There are over 100 hospitals in the U.S. alone that utilize 3D printing technology, with more than 100 more worldwide. These printers are used to create prosthetics and artificial bones for surgical reconstruction, and are just one of the many technological innovations clinicians are using to improve the quality of care they provide as well as patient outcomes.
Medical technologies not only have the potential to help patients, but they can also lead to enhanced clinical productivity, according to a “The era of exponential improvement in healthcare?” article published by McKinsey and Company in 2019. The authors note that technology-driven improvements in clinical productivity, consumer satisfaction, and health outcomes could deliver net savings equal to 2.6 to 3 percent of national health expenditures by 2025.
For those with an interest in both healthcare and computer science, these statistics may intrigue or excite you, or make you want to learn more about how the two disciplines overlap. One way to launch a career in health informatics is to earn an advanced degree in the subject. A master’s in health informatics can offer a range of professional opportunities across the clinical and public health sectors, from discovering new ways to efficiently store, receive and assess electronic medical records to overseeing the technological infrastructures that store those records.
You have quite a number of master’s in health informatics programs to choose from. While program admission requirements vary between schools, there are some similarities. A bachelor’s degree in health informatics, health information technology, health care administration, or a related field accompanied by transcripts are sometimes preferred for many master’s in health informatics programs.
Applicants may also be asked for GRE scores, but not always. Some programs may require that students have one to two years or more of work experience in a related field prior to enrolling. Having that background may help you when you get started with the program’s foundational courses. You can also expect to submit a personal statement detailing your career objectives with your other application materials.
The curriculum of an online health informatics master’s program is usually broken out into two areas: core and elective coursework.
Core or foundational classes focus on the aspects of the medical informatics profession that involve technical, administrative and business functions. They may also cover ethical, legal, and regulatory issues. Examples of core topics include:
Introduction to Health Informatics
Medical Information Systems Security
Statistical Methods in Biomedical Informatics
Health Data: Theory and Practice
Elective courses tend to concentrate on specific areas of medical informatics that are not discussed in great detail in the core coursework and give students room to develop in-depth expertise in a specific area. These courses may include the following:
Healthcare Project Management
Emerging Technology in Healthcare
In addition to core and elective coursework, some health informatics master’s degree programs require some kind of advanced research project centered on the health informatics industry or internship.
Online Master’s in Health Informatics Programs
Online master’s in health informatics programs may be suitable for professionals with a full-time work schedule who are looking to advance their careers, as well those who are employed by the information technology sector and want to transition to the healthcare industry. Web-based programs usually follow the same rigorous curricula as traditional options, leading to similar advancement opportunities for graduates.
There are often opportunities to specialize with an online health informatics master’s program. One concentration could be clinical informatics, which focuses on the medical informatics systems and tools used in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other care facilities. Another specialization option is health technology informatics which allows students to explore IT beyond the traditional healthcare setting. This list was updated in January 2022, please be sure to check with your preferred university for the most current information.
Arizona State University
College of Health Solutions
Master of Advanced Studies in Health Informatics
Name of Degree: Master of Advanced Studies in Health Informatics
Enrollment Type: N/A
Length of Program: N/A
Bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field of study
As automation evolves and administrative tasks increase, the need for individuals with IT proficiency in health care is growing. The modern age of cybersecurity and privacy has helped to create newer and bigger job opportunities. The 2019 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society U.S. Leadership and Workforce Survey found that advancements in technology are a significant contributor to the increased need for health informatics professionals to fill important roles in decision-making arenas and beyond.
A master’s in health informatics may be a good fit for you if you’re interested in working in healthcare but not necessarily directly with patients, you have an aptitude for science or an interest in management, law and computers, or if you enjoy working with a variety of professionals such as physicians, computer administrators and executives.
What Can I Do with a Master’s in Health Informatics?