Earn a Masters in Health Informatics
According to new federal laws, health care providers must manage patient records in electronic form and on a secure network. Due to these requirements, those who specialize in health informatics are in high demand. Health informatics relates to the merger of information technology and healthcare documentation. In essence, it is the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption and application of IT-based innovations in health care services delivery, management and planning.
Receiving a Masters in Health Informatics will allow you to explore how to effectively use electronic data to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare services. Whether you build on your current healthcare experience or develop the skills you need to move into healthcare informatics management or leadership, a master’s degree will put you in the position to do so.
Job Titles and Responsibilities
Obtaining a Masters in Health Informatics can qualify you to work in the fields of project management, IT/technical management and health care administration. Job titles in these areas include health informatics consultant, health informatics director, nursing informatics specialist, chief medical information officer, electronic medical record keeper, health care IT project manager, systems analyst, chief knowledge officer, terminology asset manager, data quality analyst or health care informatics analyst.
As a health informatics consultant, you will allow healthcare facilities to meet federal mandates while keeping employment overhead costs low. You may also be brought in to complete a wide variety of tasks, including updating networks, installing software, monitoring systems and troubleshooting and training teams. A health informatics director is an executive level leader who combines technology knowledge with people skills in order to integrate and organize the flow of data across different divisions.
If you become a chief medical information officer, roles can vary from organization to organization, but overall you will be responsible for the effective and efficient flow of information and construction of IT systems to support high quality patient care across multiple information systems. You will accomplish this by conducting data analytics to improve IT infrastructure, participating on a variety of IT governance boards, and designing and applying software applications.
Health informatics professionals may work in hospitals and outpatient clinics, physician group practices, long-term care facilities, mental and behavioral health facilities, public health departments, insurance companies, academic environments, biomedical technology companies, government agencies and as consultants.
Health Informatics Career Outlook
Although medical informatics specialists have different job titles and responsibilities depending on the organization, one common title is that of chief medical information officer, or CMIO. The average salary range for CMIOs in 2012 was $200,000 to $250,000 a year, according to the CMIO website. Nursing informatics specialists earned less, with an average salary of $98,703 a year, according to the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society. Those who worked for consulting firms earned considerably more, with an average salary of $153,576 a year. Certification in the field increased the average nursing informatics specialist salary to $110,291 a year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth among entry-level health informatics professionals is estimated at 15 percent, much faster than average. Those with a master’s degree in health informatics will be urgently needed to manage this growing workforce.
University of Scranton
With the online Masters in Health Informatics from The University of Scranton, you will be given the tools to make well-informed, data-driven healthcare decisions that keep patient-centered care at the forefront of the constantly evolving medical field. The program focuses on developing an integrative approach to patient care and will equip you with interdisciplinary tools in the healthcare informatics field, which include computer science, communication, business, information systems and leadership.
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With more information in healthcare than ever before, there is a growing need for professionals trained to strategically identify, analyze and react to health information in order to aid with quality control and process improvements. Well-trained professionals will be crucial in aligning with changes as they are developed in health care delivery systems across multiple settings.
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