The MHI, or Master's in Health Informatics degree, is an up-and-coming graduate program that focuses on data, surveys, and numbers to make impacting healthcare decisions.
Careers in Health Informatics and Information are expected to rise significantly in the next seven years according to O-net online, leading to a rise in programs offering a Master's of Health Informatics. A Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics (MHI) combines information technology with healthcare creating a dynamic career horizon.
An MHI degree can benefit both the recent bachelors graduate and the mid-career professional. An individual interested in a MHI degree needs to have a strong interest in technology and data with the desire to help individuals and populations through healthcare and services. These individuals will provide the link between the ever evolving technology arena and patient care, finding the middle ground where both work together.
Featured Online Masters in Health Informatics Programs
The following program offers a MHI degree online, and is currently accepting applicants for its MHI program.
George Washington University's Online Master's in Health Informatics prepares you to use data analytics and health information technology to optimize health care delivery and improve patient outcomes. No GMAT/GRE Required. Become a leader in the growing field.
Why Health Informatics?
The influence of technology has spread far beyond the social and entertainment aspects. Those working in the healthcare field understand the need for the most up-to-date systems. The ease of information processing and medical insurance claim submission adds to the integrity of medical facilities.
Individuals that have experience working in information technology and inspired to integrate the varying aspects of the medical field are invited to take part in Master’s in Health Informatics programs across the United States. Health informatics requires professionals that have excellent problem solving skills, experience working with computers, and a current standing in the healthcare field.
With technology having a dramatic effect on how everyday business is handled in every line of work, it is vital that its blending into society is done by educated and experienced professionals. This is a career field that can only grow as the nation’s dependence of technology rises each year.
What About the Master's in Health Informatics Online Degrees?
Online Master’s in Health Informatics programs are available all across the United States. The growth in preference for online degree programs has opened up doors for individuals from all walks of like. The online degree program provides convenient learning opportunities for those with current full-time employment.
Online Health Informatics Courses to Expect
During this online program, students can be taught the fundamentals of information technology. Data entry is a large part of this degree program, so students must be able to accurately transcribe medical terminology prior to completion. Health informatics is a modest blend of information technology, healthcare, and management.
Typical Online Learning Environment
Each of these topics is covered in detail through online programs. Coursework is done completely online and requires weekly log-ins for participation. Students will be expected to complete weekly assignments, discussions, and exams. Universities that offer the Master’s in Informatics program provide courses such as Foundation of Information Technology Systems, which is a foundation course that teaches the basics of information technology.
Integrated alongside information technology courses, students may also be required to take courses pertaining to healthcare and management. Healthcare Informatics is another course that blends the information gained through foundation courses with the various requirements of healthcare providers. Online Master’s in Health Informatics programs are an investment that can change a career scope for prospective graduates.
The MHI degree is inherently technological, therefore many programs are offered partially or entirely online. There is little difference in curriculum and classes between online and traditional style MHI degree programs. The online programs utilize online learning management systems to coordinate students and classes. These systems allow for group discussions, live and pre-recorded lectures, and integration of other web services used (i.e. Google Docs) for ease of use.
What are the Typical Pre-Requisites for a MHI Program?
As with many master's programs, experience in the field is beneficial, but not necessarily a requirement. A bachelor's degree, minimum GPA (usually 3.0 or better), and a strong GRE score are requirements for almost all MHI programs. A bachelor's degree in business, computer science, mathematics, information technology, or a clinical degree are highly recommended. Some programs may require a course in Calculus, computer programming, etc. to determine aptitude. Courses or work experience in healthcare is highly desirable. Lastly, a personal statement outlining why a career in Health Informatics is desired is often a requirement.
Typical MHI Curriculum & Classes
The curriculum for an MHI degree consists of core courses, specialization or elective courses, and a capstone or thesis. The core courses will cover health care systems, introductory courses into health informatics, legal and ethical issues with health informatics, and data analytics. Also included in some core courses are database design and implementation and IT strategy and management courses.
Specialization options vary from program to program but can be broken down into basic categories:
- Clinical Informatics
- Health Technology
- Health Administration
The final capstone or thesis will be a culminating experience where knowledge and skills learned will be combined. The thesis shows this ability through independent research and analysis in a scholarly paper or applied learning. The capstone project will group students together to work in the health informatics field.
School Spotlight: MHI Degrees
Partnering with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, the online MS in Health Informatics prepares students to use technology and data to better care for and deliver services to patients. This program also prepares students for board certification in medical informatics. More information can be found on the Northwestern University website.
University of San Francisco
The Master of Science in Health Informatics is held at the University of San Francisco Main Campus. This program can be completed in two years by full-time students. It also allows for individuals to attend school part-time to allow for career and personal commitments. This program also boasts a Practicum experience for students with Silicon Vally health companies. To learn more about the MS in Health Informatics at the University of San Francisco, click here.
The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a Concentration in Health Informatics is a great option for those more inclined toward computer information systems than clinical healthcare. This program specializes in the latest medical technologies, technological infrastructure within healthcare, and the design and implementation of database systems. The Boston University website has more information on this specialized degree and how to apply.
What Can You Do With a Master's of Health Informatics?
Careers in health informatics are on the rise and while many do not yet require a Master's level degree, employers are looking for individuals with the skills and experience provided through the MHI degree. Some examples of jobs an individual with an MHI might work in are:
- Medical Records Analyst
- Health Information Technician
- Clinical Data Manager
- Clinical Applications Specialist
- Clinical Informatics Specialist
- Nursing Information Systems Coordinator
These careers may design, develop, test, implement and evaluate informatics systems, collect and analyze clinical data, review and protect medical records, design and implement clinical databases, or many other options.
Completing a Master’s in Health Informatics can be a life changing accomplishment for those in the program. The healthcare field provides jobs for millions of people country-wide, making it a leading source of employment in the nation. With a Master’s in Health Informatics, professions can seek out positions as Health Informatics Specialists or even Health Information Managers. Having the knowledge of both fields can provide ample job opportunities for individuals that have successfully completed the program.
Health Informatics professionals can not only apply their expertise while working in the field, but can also work with upper division agencies in the development and training of new informatics systems. The American Medical Informatics Association is a leading provider of support and information for professional health informatics graduates. This organization provides the opportunity for networking among current professionals and the advancement of knowledge throughout the course of a career.
Health Informatics Associations to Know
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is a non-profit that provides community, professional development, public policy and leadership in the Healthcare Information field. Their mission is to "Globally, lead endeavors optimizing health engagements and care outcomes through information technology" (source).
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is a world wide association for health information professionals. Beginning as the Association of Record Librarians of North America in 1928, the AHIMA has a long standing history of working to improve and maintain quality standards of medical records and information. This organization seeks to educate it members and keep them up-to-date on the most recent best practices and to improve skills and abilities in clinical record handling and management. To learn more, visit their website at www.ahima.org.