connection. These are self paced degrees and applicants can take as long as they desire to complete the degree. These degrees also allow applicants to save on the tuition fee as well as the travel expense.
Q:What Health Informatics subjects are included in the curriculum of a health informatics certificate program?
A:A Certificate in Healthcare Informatics is designed for students who wish to in crease their knowledge regarding health information technology and support. The certificate program enhances skills, knowledge, and credibility in the professional field. Courses studied in the certificate program include intro to healthcare informatics, organization and technological issues in healthcare informatics, planning and evaluation, and healthcare information technology.
Q:Which Health Informatics degrees online are currently being offered?
A:Currently, the Health Informatics degrees being offered online are Graduate in Public Health Informatics, BS in Management of Health Informatics, MS in Health Sciences, MS in Bioinformatics, MS in Health Care Informatics and MS in Nursing: Health Care Informatics. Some of the online universities offering these include Grand Canyon University Online, University of Maryland College Park and Polytechnic University.
Q:What is the purpose of a healthcare informatics program?
A:With technology increasingly being used in the healthcare industry, the demand for skilled tech experts is high. Now institutes are offering healthcare informatics as a major academic principle. The program will shed light upon subjects such as information systems, networking, database management, and technology issues. You can pursue healthcare informatics at bachelor, masters, and associate degree levels.
Q:Where can I find healthcare informatics programs easily?
A:You can start your search online as this is the most convenient and efficient platform. You can browse through many educational websites and find out what institutes are offering healthcare informatics degrees to interested students nowadays. We also have information regarding tis healthcare field and provide detail regarding programs and careers.
Q:Can tell me about the course components of a bs degree healthcare informatics degree online?
A:A bachelor degree in healthcare informatics is an undergraduate program designed to prepare individuals for careers in healthcare. The program lays emphasis on technological trends in healthcare, information systems, and improving delivery services. The coursework entails various theoretical subjects and practice oriented subjects. Take a look at our page for more detail.
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