Most Affordable Online Health Informatics Degrees 2021

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Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

A professional arena at the nexus of medicine and technology, health informatics involves the acquisition, organization, and analysis of health and personal information. Health informatics professionals help medical practitioners deliver efficient and appropriate patient care.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records and health information technicians earn a median salary of $42,630 per year. The BLS projects employment for these professionals to increase 8% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average for professionals in all fields. A health informatics degree can lead to high-paying and stable careers.

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Top 10 Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Informatics Programs

Questions About Health Informatics

  • What is health informatics?

    Health informatics focuses on the acquisition, organization, and analysis of medical information for the purpose of delivering timely and appropriate medical care.

  • What kinds of jobs can you get with a health informatics degree?

    Health informatics degree graduates often work as clinical data analysts, medical information specialists, and health IT consultants.

  • What can you do with a bachelor's in health informatics?

    Health informatics practitioners help improve the delivery of healthcare services. They ensure health providers have access to relevant patient information so they can make informed healthcare decisions.

  • What is the highest-paying job in health informatics?

    Health informatics bachelor’s degree-holders may work as medical and health service managers. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $100,980, according to BLS data.

What Are the Goals of a Health Informatics Degree?

Students earning a bachelor’s degree in health informatics prepare to work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, nursing facilities, and private physicians’ offices. Some schools offer specializations in areas such as healthcare policy, data analysis, and health information systems.

Health informatics programs typically feature courses in pharmacology, pathophysiology, and healthcare compliance. Learners also practice using the latest healthcare technology during classes such as information technology, health systems management, and healthcare data.

Why Get a Health Informatics Degree?

Many schools offer two-year associate programs in health informatics. However, earning a bachelor’s degree in health informatics can lead to several career benefits, including those below.

Job Requirement
Health informatics professionals handle sensitive and private information. Employers often prefer to hire graduates of accredited bachelor’s-level health informatics programs. These programs provide the technical and ethical training that health informatics professionals need.
Train in Latest Technology
Most health informatics curricula feature coursework incorporating the latest healthcare technology. Learners gain technical skills they can apply to positions in healthcare informatics.
Improve Earning Potential
More advanced education often correlates with increased earning potential. The BLS reports that bachelor’s degree-holders earn a median weekly salary about $360 higher than that of associate degree-holders.
Preparation for Postsecondary Study
Applicants to master’s programs in health informatics must hold a bachelor’s degree. Although some graduate programs consider applicants with a degree in an unrelated subject, many prefer learners to hold a bachelor’s degree in health informatics or a related field.
Job Security
According to BLS data, bachelor’s degree-holders enjoy a 2.2% unemployment rate, compared to a 2.7% unemployment rate for professionals with an associate degree.

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Courses in Health Informatics

Health informatics degrees feature coursework in both health information and medical topics. Learners develop a broad knowledge base in both fields, along with strong analytical, communication, and leadership skills. Additionally, health informatics degree-seekers usually complete an internship to gain practical experience.

Although curricula vary by school, many bachelor’s degrees in health informatics offer the following courses. Some programs also offer concentration options and specialized courses to prepare learners for niche roles.

This course explores topics such as database management, data integration, quality control issues, and various healthcare systems. Students learn how to analyze and interpret large sets of health-related data. Graduates apply this knowledge to make evidenced-based recommendations to medical practitioners regarding treatment options and patient care.

Students in this class learn how to keep patient information secure, organized, and accessible to medical professionals. Course topics include cryptography, access control and log-in technology, data-recovery methods, and risk analysis and mitigation. Degree-seekers also examine current and emerging ethical and legal issues involved in data acquisition and management.

In this course, students explore fundamental principles and concepts related to healthcare management and process improvement. Learners prepare to improve the delivery and quality of health services. Course topics include patient safety, components of various clinical processes, and relevant regulatory requirements.

Career and Salary Outlook for Health Informatics

Graduates of health informatics programs often qualify for jobs in several professional arenas. The large-scale adoption of electronic health records throughout the medical field makes health informatics practitioners integral to the healthcare delivery system. Graduates’ career prospects and salary potential varies by specialization area. The list below highlights a few common positions for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in the field.

  • Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

    The specific duties of health information technicians vary based on the size and type of facility in which they work. Typical responsibilities include reviewing patient records for accuracy and completeness, organizing and maintaining electronic data, and tracking patient outcomes. They also assign accurate clinical codes for insurance filing and data analysis.

  • Medical and Health Services Managers

    Sometimes called healthcare executives, these managers hire and supervise staff members, enhance the delivery of health services, and improve the quality of patient care. Medical and health services managers also prepare and monitor budgets and make sure their facility complies with regulatory requirements.

  • Health Educators and Community Workers

    Community health educators assess public health needs to determine the most beneficial healthcare services. These professionals also develop and implement health-related programs, provide health services information, supervise staff, and advocate for improved community healthcare.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians $42,630 8%
Medical and Health Services Managers $100,980 32%
Health Educators and Community Workers $46,910 13%

Source: Bureau Labor of Statistics

Scholarships for Health Informatics Students

Students pursuing a health informatics bachelor’s degree can explore financial assistance opportunities from various sources. Many colleges offer scholarships and work-study programs. Learners can also apply for awards from professional associations, nonprofits, and healthcare-related companies. The scholarships below represent a small sample of the financial aid options available to health informatics students.

  • AHIMA Foundation Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in a health informatics program at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level can apply for this award from the American Health Information Management Association. Applicants must hold membership with the association and must attend a program with accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

    Amount: Varies

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  • Mary Ann Stiefvater Medical Information Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Conway Regional Health System offers this scholarship to full-time students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate health informatics program. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate unmet financial need. Candidates must plan to work as a registered health information technician or a registered health information administrator.

    Amount: $1,500

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Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Informatics Programs 2021

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