Virginia Masters in Health Informatics Schools
Masters in health informatics schools could provide programs covering both the technology and medical basics that go into designing healthcare computer systems. Curriculum is often split between computer programming and health fundamentals. By offering this dual program, courses could teach how to build complementary computer systems to support daily medical practices. This might include creating systems that intuitively fulfill everyday healthcare needs like requesting lab tests, writing prescriptions, or transferring patient data.
Plus by earning this degree on campus you could have the chance to practically apply your knowledge under the watchful eye of professors, and alongside peers. You might even get the chance to test it out in an internship experience.
Health Informatics Masters Schools: Potential Courses
To provide a comprehensive course of study, health informatics masters schools may offer programs that first teach basic healthcare courses such as anatomy and physiology. Then, they cover the digital side. This could include subjects such as computer programming, information transfers, and inter office communications. In the end, courses may outline methods and techniques to help streamline document transfer systems. During your program, you might study some of the following topics.
- Organizational Healthcare Issues
- Information Management
- Application Development
- Patient Record Keeping
- Computer Technology
Courses may vary by school. The above-mentioned curriculum might be equal to around 45 credit hours. Knowing this, students could potentially earn a health informatics masters in 2 years depending on enrollment. Program length varies by school. Be sure to speak with potential schools for more information.
In addition to this masters in health informatics school curriculum, students may also have the
opportunity to take part in an internship or field work program. Students could be placed into a health informatics environment to shadow current professionals. These programs are a chance for students to apply their textbook and classroom knowledge to the real world. As part of this program, you may help enhance or implement new computer systems. Besides being a great reinforcement of your studies, you may get a glimpse at the day-to-day routines of professionals in healthcare IT.
Potential Ways to Concentrate Your Studies
While masters in health informatics schools typically offer courses to interact with general healthcare IT, you might also be able to further concentrate your studies. These additional concentrations might be a great way to look into the IT needs of fields such as dentistry, mental health, and insurance to name a few. Programs vary by school. Speak with your school to find out which concentrations may be available to you.
Concentration in Nursing
Concentrating your studies on nursing informatics (or NI) could help you develop skills and knowledge to simplify nurses’ computer interactions. Much like general informatics studies teach about medical practices, NI concentration courses cover nursing routines. This could prepare students to consider nurses’ day-to-day actions when designing systems. Curriculum may also include classes in nursing science and nurse computer literacy.
Concentration in Pharmaceuticals
Pharmacy informatics courses focus on how to improve the healthcare document system for pharmacists. Since pharmacists are outside the typical range of medical professionals, their computer systems may need to be updated to understand recently standardized medical codes. This is especially important when it comes to fulfilling prescription requests correctly. Courses might include data acquisition, basic pharmacology, and automated medication systems.
The Difference Between HIM and HIT Degree Programs
When you begin your research for masters in health informatics schools, you may notice many other similar sounding degree titles. This could include things like health information technology and health information management.
Additionally, some schools may not offer a distinct health informatics degree. In these cases, they may offer a “health informatics specialization” as part of a larger, general IT degree program. Even though these degrees have different names, they usually cover similar curriculum. Where they differ is in who the end user might be.
Basics of Health Informatics & Health Information Technology (HIT)
Health informatics and HIT programs place their course emphasis on creating new hardware and software to assist transition of care systems. Transition of care means whenever medical documents are exchanged between departments. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals typically use these systems.
In short, courses in these programs may prepare students to help make sure information gets where it needs to be – fast! Besides teaching computer system construction, courses may also cover topics like cyber security, data retention, and digital communications.
Basics of Health Information Management (HIM)
Health information management masters (HIM) programs differ from the above in that their classes are more focused on techniques to retain and store medical records. This way, patients could have access to accurate medical records throughout their entire life.
Additionally, classes look at ways to standardize medical coding so that a variety of medical professionals could correctly understand important documents. Other subjects could include regulatory requirements and electronic medical records keeping.
Applying to a Health Informatics Masters School
When applying to masters in health informatics schools, you may be assessed on both your academic abilities and previous IT experience. First, programs may ask you to submit a 2.8 to 3.0 bachelors GPA. In addition, some schools may ask that you have already earned a bachelors in information technology or related degree. Or, you might need to submit a portfolio detailing your previous experience.
This should not deter less experienced students. Some schools may offer beginner or remedial IT courses to catch new students up to speed. Program requirements vary by program. Contact potential programs for more details.
Why Attend a Masters in Health Informatics School?
Attending a masters in health informatics school may offer more opportunities for students to enhance their IT knowledge outside of class. In addition to potential internships or field work, earning your masters in health informatics on campus could allow you more interaction with your professors. Schools may require faculty to hold office hours outside of class time. During this time, you could bring additional IT questions to them. This might be a great tool to help you better understand lectures or textbook material. Or, you could even ask them questions about the professional health informatics field.
Additionally, schools may provide access to the latest trends in health informatics technology. Schools often have designated computer labs where students could work with IT software. These materials might otherwise be unaffordable. During your program, you could use this resource to help complete your assignments. Or, you could try creating your own health IT systems!
Searching for Masters in Health Informatics Schools
With this knowledge, you might be ready to start you search for perfect masters in health informatics schools. To begin, browse the list of programs on this page. Clicking a school’s link provides you with a brief description about the program. While you’re there, you could also request more information from the school itself. This could be a great way to find out more about the school culture, current faculty, and recent curriculum. Good luck!
- Fairfax, VAFairfax, VA
George Mason University