Anyone interested in becoming a health information professional may wonder what are the prerequisites for a Master’s in Health Informatics degree. After all, many employers look for advanced credentials in applicants for such positions. This field is a diverse one that involves a great deal of responsibility and forward thinking. Health informatics covers the process of gathering, storing, retrieving and sharing medical data. Read on to learn more about this versatile field and what types of coursework you may need in order to study it at the graduate level.
About Health Informatics
Health informatics is a cross between information technology (IT), healthcare and communications. Its purpose is to streamline patient record keeping in order to make sensitive information more secure, yet more useful for both patients and medical providers. Professionals in this unique specialization use their specialized knowledge to collect, store and disseminate personal patient data in ways that keep sensitive information private, yet ensure that it is delivered to healthcare providers on a need-to-know basis. It’s different than health IT alone. Instead, this comprehensive practice covers real-world uses, problem-solving and information concepts to provide patients with satisfactory healthcare outcomes. The work of these professionals solves a number of problems across healthcare.
Prerequisites for a Health Informatics Master’s
In order to be accepted to an advanced program, you will need certain prerequisites for a Master’s in Health Informatics degree.A prerequisite is a requirement that must be satisfied before doing something else. Therefore, these classes must be taken prior to being accepted into a particular program. Each school sets their own requirements, so this list won’t be comprehensive. However, it will give you an idea of what may be needed in most cases. Prior to being selected to nearly any Master’s program, you usually need a Bachelor’s degree. Competitive institutions may require that four-year degree be in health informatics or a related major. Most schools will only want you to have particular coursework experience, though.
These classes usually include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Intro to Computer Science
- Database Applications
- Medical Terminology
- Intro to Communications
In addition, you’ll probably need at least a C in these classes for admission. It’s possible that any missing prerequisites may be taken individually in order to gain acceptance to a program or re-taken in order to acquire an acceptable grade.
Examples of Job Titles
There are various positions within the field of health informatics. You may be able to specialize in a certain area of expertise in order to obtain the type of job you desire or one that combines your specific talents and interests with that of a health information practitioner. Some require education beyond a Master’s degree.
Jobs in health informatics at the Master’s level include:
- Health IT Consultant
- Clinical Data Analyst
- Director of Clinical Informatics
- Chief Medical Information Officer
Extensive experience is usually required in order to obtain an upper management or administrative position.
This robust career can take you far if you have an interest in technology, communication, and health. The prerequisites for a Master’s in Health Informatics degree can be obtained through most related Bachelor’s level programs and are well worth pursuing if you think you would enjoy this field.