A health information technology Ph.D. program prepares health care professionals for leadership roles in developing and implementing applications in medical practices, academic settings and industry. As the nation upgrades its heath information systems, there is a growing need for advanced expertise in this area.
Students in a Ph.D. program in health information technology will gain a solid understanding of the technical and institutional challenges particular to the field of health information technology, and they'll develop methods of evaluating and researching technologies and applications. In addition to coursework, doctoral candidates undertake a research project in some aspect of health information technology, resulting in an original dissertation worthy of publication.
To get accepted to a health information technology Ph.D. program, students must already have earned at least a bachelor's degree. Usually, however, a master's degree in health sciences, or a professional degree, such as an M.D. or PharmD, is required. A background in computer science and programming and competency in technical writing, as well as GRE, MAT or MCAT scores, are also common requirements.
Ph.D. in Health Information Technology
The health information technology Ph.D. curriculum combines computer science, communication technology, biomedicine and mathematics. Students receive training in areas such as electronic health records, public health informatics, data integrity and information security. Courses may include the following:
- Data structures, algorithms and information technology in biomedicine
- Health care information and security systems
- Health data & electronic health records
- Legal & ethical issues for health informatics
- Quality and outcome improvement for healthcare
- Technical writing in health informatics
Popular Career Options
Graduates with a Ph.D. in health information technology are qualified for a wide range of high-level positions in areas such as the following:
- Medical school faculty
- Hospital administration
- Software developers
- Government regulatory agencies
Job Outlook and Salary Information
While Ph.D. holders can qualify for several different positions, many pursue academia. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, post-secondary teachers are projected to see an employment increase of 13% from 2014-2024, which is above average for all occupations. The median wages for post-secondary teachers in health specialties were $90,840 in May 2015.
The advancement of health information systems is continual, and so is the need for professionals qualified for development and implementation. Earning a Ph.D. in health information systems prepares an individual with the appropriate background for this advanced work.