United States Masters in Health Informatics
A masters in health informatics program aims to cover the many aspects of IT communications and data management within the healthcare field, sometimes called health information technology (HIT). Courses review a combination of IT basics, medical fundamentals, and current healthcare technology to help students reduce mistakes when transferring important medical documents. Some programs also focus on the creation and improvement of IT systems to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
These systems could play a role in many day-to-day medical practices. For example, they may be used to request a prescription, file a lab test, or simply store patient information. In short, a masters in health informatics could explore the many ways to ensure data is transferred quickly and easily to improve patient care.
Potential Health Informatics Masters Curriculum
To help prepare students, masters in health informatics courses often cover fundamental medical practices and jargon, as well as more advanced IT topics. This way, when students begin to create computer programs, they could design intuitive and complementary systems. Sample courses you might take include the following.
- Organizational Healthcare Issues
- Information Management
- Application Development
- Patient Record Keeping
- Computer Technology
Students may also be able to take electives and focus on some of the concentration areas below. Considering this curriculum, students could earn a health informatics masters degree in 2 years of fulltime study. This translates to a median of 45 credit hours. Program length and curriculum vary by institution. Check with potential programs for more information.
In addition to core health informatics masters coursework, students may be able to concentrate their studies in a particular
medical industry. These focused courses might address unique obstacles that different sectors of the healthcare field encounter. You may wish to concentrate on one of the following areas. Keep in mind, these are only a few ways to further develop your health informatics education. Check with potential programs for more information about concentrations.
Nursing Informatics (NI)
Nursing informatics courses aim to prepare students to support nursing staff with streamlined computer systems. These classes cover how to improve communications between nurses and other departments and branches within the healthcare system. This way, nurses may be able to better perform their job and improve patients’ stays. Courses in this concentration could include nursing science and nurse computer literacy.
Unlike other types of informatics which focus on improving the transfer of documents, pharmacy informatics helps decode and understand other healthcare documents. Prescriptions and medical records may need to be accessed before fulfilling a medical script. To do this, pharmacist must first translate codes used by the healthcare provider. Doing this accurately could ensure patients safely take the appropriate medicine. To help teach how to create translation systems, courses may include topics in data acquisition, basic pharmacology, and medication automation systems.
Like pharmacy informatics, dental informatics systems need to receive and understand patient details to improve patient care. Since this is a relatively new field, much of its computer systems are still developing. This could be a great learning opportunity for students to witness how standard healthcare codes are created and implemented! Courses in this concentration may cover basic dentistry administration, dental imaging standards, and federal dental regulations.
Masters in Health Informatics Internships
In addition to coursework, many masters in health informatics programs have students enter the field for a short period before graduation to gain hands on experience. This may be done either as part of an internship or with field work. During this time, students could have the chance to work with real-world healthcare informatics systems. And, they might even get to witness how certain IT decisions affect patients, doctors, and other healthcare workers. Internship and field work programs differ by school. Be sure to speak with yours for more information.
Types of Masters in Health Informatics Programs
Health informatics masters degrees are typically offered as a master of science (MS), a more technically focused degree. This is because of the subject’s heavy reliance on computer sciences and data analytics. While most masters in health informatics use “health informatics” as a general term to describe IT in the healthcare field, you may find similar programs under other names. Where they differ is in who uses the completed programs.
In addition, some programs may not offer a specific health informatics degree. In these instances, schools may offer an IT degree with a health informatics specialization. These programs are a great choice if you want to focus more heavily on general IT studies, but also flesh out your knowledge with medical terminology.
When considering a health informatics masters program, keep your eye out for some of the following degree options.
Health Informatics or Health Information Technology (HIT)
Masters in health informatics, also known as health information technology (HIT), programs examine how to build new software and hardware systems to manage healthcare and patient data. In addition to covering the creation of computer systems, classes may also engage with other subjects to round out your IT knowledge. Topics could include cyber security, data retention, and computer interoperations.
Health Information Management (HIM)
Masters in health information management (HIM) programs focus on building a bridge between medical record keepers and the healthcare system at large. Not only do courses instruct how to retain medical data for the lifetime of a patient but also how to standardize it’s medical coding. This way, the records are easily read by a multitude of healthcare providers. Courses could include coding and billing standardization, regulatory requirements, and electronic medical records keeping.
Applying to Health Informatics Masters Programs
Applications for masters in health informatics aim to assess both your previous IT experience and academic standing. While IT experience doesn’t necessarily need to be healthcare related, you might have to demonstrate you have worked with some computer systems. Schools may ask students to supply a technical portfolio or transcripts from a related bachelor’s degree. In addition, students may be required to submit a 2.8 to 3.0 undergraduate GPA, as well as GRE test scores. Requirements vary by school so be sure to check with your intended program for more details.
