Online Masters in Health Informatics Programs
Online masters in health informatics programs combine computer technology and programming with medical basics in its core courses. The goal of melding these two fields is to help students create comprehensive programs that address healthcare system needs. Classes such as patient record keeping and application development may ensure that technology is working alongside the current medical system. And, earning this degree online could make this digitally-based curriculum conveniently available in your own home.
Why Earn a Health Informatics Masters Degree Online?
One of the main reasons you might want to consider earning a health informatics masters degree online is the convenience. The digital classroom could allow you to access your health informatics courses wherever there is internet access. And, your coursework may not differ from typical, on-campus options. With much of the curriculum already taking place digitally, its might be easily transferred to the online format.
You may not lose out on the personal contact you might have on a university campus either. Many online programs use streamed lectures, instant messaging, and class forums to provide students with a community of peers and professors. You could also reach out to professors via email for additional questions or help. You might even keep these contacts after you graduate, leaving you with a ready made network of potential informatics professionals.
For these reasons and more, an online masters program might be a great option for the current IT professionals and other working students. Some careers may demand odd hours that prohibit attending typical class times. In these cases, students could log into their classes as their schedule allows while maintaining their professional routine.
Potential Health Informatics Online Masters Program Curriculum
To incorporate technology into healthcare, online masters in health informatics program courses delve into how to combine typical medical routines with computer systems. The desired outcome of these classes is to teach ways to streamline transition of care systems in the medical field. Transition systems might involve anything that requires medical documents to be retrieved or sent. This could include requesting lab tests, accessing patient records, or filing prescriptions.
To do this, students may study both healthcare practices and basic computer system programming. Below are a few classes you might take.
- Organizational Healthcare Issues
- Information Management
- Application Development
- Patient Record Keeping
- Computer Technology
Curriculum varies by program. Most programs require students to complete a median of 45 credit hours. Considering that requirement, students could potentially earn an online health informatics masters degree in 2 years. Program length may differ by school. Speak with intended programs for more details about potential courses and program length.
Online Masters in Health Informatics Concentrations
While the above-mentioned classes might cover the core basics of health informatics, students could flesh out their education with health informatics online masters degree concentrations. These focused classes address the needs of specific groups that interact with health informatics. This could include fields like dental, mental health, and insurance informatics. A concentration could be a great way to work with focused course material to expand your IT horizons. While programs vary by school, you could potentially study some of the following health informatics concentrations in your masters program.
Nursing informatics (NI) courses deal with methods to streamline nurses’ daily processes. To help students better understand this topic, classes may cover general nurses practices and obstacles they may face in their daily routine. This way, students could potentially create complementary computer systems to address nurses’ challenges. Unique coursework could include nursing science and nurse computer literacy.
Pharmacy informatics classes might cover ways to ensure IT systems provide correct prescriptions to patients. Things like understanding standardized medical coding could make sure the patient care is accurate and safe. Courses could include data acquisition, basic pharmacology, and automated medication systems.
Online Masters in Health Informatics Internship Programs
As part of your online masters in health informatics program curriculum, you may be required to complete an internship. In these instances, you could have the chance to work alongside current professionals to see how the world of health informatics works. An internship might be a great chance to take a firsthand look at new system implementation. Or, you could directly see how IT affects healthcare professionals.
It’s important for online students to note that internships may require students to come onto campus or to work at a healthcare site. While this may be true, instances may be relatively short, lasting only a few weeks. Students might also be able to find a local internship to minimize travel. Be sure to check with programs for more details about their internship length and placements.
Different Online Health Informatics Masters Programs: HIM vs. HIT
While an online health informatics masters program is commonly offered as a master of science (MS), what the actual program is called might differ. During your research, you may find some of the below programs that cover similar health informatics material.
While each of these may have comparable curriculum, they differ in who they focus on designing computer systems for. For example, some programs may be designed to simplify the patient’s experience. Others may focus more on doctors, pharmacists, dentists, or other health care professionals.
You may also find that health informatics is offered as part of a general IT program. In this case, keep your eye out for a “health informatics specialization.” These might be a great choice if you do not have a related IT degree. This way, you could study the informatics basics while also working with concentrated health courses.
Health Informatics or Health Information Technology (HIT)
Health informatics, or health information technology (HIT), curriculum instructs how to build new computer systems or hardware to streamline medical data transfers. This way, patient data could potentially travel from point A to point B with ease. In addition to teaching basic computer architect skills and knowledge, courses may also cover topics like cyber security, data retention, and computer interoperations.
Health Information Management (HIM)
Health information management masters (HIM) classes teach how to accurately store and transfer medical records. Courses focus on methods to retain data for the lifetime of patients. Additionally, they focus on standardizing medical coding so that records could be easily read throughout the healthcare field. Topics might include coding and billing standardization, regulatory requirements, and electronic medical records keeping.
Online Masters in Health Informatics Admissions
The online health informatics application process typically assesses both your previous IT experience and your current academic standing. Many programs may request students complete an IT related undergraduate program. In lieu of this, students may be asked to submit a portfolio. In terms of academics, students are typically required to submit a 2.8 to 3.0 undergraduate GPA in addition to GRE scores. Requirements may vary. Speak with your program for more admissions details.
Next Steps Towards an Online Health Informatics Masters
A perfect online health informatics masters might only be a few more clicks away. If you’re ready to help ease the routine of doctors and patients alike, browse the links on this page. They should provide an overview of potential programs. When one catches your interest, click that link. Inside, you could read a brief description of the program. For more information, click the “request info” button. Good luck finding a perfect online masters in health informatics program!
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Schools with Online Masters in Health Informatics Programs
GradSchools.com offers 30 Online Masters in Health Informatics Programs
Grand Canyon University
Southern New Hampshire University
Purdue University Global
University of the Sciences
Liberty University Online
Union Graduate College
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Florida State University