Online Master’s in Health Informatics Programs 2021
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A field that links healthcare to technology, health informatics opens career paths in two growth-oriented professional arenas. Health informatics degree-holders organize and secure healthcare information and make it accessible to medical professionals. Their work allows practitioners and institutions to provide appropriate and timely healthcare services.
A health informatics master’s degree qualifies holders for leadership and managerial positions, many of which bring high salaries and growth potential. These positions garner salaries much higher than the national median salary of $41,950 for all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers earn over $100,000 annually. The BLS projects a 32% growth rate for jobs in this sector.
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Top 10 Programs for Health Informatics
?This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Avg Net Price
?This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Frequent Questions Students Ask Concerning Health Informatics
What kinds of jobs can I get with a master's in health informatics?
A health informatics master’s degree can qualify holders for jobs like chief medical information officer, health data resource manager, or healthcare IT specialist.
Is a degree in health informatics worth it?
Health informatics degree-holders belong to a growing professional arena. The BLS projects a 15% growth rate for healthcare occupations in 2019-2029. In terms of professional opportunities, students may find a health informatics degree worth considering.
How do I start a career in health informatics?
A bachelor’s in health informatics degree prepares graduates for jobs in this sector. Information technology degree-holders can also transition to the field by completing healthcare specific coursework.
How much do health informaticists make?
Four-year health informatics program graduates usually meet the qualifications for medical and health services managers. Professionals in this field receive an annual median salary of $104,280.
Why Get a Degree in Health Informatics?
Schools offering online and on-campus versions of the same program typically offer the same curriculum to all enrollees. Students who complete a health informatics master’s degree online receive the same instruction and training as onsite enrollees, equally qualifying them for jobs requiring this level of education.
Health informatics online degree-seekers typically do not incur additional housing and transportation expenses, which often amounts to significant savings. Additionally, many online programs offer asynchronous classes and accelerated delivery schedules. Students with part-time or even full-time jobs can continue earning income even as they pursue their health informatics master’s degree online.
National Center for Education Statistics data reveal that graduate students at public institutions paid an average of $12,171 in 2018-19. Enrollees who pursued postgraduate degrees at four-year private nonprofit schools paid $27,776 on average. Students can reasonably expect the cost of a health informatics master’s degree to approximate these amounts.
Scholarships and grants can significantly lower the attendance costs of a health informatics degree. Most schools give online and onsite enrollees equal access to financial aid, so health informatics online degree-seekers can also take advantage of this option. At the master’s level, financial assistance often includes fellowships, which usually requires recipients to take on research or teaching responsibilities.
Some public colleges and universities allow online out-of-state enrollees to pay in-state tuition. The difference between resident and non-resident tuition can prove significant. Health informatics online degree-seekers should inquire whether a potential school offers such an opportunity.
Calculating the Cost of a College Degree
The calculation tool below can help applicants compare attendance costs for health informatics master’s degrees. Students can often find much of the required information from a school’s website. Those considering a health informatics master’s degree online should note that online programs sometimes charge additional technology fees. Programs may assess them per credit or per course, depending on the school.
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Several factors influence salary levels of health informatics master’s degree-holders, including the industry where they work and their specific field.
Health informatics master’s degree-holders focused on the managerial aspect of this profession can look to general medical and surgical hospitals for employment opportunities. BLS data show these institutions hiring the highest number of medical and health services managers, at 126,410 positions. Private physicians’ offices and outpatient care centers hired the second and third highest practitioners at 49,480 and 29,520, respectively.
Although pharmaceutical companies and medicine manufacturers do not hire many medical and health services managers, they pay the highest mean salary of $205,470. Medical and health services managers find the highest salaries in the District of Columbia, New York, Hawaii, California, and Massachusetts. In these areas, they garner annual mean salaries of $157,590, $156,140, $139,650, $138,030, and $136,930, respectively.
Courses in Health Informatics
Each health informatics degree follows a curriculum that supports their school’s academic objectives for students. Programs with concentrations may offer specific classes in those areas that other schools do not. Master’s students should keep in mind that faculty research areas provide opportunities for their own educational and career goals.
The course focuses on techniques and concepts in relational databases. Coursework covers topics such as evolution and landscapes of database systems and database analysis and design. Students learn about indexes, security, and transaction concepts. The class trains enrollees to use SQL in creating and querying database applications.
