MHI – Masters in Health Informatics Programs
The MHI, or Masters in Health Informatics degree, is a graduate program that focuses on data, surveys, and numbers to make impacting healthcare decisions. It is the perfect combination of technology, data, and healthcare that allows for great opportunities in multiple fields.
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 Masters in Health Informatics.
This article will provide prospective students with a chance to learn more about Health Informatics, understand what it takes to get a masters in health informatics degree, and career opportunities available for those with an MHI. For students interested in the next step, we have compiled a list of master’s in health informatics online programs.
What is Health Informatics?
Health Informatics is an analytical and statistical approach to making healthcare decisions and solving problems within public health by focusing on data, medical records and the devices and/or methods used to store, retrieve, and analyze healthcare information.
Why to Pursue a Masters in Health Informatics?
There are various reasons why an individual who is interested in not only technology but healthcare as well should consider a master’s degree in health informatics.
Health Informatics is A Growing Field
With the continuously growing technology field and the importance of technology in healthcare, there is no question as to why health informatics is gaining popularity. Since the healthcare field provides jobs for millions of people country-wide, making it a leading source of employment in the nation, between 2018 and 2028, there is an expected job growth of 11% for medical records and health information technicians.
Benefits of Master’s Degrees in Health Informatics
With technology having a dramatic effect on how everyday business is handled in all lines of work, it is vital that its blending into society is done by educated and experienced professionals. Even though there are plenty of opportunities in the field for those who complete their bachelor’s degree, as it is usually required, completing a Masters in Health Informatics can be a life changing accomplishment. This advanced degree will provide the credibility, knowledge, training, and skills needed to grow in the health informatics field.
Who Should Enroll in a Masters in Health Informatics
An MHI degree can benefit both the recent bachelor’s graduates looking to pursue higher education and the mid-career professional looking for a career change. An individual interested in a masters in health informatics degree needs to have a strong interest in technology and data with the desire to help individuals and populations through healthcare and services.
Individuals that have experience working in information technology and are inspired to integrate the varying aspects of the medical field are invited to take part in Masters in Health Informatics programs across the United States. Master’s in health informatics online programs are now more widely available for those interested in this degree through online.
MHI Degree Curriculum & Classes
Just like other programs, the Masters in Health Informatics curriculum & courses will vary across schools, concentrations, and the amount of time a student chooses to complete their degree.
Application Requirements of Masters in Health Informatics
- Academic: A bachelor’s degree, minimum GPA (usually 3.0 or better), and a strong GRE score are requirements for almost all MHI programs. Lastly, a personal statement outlining why a career in Health Informatics is desired is often a requirement.
- Background: As with many master’s programs, experience in the field is beneficial, but not necessarily a requirement. 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.
Degree Program Length
Similar to other masters programs in the public health field, the time to complete the program will depend if the student attends full-time or part-time and which specialization is chosen. On average, health informatics masters programs consist of more than 30 credits and could take 2 years to complete depending if the courses are in-person or online.
Core Courses and Outcomes
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 in health informatics, legal and ethical issues with health informatics, and data analytics. Some core courses include database design and implementation and IT strategy and management courses. One thing to note, is that it is not uncommon for courses to be named differently depending on the university, even though the focuses are usually similar.
Specializations in Health Informatics
Specialization options in health informatics masters programs vary from program to program but can be broken down into basic categories:
- Clinical Informatics
- Health Technology
- Health Administration
Accreditation for Health Informatics Programs
The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) is the main accrediting association for both health informatics and health information management programs. CAHIIM accreditation ensures academic quality, provides public recognition, and promotes continuous quality improvement through monitoring & reevaluation of programs.
When looking for CAHIIM accredited programs, it is important to remember that most universities opt in to this accreditation because the university offers both health informatics and health information management programs. For those studying health information management, CAHIIM accreditation is necessary to be eligible for the AHIMA professional Health Information Management certification exams.
What Can You do with A Masters in Health Informatics?
While many jobs 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 jobs an individual with a masters degree in health informatics may pursue 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.
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.
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”.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is a worldwide association for health information professionals. This organization provides the opportunity for networking among current professionals and the advancement of knowledge throughout the course of a career. Additionally, this organization seeks to educate its 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.
Explore Masters in Health Informatics Programs
We provide school listings of both on-campus and online health informatics programs. An online masters in health informatics could be a fit for an individual who desires to work while in school or their public health program of choice would require the individual to move.
|University||Format||Location||Study Length||Test Requirement||Number of Credits||Accrediting organization|
|Boston University||On-Campus||Boston, Massachusetts||1.5+ years||No GRE Required||40||CAHIIM|
|East Carolina University||On-Campus||Greenville, North Carolina||2+ years||No GRE Required||39||CAHIIM|
|George Mason University||On-Campus||Fairfax, Virginia||2+ years||No GRE Required||30-36||CAHIIM|
|Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis||On-Campus||Indianapolis, Indiana||2+ years||No GRE Required||36||CAHIIM|
|Marshall University||On-Campus||Huntington, West Virginia||2 years||No GRE Required||39-41||CAHIIM|
|Oregon Health and Science University||On-Campus||Portland, Oregon||2+ years||No GRE Required||49-55||CAHIIM|
|University of Washington||Hybrid||Seattle, Washington||1.5+ years||No GRE Required||54||CAHIIM|
Information updated as of April 2020