Choosing an Online Program
Before enrolling in an online master's in health informatics, consider factors like cost, curriculum, and formatting. Visit the link below for more program selection tips.
What Is Health Informatics?
Health informatics refers to the organization of health records to improve patient outcomes and help healthcare organizations run efficiently. The field blends business, technology, and healthcare knowledge. Health informatics specialists rely on technologies like databases and electronic records programs to classify and store healthcare records. In addition to storing healthcare records, health informatics professionals may create records and check healthcare data for its accuracy.
Some health informatics jobs involve entering medical data into healthcare records, while other roles focus on maintaining the privacy of health information through cybersecurity methods. Health information managers oversee healthcare information systems, ensuring that organizations follow legal and regulatory requirements for storing and using healthcare data.
By maintaining accurate records, healthcare informatics professionals help doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals care for patients. Many health informatics jobs require a bachelor's degree, including positions like health information manager.
What Is a Bachelor's Degree in Health Informatics?
A bachelor's degree in health informatics trains students to manage healthcare data, including patient histories, electronic medical records, and other medical information. Students take courses in healthcare regulations, data analytics, and health information management.
In addition to major requirements, undergraduates take general education courses designed to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Many programs also offer electives so students can customize the degree for their interests and professional goals. A bachelor's in health informatics generally takes four years of full-time study to complete.
Most colleges and universities require high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and SAT or ACT scores for admission. Students with prior college credit must also submit college transcripts. After gaining admission to the college or university, applicants may also need to complete prerequisite courses and meet other requirements to declare a health informatics major.
In addition to managerial roles, graduates with a bachelor's in health informatics qualify to pursue online master's programs in healthcare informatics.
What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's in Health Informatics Program?
- Introduction to Health Informatics: This course provides an overview of health informatics, including the role of technology in patient records, the maintenance of information systems, and the role of informatics in healthcare delivery. Students learn about technology platforms commonly used in healthcare, regulations governing healthcare data storage, and various uses of healthcare data. The course prepares majors for advanced health informatics classes.
- Medical Terminology and Healthcare Classifications: Health informatics jobs require familiarity with medical terminology and healthcare classifications. This course introduces students to the healthcare vocabulary necessary for health information management careers. Students also learn about healthcare classification systems and anatomy and bodily systems.
- Healthcare Information Flow and Data Management: This course covers topics like computerized medical billing, healthcare data collection, and data security in healthcare. Learners gain the management skills necessary to oversee data for healthcare organizations with an emphasis on patient records, electronic health records, and data collection standards.
- Administrative Practices: This class examines health delivery systems, management principles, and organizational theory. Students learn how to evaluate information technology services, oversee a budget, and design strategic plans based on a healthcare organization's needs. The class prepares students for executive leadership roles in healthcare.
- Law and Ethics: Classes on healthcare law and ethics introduce students to the legal and regulatory frameworks around managing confidential patient information. Students also learn about ethical situations and dilemmas, gaining practical knowledge that they can apply to management health informatics jobs.
Accreditation for Online Health Informatics Degrees
When considering an online health informatics bachelor's degree, prospective students should always check the school's accreditation status. Accredited colleges and universities meet high standards with respect to faculty qualifications, student learning outcomes, and academic rigor. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two.
Programs within a school may also receive accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education grants programmatic accreditation for healthcare informatics programs.
Accreditation benefits students in several ways. First, many employers prefer candidates with an accredited degree, and graduate programs often require an accredited bachelor's degree for admission. Additionally, only students at accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid. Students can verify a school's accreditation status through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation's database.
Health Informatics Jobs
The following list introduces several common health informatics jobs for graduates with a bachelor's degree. However, some positions may require additional experience, education, or professional certification.
|Median Salary (2019): $99,730
||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 18%
Medical and health services managers, also known as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, coordinate health services for a facility, clinic, or medical practice. They analyze data to improve the efficiency of healthcare services, develop procedures to meet regulatory requirements, and supervise staff members. Medical and health services managers also monitor budgets and maintain records on the facility's services.
Medical and health services managers can work in several fields, including nursing home administration and health information management. They typically need a bachelor's degree for entry-level roles.
|Median Salary (2019): $40,350
||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 11%
Health information technicians, also known as medical records technicians, organize and manage healthcare data. They ensure the quality and accuracy of data while protecting the security of confidential information. Health information technicians use classification systems to code patient information for databases, insurance reimbursement, and registries. They also maintain patient records.
Many health information technicians rely on electronic record systems to store healthcare data. Technicians may work as medical or health services managers after completing a bachelor's program and earning certification.
|Median Salary (2019): $142,530
||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 11%
Computer information systems managers oversee an organization's computer systems and information technology. They analyze an organization's computer needs, recommend upgrades, and oversee computer hardware and software. Computer information systems managers also keep an organization's network and data secure by implementing cybersecurity measures.
In healthcare, computer systems managers may oversee complex systems designed to protect confidential patient information and provide informatics for healthcare systems. Most positions require a bachelor's degree in computer or information science. Some roles require a graduate degree.
Health Informatics Professional Organizations
Health informatics students and professionals benefit from joining professional organizations. Many professional organizations offer training resources, professional certifications, and networking opportunities to help members advance their careers. These organizations may also connect members with health informatics jobs through their career centers.
Founded in 1928, AHIMA represents over 100,000 health information management professionals. The association provides professional education and training opportunities, and members can pursue certification in areas like coding. Additionally, AHIMA offers a student and career center to support early-career professionals.
ASHIM represents health informatics managers, providing skill certifications, professional services, and educational resources for its members. It also offers online training and continuing education programs that prepare professionals to obtain and renew certification.
HIMSS offers educational materials through its resource center and hosts conferences and events with networking opportunities. HIMSS also offers professional certification in health information fields, including certified associate in healthcare information and management systems and certified professional in healthcare information and management systems.