The course introduces the role of information systems and how its concepts and principles apply in different healthcare settings, including clinical environments, education, and research. Learners examine relevant professional research and extended literature on healthcare informatics to inform their own understanding and practice.
Participants examine the fundamental principles and techniques of data science. Degree-seekers explore machine learning, data modeling, and basic statistical concepts such as sample theory and dimensionality reduction. The course introduces methods and tools commonly used to detect patterns and draw conclusions from data. In healthcare, such data includes a patient’s electronic health record, clinical information, and administrative and insurance data.
Certifications and Licensure for Health Informatics
A health informatics credential from an industry-recognized organization attests to the bearer’s knowledge, skill, and experience. It often expands a practitioner’s career options and enhances their income potential. To date, health informatics degree-holders do not need certification to practice. However, in an increasing competitive and challenging arena, a certification often sets holders apart from a crowded field of candidates.
Registered Health Information Administrator
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) administers this credential. Applicants must show completion of a programmatically accredited health information management program. Applicants with a bachelor’s, master’s, or postgraduate certificate in health information management can apply for certification. AHIMA also accepts applicants who hold the registered health information technician credential, their entry-level certification.
Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) administers the CPHIMS credential. HIMSS welcomes candidates with an accredited bachelor’s degree and five years of experience in information management. Master’s degree-holders with three years of information management experience can also apply for the credential.
American Medical Informatics Association Health Informatics Certification
AMIA reserves this credential for professionals with a master’s degree or higher in health informatics or a primary health field. Professionals with a doctorate in a field relevant to clinical or health informatics and 18 months of experience may also apply.
Health informatics students find financial aid opportunities for every education level, as demonstrated by the three scholarship programs described below. Many schools support health informatics master’s students through teaching or research fellowships. Students can also explore work-study programs funded through grants from state and federal agencies or private nonprofits.
Medical Group Management Association Scholarships
Who Can Apply: MGMA welcomes applications from graduate students enrolled in a program focused on healthcare administration, including health informatics. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and a minimum 3.0 GPA.
American Health Information Management Association Scholarships
Who Can Apply: The AHIMA Foundation welcomes applications from health informatics students pursuing an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. Applicants must attend a programmatically accredited school and possess a 3.5 GPA or higher.
Park University's Master of Health Care Informatics resides in the School of Business' College of Management. It's designed to give a broad leadership and business perspective to the health care field. Students interested in health care information systems may specialize in the Management Information Systems track which requires 36 hours of coursework. Students must select 24 credits of core coursework which includes courses such as Management of Health, Health Care Economics & Policy, Health Care Operations Management and Legal & Ethical Issues in Health Care Administration. Additionally, there are 12 credits (4 courses) of required information systems concentration courses: Information Security & Risk Management, Management Information Systems, Database Management Systems and Data Analysis & Business Analytics. To complete the program, all students must complete a capstone course in Health Care Strategic Management & Marketing. The program sees the management approach as creating a cadre of future health care leaders with a mind for strategic leadership.
Arkansas Tech University's Master of Science in Health Informatics program provides students with a foundation in leadership and policy along with elements of ensuring security and privacy in health care information. The degree is designed with a multidisciplinary approach to provide a holistic set of skills and knowledge where graduates can find positions such as public health analytists, health information trainers, health care technology consultants or chief information officers. The program requires the completion of 35 semester hours of coursework. Examples of core courses includes Emerging Trends in Health Information, Security & Privacy in Health Informatics, Leadership in Health Informatics, Database Systems and Health Care Policy. Students may choose elective coursework that is geared specifically toward their career goals (e.g. Information Systems Resource Management, Emerging Trends in IT and Developing and Administering Websites). Applicants to the program must have completed an introductory course in healthcare informatics and a computer programming courses or equivalent experience.
Independence University's Master of Science in Health Care Administration not only provides students with the foundations to become a leader within the health sector, but could also appeal to students interested in health care information systems. The program is ideal for students wishing to enter health care management. Through a focus on both the business and medical knowledge in the program, students will graduate with a broad foundation that can lead to positions including policy analyst, human resource manager in a health care setting, medical group manager or director of operations or communications. The entire program requires 57.5 credits and can take as few as 15 months to complete. The program has a prescriptive curriculum making it an accelerated learning process in a completely online format. Courses include Health Care Economics & Policy Analysis, Issues in Managed Care, Health Care Information Systems and Legal Considerations in Health Care Delivery. Students must also complete a final project or thesis to graduate.
