What is Health Informatics?

As the nature of health care and the need for health care services continue to increase, the demand for health informatics will continue to increase. The need for qualified, trained professionals will also grow. Are you looking to work in a hospital environment or for a private corporation? There is a rewarding position in a diverse range of possibilities in the health informatics field.

Curriculum Overview in Health Informatics

Coursework in health informatics programs at the post-secondary level involves a number of different categories. In addition to completing general education requirements, students also complete major coursework covering such topics as:

  • information technology
  • analysis
  • security
  • data management

Some of the common courses in a health care informatics degree include:

  • electronic health records maintenance
  • health information systems design
  • assessment of health care operations
  • informatics organizational behavior

The coursework in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in health informatics provides the knowledge needed to work with the various technology, data, and research related to medicine and patient care. For a list of accredited programs, visit the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.

Health Informatics Specializations

Specialists in the health informatics field are responsible for various aspects of patient and organization needs. These range from the administration of health care to ensuring the security of medical records. Students in this field often finish an education with a concentration in a specific area in order to best fulfill these roles.

For example, health informatics students might choose to specialize in:

  • health care policy
  • information technology and systems in health care
  • project management
  • financial operations in the health care industry

The addition of advanced coursework in these specific areas provides the additional skill and knowledge a graduate needs to meet qualifications for future positions in the health care industry.

Career Possibilities in Health Informatics

A number of skills and broad range of knowledge are required to begin a career in the health informatics field. Professionals in health informatics are able to work with:

  • software development
  • data management
  • assessment
  • research and analysis in the medical field

In addition, health informatics specialists are able to manage:

  • projects
  • teams
  • records
  • other operations-related tasks.

Health informatics professionals work in a number of environments and types of positions. Professionals in this field hold positions in:

  • hospitals
  • physician offices
  • medical groups
  • rehabilitation
  • short- or long-term care facilities
  • insurance companies
  • pharmaceutical firms
  • government agencies
  • community organizations
  • educational and research institutions
  • other environments dealing with medical or health care.

Common entry-level titles in health informatics include:

  • clinical data analyst
  • systems engineer
  • application analysis
  • informatics researcher
  • product developer

Management positions include:

  • risk manager
  • health informatics manager
  • risk manager
  • implementation manager
  • clinical project manager
  • clinical informatics coordinator

Executive positions also include:

  • director of information systems
  • compliance officer
  • director of information security
  • chief executive positions

Resource: What Can I do With an MBA in Healthcare Informatics?

The health care industry offers opportunities to help individuals, communities, and society with a number of issues and medical needs. Health informatics professionals handle a number of integral responsibilities and tasks. They work to ensure that quality health care is delivered and maintained throughout various health care systems.

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