Health informatics degrees provide knowledge of the methodologies and the technologies required for collecting, collating and maintaining patient data, in keeping with constantly updated rules and regulations. This page gives more information about the contents of the programs, lists schools where you can take them online, outlines the career prospects, and more …
A degree in this field can lead to an exciting career which is central to the rapidly growing health care industry. You can study health informatics from certificate level to PhD level. You might also like to read the pages for associated areas such as: Health Information Technology, Bioinformatics, Medical Informatics, and Nursing Informatics.
What do health informatics degrees cover?
Essentially, studying health informatics allows the student to become well versed in both the methodologies and the technologies on which the health care industry depends. It will also cover the design of record collecting and keeping systems, in keeping with constantly updated rules and regulations.
A broad subject over four years, the bachelors curriculum teaches a thorough foundation in core sciences. Computer sciences are well covered too; whilst areas such as database management and IT security are particularly focused upon. The curriculum will also cover clinical documentation practices and specifics regarding coding, medical terminology and health laws. In order to graduate, it will be necessary for all students to present a coherent related thesis.
Candidates entering into these programs are most likely to already be working in IT departments within the health care industry. However, those with an interested in information technology, data collection and interrogation or analytical studies will also likely do well.
Because of the way health informatics programs are structured, students will be capable of far more than simply using computers to accurately keep health records. Designed to challenge the analytical mind, improve the decision making and empower accurate and relevant research abilities; it can also be viewed as preparation for management positions.
What are the career prospects?
The health care industry is one of the fastest growing across the United States; and in many other countries besides. As such, there are a host of job opportunities available for those willing to put the time and effort in. Accordingly, many people are looking at obtaining a qualification online to support the ever increasing demand. So large is the health care industry, there are several areas where those studying health informatics education can specialize. These include such areas as bioinformatics and public health informatics; all of which are growing areas of interest and focus.
Another benefit to working in the health care industry is where graduates can choose to operate. Hospitals and clinics are the more obvious choices perhaps, but talents are also called for in private insurance companies and private practices. Further, as research becomes an increasingly important area, laboratories too are in need of health informatics specialists.
As in any other profession, salaries vary according to qualification, position and the state in which it is located. Entry level salaries will usually start at around $45,000. Naturally, progression in the job will see salaries increase. With a median salary of $60,000 and upper level earnings of between $80,000 and $100,000 for centre departmental managers, rewards are handsome. Higher rewards generally go to those with a masters in health informatics or a PhD health informatics.
Graduates of health informatics can expect an interesting workload and to be well compensated for their efforts then. However, it is with the understanding that they are entrusted with a responsible position which often needs understanding and empathy, alongside the meticulous details and organizational skills.
List of health informatics schools and programs
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- Master of Health Informatics
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- Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics
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- MS in Health Informatics
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