Students interested in studying healthcare informatics at the graduate level can pursue either a Master of Science in Health Information Management or a Master of Health Informatics. These are the highest level degrees accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). In these programs, students explore the legal and technological complexities associated with managing health information. Many of these two-year programs are offered online. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree in a health-related field and submit GRE scores.
Master's Degree in Healthcare Informatics
The health informatics curriculum is comprised of a wide range of business and technology courses. Key skills include data management and quality assurance. Course topics include:
- Information technology
- Information systems
- Legal issues
- Healthcare finance
- Research methods
- Quality management
Popular Career Options
Health informatics professionals use technology to manage patient information according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIIPA), and they strive to improve healthcare delivery through efficient and effective data management processes. Most health informatics professionals work for clinics, hospitals, or medical centers as administrative staff members. Common job titles include:
- Data security manager
- Informatics faculty
- Clinical data analyst
- Chief information officer
- Corporate health information officer
- Systems designer
- Data engineer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer systems analysts was projected to increase by 21% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations. Computer and information systems managers should expect to see employment growth of about 15% over the same time period. The median annual salary for computer systems analysts was $85,800 in May 2015, while computer and information system managers earned a median salary of $131,600 in the same year.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) sponsors several certifications in the areas of coding, health data analytics, healthcare security, and health information management (HIM). Most employers require health informatics professionals to be Registered Health Information Management Administrators (RHIA). In order to achieve certification, applicants must successfully complete a certifying examination and meet a combination of educational and experiential requirements.
Master's programs in healthcare informatics cover information management and information technology in the healthcare industry. Graduates of these programs may be qualified to pursue professional certification and pursue roles as systems analysts, IT managers or health information administrators.