Dakota State University's Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management poises students to be at the center of the "paperless revolution" in health care. Graduates go on to a variety of careers including researchers, health care data analysts, clinical informatics, or IT systems analysts in a health care setting. Dakota State University touts a strong reputation in the technology field where students will be provided a foundation in security, data management, data privacy, analytics and application development. Incoming students should have the essential Information Systems knowledge, essential health care knowledge and fundamental statistics through either undergraduate coursework or verifiable professional experience. The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours of coursework and can be completed 100% online either full or part time. Full-time students can earn their degree in as few as 4 or 5 semesters.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University's M.S. in Health Care Informatics & Information Management is built on the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education's standards. Because the program is newer, it will be seeking accreditation soon. To complete the program, students must complete 30 credit hours of coursework which can be done completely online. Among the core courses are Corporate Compliance & Quality Data Management in Health Care, Legal & Privacy Issues in Health Informatics, Health Care Decision Support Systems and Health Care Strategic Planning. Students can choose between a thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis requires a graduate research proposal prior to conducting the research. This is an ideal option for students interested in a research career track. For the non-thesis option, students complete a professional practice experience and a final capstone project as a summation of the skills and knowledge learned through the coursework and practicum.
Michigan Technological University's M.S. in Medical Informatics seeks to prepare students for one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S. through a completely online program. The program is designed to prepare students with a foundation in evidence-based medicine, health care security, disease management and complex medical decision-making. The program offers 3 specializations (Health Care Information Security and Privacy, Health Care Data Informatics and Visualization and Imaging Informatics) and 3 completion tracks (thesis, report and coursework options). Each option requires a different path toward graduation. The thesis option, or Plan A, is ideal for students interested in research and requires a minimal amount of coursework (20 credits), however it requires an extensive amount of thesis research (equal to 6-10 credits). The report option, or Plan B, straddles the thesis and coursework options requiring 24 credits of coursework and the completion of a 2-6 credit project report. Finally the coursework option, or Plan C, is a more traditional degree for those interested in the professional career in informatics. Plan C requires 30 credits of coursework. Examples of core courses that are consistent for each track includes Introduction to Medical Informatics, Security & Privacy, Systems Analysis & Design and Population Health Management & Monitoring.
Northern Kentucky University's Master of Science in Health Informatics program provides students with a foundation in research methods, information governance and policy and data analysis techniques. The program seeks to prepare its graduates with an understanding of how Informatics is at the center of information systems changes by focusing on data visualization, mHealth, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours which are offered both on campus and online with a variety of course and program start times throughout the year. Examples of core courses includes Technical Foundations of Health Informatics, Information Technology Project Management and Evidence-Based Health Care Methods. Students may also choose from one of 3 specializations (Health Care Data Analytics, Health Care Process Management and Health Care Cybersecurity) from which they will choose 3 courses (9 credit hours) of elective courses. To complete the program, students must complete a final capstone project which includes work/project experience and a synthesis paper. Additionally, students must maintain an electronic portfolio throughout the program that reflects growth and development throughout the coursework.
University of Mississippi's Master of Health Informatics and Information Management offers a completely online program designed for students interested in management, health care and technology. The program has a strong focus on business administration, preparing graduates for leadership positions within the field. The skills and knowledge gained from the program can lead students to a variety of areas within health care including facility reimbursement, health care evaluation, medical research and quality assurance. The program offers 2 tracks: health informatics for those wishing to design and implement health care information systems and health information management which emphasizes health care management and administration. Students who complete the Health Information Management Track become eligible for the Registered Health Information Administrator national certification exam. The curriculum requires the completion of 41 credit hours which can take 2 years to complete if enrolled full-time for fall, spring and summer courses. Example courses include Health Information & Computer Science, Management of Health Information Services & Systems and Health Care Performance Improvement Strategies. The program touts a high student and employer satisfaction rate from the 2015-2016 outcomes assessment report with 100% employment rate of graduates, 100% employer satisfaction rate and 100% graduate satisfaction rate with 80% of graduates directly working in the field.