Choosing a Health Informatics Masters Program: Online vs On Campus
To make health informatics masters programs available to a wide range of students, schools may offer courses in a variety of formats. Depending on your current lifestyle, you might want to consider one of the following options.
Health Informatics Masters Schools
On campus programs are a great way to work alongside professors and peers in a traditional classroom setting. If you prefer face-to-face interactions, this may be the program for you. Additionally, many schools require professors to hold office hours. This could be a chance to ask your professors about their own experiences or ask clarifying questions. They may be able to provide specific professional insight that a career center might not have!
Online Masters in Health Informatics
As a large portion of the masters in health informatics curriculum takes place digitally, it may be easily transferrable to the online format. Programs could still provide access to the same classes and technology as on campus. However, you could develop your skills and knowledge from the comfort of your own home. And on your own schedule.
It should be noted that while the majority of the online curriculum could be completed remotely, many programs require an internship or field work experience. These programs may require students to temporarily live on campus or visit local healthcare centers. Requirements may vary by institution.
Find a Perfect Health Informatics Masters Program
If you’re ready to learn to improve communications between healthcare systems and patients, then you may be ready to pursue a health informatics masters degree! To continue your search for a perfect program, browse the list of programs on this page. To refine this list, select your preferred program type from the menus on this page. Good luck finding a perfect masters in health informatics!
Brandeis UniversityUpcoming Start Date: August 28, 2019
Brandeis GPS degrees are for students currently working and seeking to advance their careers. We take a holistic approach toward evaluating applicants, looking at work experience, references and goals. GMATs or GREs not required for admission...
George Mason UniversityUpcoming Start Date: January 22, 2019
Learn at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and data science with George Mason University's online Master of Science in Health Informatics.
The University of Scranton
With the online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) from The University of Scranton, you will make informed, data-driven healthcare decisions that keep a person’s health at the center of his or her care. Focused on developing an inte...
Saint Joseph's University
University of Louisville
With a forward-thinking and 100% online curriculum, this program is available and accessible to a diverse population of applicants from all backgrounds and industries.
Grand Canyon University
Health informatics is a rapidly emerging discipline that offers new frontiers requiring innovative leadership.
Purdue University Global
Health information management is a diverse, rapidly evolving field with many opportunities for qualified professionals. Purdue Global’s interdisciplinary Master of Health Information Management program helps prepare you to pursue positions in technology...
- Hagerstown, MD
- Des Moines, IA
- Davenport, IA
- Cedar Rapids, IA
- Augusta, ME
- Indianapolis, IN
- Omaha, NE
- Rockville, MD
- South Portland, ME
- Saint Louis, MO
- Milwaukee, WI
- Mason City, IA
- Lewiston, ME
Johns Hopkins UniversityUpcoming Start Date: May 06, 2019
The Johns Hopkins MS in Bioinformatics program will immerse you in the topics and applied methods of computational modeling, molecular biology, systems biology, structural biology, proteomics, genomic sequencing and genomic analysis, microarrays and...
Sacred Heart University
Program is offered part-time and 100% online as well as full-time on campus for international students.
Grantham UniversityUpcoming Start Date: February 13, 2019
The Master of Science in Nursing programs at Grantham University are designed to build upon and expand the knowledge and skills...
Capella University's online master's in Health Care Informatics integrates information science, computer science, social science, and health care to give you the skills and knowledge you need to help your organization improve the overall quality of healt...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - Berkeley
- Evanston, ILEvanston, IL
Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies
One-year public health research degree for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students. Also training for statistical analysts.
- Chapel Hill, NCChapel Hill, NC
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Atlanta, GAAtlanta, GA
Public health decision-making requires sound quantitative data to support deployment of resources for massive prevention and intervention campaigns an...
- Statesboro, GAStatesboro, GA
Georgia Southern University
The mission of the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree - Biostatistics program concentration is to prepare individuals to function as applied biostatisticians in public health and biomedical related fields. Biostatistics is the development and appli...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Theory and application of information science in the domain of medicine, in preparation for positions in informaticsresearch and in health care information processing.
- Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern UniversityUpcoming Start Date: March 11, 2019
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Biomedical Informatics Program is designed to train future leaders in the development, dissemination, and evaluation of information technology as it relates to the healthcare environment su...
- Durham, NCDurham, NC
The MMCi program is the only interdisciplinary management program of its kind in the United States - leveraging Duke's world-renowned track record in medicine, business, and health informatics.
- Lincoln, NELincoln, NE
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The goal of the M.S. program is to give students training in the methods, applications and theory of statistics and biometry to work as professional statisticians upon graduation. The core requirements include training in the design of experiments, mult...
- Albany, NYAlbany, NY
University At Albany (S.U.N.Y.)
Concentrations in:,br>Statistics Applied Statistics...
- Aurora, COAurora, CO
University of Colorado Denver
The Colorado School of Public Health Department of Biostatistics and Informatics is located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Students are exposed to a wide variety of studies and research interests including longitudin...