Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees & Schools Guide

Master's Degree in Healthcare Informatics Career Options & Salary

Why Earn a Master’s in Healthcare Informatics?


For some universities, a master’s degree of any type in healthcare informatics is a new offering. These schools added this program in answer to a demand for candidates with a more in-depth, specialized knowledge in this field. Federal regulations and the rapidly expanding field of electronic medical records mean that, at every educational level, students need to study, learn, and understand the need for keeping each patient’s records confidential.

Graduates with a Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics should have the knowledge needed to handle this complex field. In addition, a good master’s program in healthcare informatics means that students will be able to carry out research methods used by healthcare managers. They will also be able to understand the concepts of information technology in a medical field, foundations of information security, and information management for those who manage these projects.

Healthcare Degree & Career Paths


PROS

The HITECH Act requires healthcare providers to create and maintain electronic medical records for every patient in the US. This is a tall order, but a graduate student who graduates with the required knowledge will be able to keep a system accessible to a health center’s employees.

One positive is the rapid growth of healthcare informatics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the job growth in this field alone will grow by 22% by 2022. This growth rate surpasses the overall growth rate at a pace that is twice as fast.

If you have a medical background (nursing or physician) or an IT background, then you’re especially well-suited to enter healthcare informatics.

Candidates for a master’s degree in healthcare informatics are putting themselves at the front of efforts to take charge of our healthcare system. By employing information management concepts and information technology, both the quality of healthcare and its efficiency can be improved.

CONS

While a master’s degree is an enviable achievement to pursue, you may not want to return to school. If you’re considering it but you’re still not sure you want to enter a master’s program, this may be a sign for you.

Stop and take a close look at your motivations for starting the admissions process. Maybe a family member is pushing you to earn your master’s in healthcare informatics (or any degree).

You may be perfectly happy, doing the work you’re doing at the bachelor’s level. This is perfectly fine. You have a large amount of knowledge from your bachelor’s degree and your work is helping to ensure that your employer’s information system is secure.

Another consideration is money. School at any level is expensive and you may not want to add to your student loan burden at this time. Again, this is a valid concern. The decision to return to school is individual.

Overview of a Master's in Healthcare Informatics


What Healthcare Informatics Master’s Degrees are Available?


  • Master of Health Informatics
    In this program, students learn current information and practice in managing healthcare information electronically. Look for programs that offer practical experience and graduate training. You should be ready to work in any health-related field; public health, clinical care, medical research, or consumer health.
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics
    Help transform the US healthcare industry by selecting a master’s degree in this field. Most universities do realize that this field is changing at a rapid pace and are seeking the best-qualified students.
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics
    No matter its name, this degree should enable you to use the advanced information systems available today, allowing you to develop systems that are more productive and efficient. If you are already a healthcare professional seeking to improve how your organization uses informatics, a master’s degree is a good start.
  • Master of Science in Information Technology, Healthcare Informatics
    Your knowledge and profession mean you are in high demand in the healthcare field. You know how to blend advanced technology with facility operations and patient care. Today’s technology will continue to grow, so you are needed for your specialized knowledge.

Admission Requirements


Meet these admission requirements:

  • Send one official transcript in a sealed envelope to each university you’re interested in
  • Submit a resume of no more than two pages
  • Submit a goals statement detailing how a Healthcare Informatics Master’s Degree will enhance your career goals
  • If you have attended a college or university outside the US, you must submit a course-by-course evaluation with a GPA calculation and a TOEFL score.

If you lack any educational or professional experience, you will have to take prerequisite courses. Some universities may allow you to take these while enrolled in the MS program.

How long does it take to earn a Healthcare Informatics Master’s?


In a master’s program, you will not have to take any more general education courses. However, prerequisite courses may be necessary.

Depending on the program you are accepted into, you may be able to complete your master’s program in about two years. If you are enrolled in an online program, you may be able to move at a more comfortable speed, taking one course per term. Because the coursework is so intense, it may not be a good idea to attempt more than this unless your advisor approves your request. However, you should not attempt this if you are working full-time.

Potential Careers in Healthcare Informatics with a Master’s


You will have a range of career choices once you graduate from your master’s program. If you already come from a medical profession, this degree will enhance your skills. Likewise, an IT degree is helpful.