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville's M.S. in Health Informatics program strives to prepare its students for innovative leadership roles within health informatics so as to improve health care technology systems and structures. Because of the broad nature of the field, faculty have backgrounds and expertise in a variety of fields including business, health care, education and engineering. The program requires the completion of 14 online courses to graduate including Social, Ethical & Legal Issues in an Informative Age, Managing Quality & Safety in Health Care, Introduction to Epidemiology and Database Design. Students must complete a capstone project to graduate. The master's degree program is currently in the candidacy stages of accreditation and is awaiting review from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
Louisiana Tech University's Master of Health Informatics program strives to prepare confident and innovative professionals who will engage in a variety of information systems and technologies in a diverse set of healthcare environments. The program is offered completely online and uses a variety of communications formats including online lectures, email, electronic bulletin boards and a digital drop box system. The program requires the completion of 45 credit hours of coursework. Examples of courses include Health Care Compliance, Database Architecture, Project Management, Leadership in Health Care and Evaluation of Information Systems. Students must also complete a final capstone project that summarizes and showcases the knowledge built through the program and how it can be applied in a real-world setting. Students interested in pursuing research opportunities are encouraged to contact appropriate faculty who work in the desired research areas. The program also encourages participation in related professional associations such as The American Health Information Management Association and The American Medical Informatics Association because of the potential for career growth through networking and personal connections with others in the field.
National University is responding to the growing and evolving field of where health care and information communication technologies meet by offering the online Master of Science in Health Informatics. The program exists at the nexus of National's Center for Technology and Health Sciences, the School of Health and Human Services, the School of Engineering and Computing and the School of Business Management. With coursework that spans a variety of fields, students receive a comprehensive foundation in health informatics. The core requirements include 11 courses (total of 49.5 credits) including the U.S. Health Care System, Biostatistics, Quality Appraisal & Evaluation and Health Information Exchange. An additional course (4.5 credits) is also required. Examples of elective courses include Leading Change & Adaptation, Health Care Accounting/Finance and Healthcare Leadership. To graduate, students must also complete a final capstone demonstrating the effective application of health informatics in a real-world setting.
The University of Cincinnati's online Master's of Health Informatics program gives students the opportunity to enter into a fast-growing field through a flexible part-time program. Students can complete the program completely online within 2 years. While the degree may appeal to people with an IT or health care background, neither are required for admissions. The curriculum requires the completion of 36 credit hours. The coursework takes an interdisciplinary approach by focusing on topics such as information technology, health care, analytics and leadership development. Examples of courses include The Health Care & Public Health Landscape, Health Information Legislations, and Privacy & Security. For an additional 9 credits, students may also choose to earn a Health Information Security Certification which opens up even more career opportunities because of the increased need for data security and safety.
University of Central Florida's online Health Care Informatics, Professional Science Masters program not only focuses on clinical elements of information management, but also on management and business. The program requires 38 credits of required coursework and 3 credit hours of foundational courses. The foundational courses include Survey of Health Information Management, Foundation of Health Services Administration and Medical Terminology for Informatics Professionals. The program also suggests completing foundational statistics and general-level writing courses prior to beginning the program. Some examples of required courses (of the 10 total) include Biostatistics and Decision Analysis, Project Management in Health Care Informatics, Privacy & Security in Health Care Informatics and Health Care Data Architecture & Modeling. Students must also complete a capstone project that showcases knowledge gained in the program. In addition to the capstone, students must find an internship that puts coursework skills into action. Faculty work with students to identify an internship that could provide full-time work opportunities and job growth. The program touts that internship to full-time job placement has been successful for 93% of their graduates.
The University of Kansas' Master of Science in Health Informatics not only focuses on the important skills necessary to analyze, design, implement and evaluate health information systems, but also focuses on health policy, organizational change and project management. By focusing on organization and policy, graduates gain a macro-level perspective of the field giving them a more holistic view of how their work fits into a system and, thus, are well-positioned for entry and mid-level positions with opportunities for growth within their career. The curriculum (with a requirement of 40 credit hours to complete), is divided into 3 cores: informatics, leadership and a specific discipline (clinical, health policy and management or public health). The health informatics core includes courses such as Transforming Health Care through Use of Information Systems and Technology and Knowledge Management in Health Care. The leadership core includes courses such as The Social Context for Health Care Policy, Evaluation and Analysis for Healthcare Effectiveness, Ethics and Governance and Health Law. The program also requires a practicum to graduate in order to demonstrate the effective application of skills and knowledge gained in the coursework.
