Careers in Health Informatics

What is health informatics?

Health Informatics involves the use of computers for the management and maintenance of various electronic devices and procedures that are used to acquire, store, retrieve and process information in the field of healthcare. This field has slowly made its way from being limited to major hospitals to becoming an essential part of:

  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Clinical medicine
  • Pharmacies
  • Laboratories
  • Healthcare administration
  • Medical & biological research
  • Psychology and public health.

Doctors and other medical professionals can instantly pull up a patient’s medical history and other relevant information and immediately initiate the most effective treatment. Computer technology has also greatly improved patient monitoring systems and now information about healthcare can instantly be shared around the world. Doctors can even use health informatics and biomedical engineering to conduct surgeries and provide medical care to patients thousands of miles away.

What sorts of degrees are offered?

If you are considering a career in health informatics, then you must at least be a high school graduate or have a general equivalency diploma. While there are no specific requirements for the subjects you must have studied, a fair working knowledge of computers, first aid training and community or volunteer work greatly enhances your skills and equips you for working in the healthcare sector. Most students aspiring to make careers in health informatics enroll in a Bachelor of Science degree in health informatics. This degree program includes subjects such as basic biology, microbiology, pharmacology, anatomy and basic medical procedures. Students also learn medical terminologies which are extensively used in health informatics.

Do I need to obtain a graduate degree?

For those who wish to continue their education and earn a higher degree, Master of Science degrees in Health Informatics are also offered by several colleges. In order to enroll in these programs, you must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health informatics or a related field such as computer science, IT, communications or healthcare. The Master of Science in Health Informatics is a highly specialized degree, allowing students to major in health information systems, hospital administration and health informatics administration. A number of certifications are also available for the people who do not have the time or resources to obtain a graduate degree but wish to increase their qualifications. These include the Registered Health Information Administration(RHIA) and the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certifications.

Future opportunities

The field of health informatics combines two growing fields in the country – IT and healthcare – and hold considerable prospects for the future. Keeping patient records in an electronic form and transferring all existing paper records and documents onto computers is being preferred by many major medical institutes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities the field of health informatics will see a growth of 21% through the next decade. The BLS further reports that medical records and health information technicians earned a median wage of $35,900 per year as of May 2014, whereas medical and health services managers earned $92,810 as annual median wages at the same time at places such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and federal organizations.


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Which areas can a Registered Health Informatics Administrator work?

A:The Registered Health Informatics Administrator may work at, Dentistry, Nursing, Clinical medicine, Pharmacies ,Laboratories, Healthcare administration, Medical & biological research and Psychology and public health.

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