  • Informatics Nurse
    You cover the gap between information technology and clinical healthcare. You’ll be responsible for evaluating the operations of a healthcare facility to pinpoint which IT applications will improve efficiency. You may train staff on all new systems, keep users up-to-date, and facilitate communication.
    Average annual salary: $77,000
  • Clinical Informatics Specialist
    Your first and most important role is to digitalize medical records, using the systems your employer uses. You create the processes and improve the procedures, then document them for the medical staff. You’ll oversee the transition of paper documents to a full, digital system.
    Average annual salary: $76,000
  • Health Informatics Specialist
    Your role here is similar to the informatics nurse. You’ll work closely with implementing technology in your healthcare setting. You may train staff on the systems and procedures being used. You may also troubleshoot and assist staff when glitches develop. You’ll have to stay up to date on the latest compliance and regulatory standards.
    Average annual salary: $61,000
  • Clinical Analyst
    You closely evaluate the data used to help improve workflow within the healthcare facility. You’re responsible for helping your employer to improve their overall clinical information systems. You’ll also hold a delicate balance between federal regulatory standards and efficiency, simply because you are handling sensitive, personal, medical information.
    Average annual salary: $68,000
  • Clinical Informatics Manager
    It’s your role to oversee the daily operations of clinical information systems within a healthcare facility. You’ll train and manage staff, monitor the budget, ensure all systems comply with state, professional, and federal regulatory standards. You may direct the staff as well. If you have a nursing or health informatics degree, this is a benefit.
    Average annual salary: $90,000

Options to Advance


Here you have two options to follow. First, if you already have a medical career, if you’re a nurse or doctor, then you can return to school for a Master’s in Health Informatics. Because of your medical knowledge, you’ll easily move into a leadership role. You’ll be able to build on your medical knowledge and accumulated medical experience. Then, you’ll be able to direct your career in a new direction.

Second, if you do not have a medical background but you do have one in the IT field, then you can take the necessary courses that will give you a basic knowledge in healthcare. Then, you can earn your master’s in healthcare informatics.

Consider continuing in school or returning for your PhD in health informatics. Here, you’ll move more into research and academia. This option allows you to combine medical science with information technology, health policy, telemedicine, access to knowledge-based information and digital libraries, digital imaging systems, and clinical decision support.

Best Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics Programs


  • Oregon Health & Science University
    Portland, Oregon

    OHSU is the only academic health center located in Oregon. It also holds distinction as the only university solely dedicated to advancing health sciences. This allows the institution to focus its resources on research to prevent and cure diseases, courses that prepare dentists, doctors, nurses and other health professionals to succeed in their fields.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics (MS-BI)
  • Boston University Metropolitan College
    Charles River Campus, Boston Massachusetts

    Metropolitan Campus (MET) is about flexibility and an invigorating exchange of ideas. You’ll connect to other students and faculty from all over the world. MET caters to professionals, lifelong learners, and international students. Take advantage of its flexibility to study when it’s convenient for you.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, with a concentration in Health Informatics
  • Southern Illinois University
    Carbondale, Illinois

    SIU was founded in 1869 as the state’s second teacher’s college. The Carbondale campus is the flagship of the system, located in the southern part of the state. It is a student-centered and research-intensive university, earning the 2015 community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Health Informatics (MHI)
  • Northeastern University
    Boston, Massachusetts

    Northeastern University’s vision is entirely student-centered. Students benefit from experiential learning and are able to take part in exploration of their chosen majors. The student body is made up of more than 18,000 students. You’ll acquire the skills and knowledge you need for your future.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS-HI)
  • Davenport University
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Davenport University is a private, non-profit university with statewide and online campuses. The university holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the International Accreditation Council for business Education (IACBE), and other accreditations specific to its colleges. Small class sizes, experienced faculty, and a dynamic curriculum benefit every student.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science, Health Informatics and Information Management

Traditional Schools Offering a M.S. in Healthcare Informatics


  • Arizona State University
    Tempe, Arizona

    Arizona State University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the entire country’s most innovative school. Here, faculty and students work side by side with NASA to develop new innovations in space exploration. ASU can count Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel laureates as members of its faculty.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online Master of Advanced Study in Health Informatics
  • University of Cincinnati Online
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    The University of Cincinnati Online works hard to provide high-quality, academic programs to students. As a premier research institution, the university offers opportunities for advancement to all of its students. When online education became available, the University of Cincinnati was one of the first institutions in the country to make online classes available.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Health Informatics (MHI)
  • University of Central Florida
    Orlando, Florida

    In 1963, the university was founded. Now, offering more than 220 degrees at its 13 colleges, UCF now has a main campus, hospitality campus, downtown campus, health sciences campus, and online campus. UCF also benefits from its location close to one of the top research parks in the US and the university counts a College of Medicine at Lake Nona.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Health Care Informatics (MS-HCI)
  • Kent State University
    Kent, Ohio

    Kent State University was established as a teacher training school in 1910 and has since become a driver of cultural, economic, and workforce development throughout Ohio and the region.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS-HI)
  • University of Missouri (Mizzou Online)
    Columbia, Missouri

    The online portion of the University of Missouri is known as Mizzou Online. This program offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate options to each student. Mizzou Online assists UM’s schools and colleges, helping them to bring their courses and degrees online.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS-HI)

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