Health Informatics Programs in Kentucky

Information systems, data storage, and information retrieval are all key parts of the healthcare and industry and the health informatics programs in Kentucky are working to prepare students for a career in this growing field. Thanks to the rise of federal and state privacy laws, electronic records, and an increasing number of mobile devices on the job in most hospitals and clinics, information systems have become a key way to drive up efficiency and patient access throughout Kentucky and nationwide. Informatics professionals work to create efficient information systems that are highly secure, adhere to federal privacy laws, and stay within state regulations governing patient data access, legal access to patient records, and other key regulations. Both two-year and four-year programs in this field are offered to Kentucky’s students.

Eastern Kentucky University

Department of Health Promotion and Administration

Founded in 1874, Eastern Kentucky University is one of the state’s oldest and largest public institutions of higher education. Today, the school serves nearly 16,000 students in a variety of science, high-tech, and liberal arts disciplines, and is consistently ranked as one of the best undergraduate values in Kentucky because of its relatively low tuition rates and high job placement statistics. The Department of Health Promotion and Administration is the fastest-growing department at the school, and oversees programs in healthcare administration, health information systems, and public health. The department utilizes several on-campus computer labs that are shared with the Computer Science Department, and emphasizes the importance of internships and professional experience throughout the entirety of its four-year informatics program.

B.S. in Health Care Administration and Informatics

All students must complete the university core curriculum, which includes liberal arts classes in science, English, foreign language, the humanities, and social sciences. Beyond this core, students will take a health sciences core as well. In this core series of classes, they’ll learn about the structure and organization of hospitals and clinics, the nature of medical industry ethics, and common health concerns that affect the public health sector. Students will then build on their understanding of informatics throughout their actual major; this major focuses on information systems design and deployment, software design for hospitals and healthcare organizations, and the federal regulations that govern data security and patient confidentiality. Students are required to obtain an internship during their third and fourth years of study at the school, which can be arranged by the on-campus career office at the student’s request.

Accreditations: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact

Eastern Kentucky University
Department of Health Promotion and Administration
Begley 420
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, Kentucky 40475
Phone: (859) 622-1142
Email: karen.hunter@eku.edu
Program Website

Hazard Community and Technical College

Department of Information Technology

Hazard Community offers students the ability to attend classes on one of its five campuses throughout Kentucky, though the there are some classes only offered on the main campus. This program results in an Associate of Science degree after two years of study, and generally consists of more career-focused classes than the typical bachelor’s degree program in this same field. The Department of Information Technology maintains computer labs on all five campuses that students actively use during their coursework, and oversees internship placement during the student’s second and final year of study. The program also offers students the chance to “shadow” an informatics profession early on, giving them a sense of what they’ll learn and understand as the curriculum advances.

A.S. in Health Information Technology

The A.S. in Health Information Technology starts students off with a core of liberal arts classes in basic math, computer science, and composition. The rest of the program is focused entirely on health information technology, computer science in a healthcare setting, and management of information systems in a hospital or clinic. Students will also take classes in healthcare law and industry ethics, and the school requires all students to pass this class in order to demonstrate an understanding of the laws that will govern their design, deployment, and support of information systems for modern healthcare providers.

Accreditations: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact

Hazard Community and Technical College
Department of Information Technology
1 Community College Dr.
Hazard, KY 41701
Phone: (606) 436-HCTC
Program Website

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Department of Information Technology

Serving Louisville, KY, and its surrounding suburbs, Jefferson Community and Technical College is the largest public, two-year institution in the state of Kentucky. The school’s A.S. degree in Health Information Technology is offered by the Department of Information Technology and structured in an identical way to the program offered by Hazard Community and Technical College. All students will participate in at least one internship on-campus, as well as laboratory experiences that turn classroom theory into real computer use and systems design. The school’s students also have the opportunity to shadow a current informatics professional to see what the job entails and how their coursework directly relates to their efficient, ethical execution of key responsibilities in this profession.

A.S. in Health Information Technology

In addition to a community college core, which emphasizes the humanities and liberal arts during the student’s first semester, the Department of Information Technology requires students to excel in computer science, mathematics, and information systems classes, as they work toward completion of the two-year program. All students must take six credits of mathematics, including at least on upper-level math class. Thy must also take and pass classes in healthcare law and ethics, healthcare privacy laws and regulations, computer programming, information systems management and design, network security, and major operating systems. A required internship must be arranged during the second and final year of the program.

Accreditations: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact

Jefferson Community and Technical College
Department of Information Technology
109 East Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 213-5333
Program Website

National College – Louisville

Department of Health Sciences

Based in Virginia, National College offers small campuses throughout its home state, as well as West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee. The college is a for-profit alternative to Kentucky’s community colleges and also offers online programs, though its A.S. Health Information Management program is offered only at the school’s Louisville campus. The school regularly competes with Jefferson Community and Technical College for students, and offers a similar program that emphasizes the importance of patient privacy, federal regulations of healthcare information systems, and secure design of information systems to guard against hackers and malicious external attacks.

A.S. in Health Information Management

Students in the National College program will take a course load heavy with information security and network security concepts. That’s because National places a high premium on being able to protect healthcare systems and networks from outside attacks and hackers. The program also requires demonstrated proficiency in high-level mathematics, an understanding of computer science and computer programming, and the ability to design customer hardware and software solutions that are useful to hospitals and clinics in everyday practice. A new component of the program also focuses on the role of mobile devices in healthcare informatics.

Accreditations: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Contact

National College – Louisville
Department of Health Sciences
4205 Dixie Hwy.
Louisville, KY 40216
Phone: (502) 447-7634
Program Website

Western Kentucky University

Department of Health Information Management

Western Kentucky University is the state’s fastest-growing public institution, with more than 21,000 current students and dozens of construction projects that promise to bring even more students to campus in the future. The school is one of only two in the state to offer a fully accredited Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Management, with a required two-part internship and numerous opportunities for on-campus networking through student organizations, professional events, job fairs, and career center programming.

B.S. in Health Information Management

A strong university core focuses on the liberal arts and humanities, and students can expect to take these courses mostly during their first three semesters at WKU. Within the Health Information Management program itself, all students must take 9 credits of mathematics, including at least one class in finite or discrete math. All students will also take up to 6 credits of computer science and programming classes, and must take the university’s healthcare ethics and law course in order to comply with regulations put forth by the CAHIIM accrediting organization. Classes focus both on broad information systems design and the unique requirements of information systems for healthcare organizations. The two-part internship program runs during the student’s final two years on campus, and is comprised of two separate, part-time, semester-long internships in a nearby hospital or clinic.

Accreditations: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact

Western Kentucky University
Department of Health Information Management
1906 College Heights Blvd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Phone: (270) 745-5065
Email: admission@wku.edu
Program Website

A Strong Start for Healthcare Informatics Professionals in Kentucky

The health informatics options in Kentucky range from two-year degree programs to bachelor’s degrees in the field, and provide a wealth of information that pertains to secure system design, ethical handling of patient information, and alignment of informatics practices with federal guidelines, regulations, and privacy laws. The health informatics programs in Kentucky are a solid start for any healthcare professional interested in the data-centered segment of the industry, and will help job candidates land a rewarding job in this growing field.