The University of South Florida's M.S. in Health Informatics aims to help transform the field of health care by preparing skilled health data management professionals. This 100% online program offers what it describes as multi-platform online learning experiences. The curriculum is delivered through mediums such as live chat rooms, online whiteboards, social networking and instructor-hosted discussion boards. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, typically in health care as physicians, medical students, nurses or pharmacists, but can also have an IT background with an interest in health care. The program requires the completion of 32 credit hours. Examples of core and required courses includes Integrated Electronic Medical Records, Health Data Management, Legal Aspects of Health Information Systems, E-Medicine Business Models and Managerial Communications. Graduates often pursue positions as information officers, health data resource managers, IT consultants with clinics or hospitals or compliance officers.
East Carolina University sees its Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management as a degree to support a multitude of professional backgrounds. Whether a student is a health care professional such as a nurse or a physician or in the field of data analysis or information technology, the program will be relevant. Both the Health Informatics and Information Management concentrations require 39 semester hours (36 core credits and 3 concentration credits) of coursework to complete and focus on topics such as eHealth Care Information Systems, Health Data Structures, Health Information Privacy & Security, Electronic Health Records and Evaluations Methods in Health Informatics. To graduate, Health Informatics students must also complete 120 contact hours of a related internship. Students within the Information Management concentration may, instead, complete a comprehensive thesis that demonstrates their research skills as opposed to the internship.
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Master of Science in Health Informatics sees its role as preparing professionals to advance the field of health care information while also helping to improve patient safety. The program does this by providing a foundation in the intersection of IT/computer science and health care and the health care system. This approach can be useful to anyone working in the health field including nurses, physicians, pharmacists or applied health professionals. The curriculum has a strong focus in organizational change leadership, project management, data mining and analysis, strategic planning and programming. This fully online program consists of 38 credit hours of coursework (which is a total of 13 courses). Prerequisite courses (that may be waived depending on the experience of the applicant) include Medical Terminology for Health Information Management and Fundamentals of Health Information Management. Examples of core courses include Ethics & Legal Issues in Health Informatics, Management of Health Care Communications Systems and Social & Organizational Issues in Health Informatics.
The University of South Carolina recognizes the ever-evolving state of health information, requiring the transition from paper to electronic. In response, the Master of Health Information Technology Online program was created to prepare health information practitioners who could work in a variety of settings including health IT, government agencies, third party payers and as researchers. The curriculum is designed to provide students with not only the technical IT knowledge, but also the foundations in health care systems management. To graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework in classes such as Approaches & Concepts for Health Administration, Telecommunications for Health Information Systems, Health Database Systems and Health IT & Clinical Transformation. The program maintains small class sizes, with an average of 20 students for online courses.
The Rutgers University M.S. in Biomedical Informatics was created to respond to the growing demand for well-trained biomedical informatics professionals. The program has specialization options in clinical informatics, bioinformatics, consumer/patient care informatics and hospital management informatics depending on the desired career track. To graduate, students complete 36 credits. Although full-time students may finish in as few as 18 months, completion usually takes up to 2 years. Part-time students may take 3 to 5 years to complete the program. The 18 credits that make up the core biometric coursework includes classes such as Health Care Information Systems, Biomedical Modeling & Decision Making Systems and Disease Processes Systems. Each track includes 2 courses (6 credits) of specialization-specific courses. For example, the consumer/patient care track requires the courses Electronic Health Records and Healthcare Information Processing Using XML, and the hospital management track requires Health Care Data Management and Health Care Finance. Graduates of the program often go on to work in health care facilities, labs, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and private and governmental agencies.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's School of Biomedical Informatics offers a fully online Master's in Biomedical Informatics within the applied biomedical informatics track. This program focuses on the implementation, maintenance and evaluation of electronic health records giving students the necessary skills to work in the growing field of health information management. The curriculum provides a holistic perspective of health information by learning about the U.S. health care system and healthcare legislation while also focusing on elements of health information security protocols, health data science and project management. The program requires 39 semester credit hours which may be completed 100% online. Examples of courses include the U.S. Health Care System, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Informatics, Systems Analysis & Project Management and Health Information Visualization & Visual Analytics. All students must complete a practicum to graduate which is a hands-on precepted biomedical informatics experience. Students work with a faculty adviser to develop a proposal for the practicum and then finalize their degree with a capstone report to evaluate the knowledge and skills gained during the experience.
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