Learning about health informatics will help you expand your horizons and enter the exciting world of healthcare combined with information technology. Technology has made rapid inroads into the healthcare sector and is useful to improve patient care, reduce costs and adhere to state and federal laws.
What Does Health Informatics Encompass?
This field empowers you to work in health, whether you have a background in medicine and health or not. Using advanced technology benefits the hospital or medical institution because it streamlines procedures and back office work. All kinds of information is collected, collated, managed, exchanged and analyzed and this helps with better patient care that is also more effective.
This field uses information systems, the managing of software and hardware networks, as well as databases to successfully manage the flow of information which is extremely important in improving the quality of care while not impacting bottom lines.
The Sunshine Sector
The health informatics sector is booming and slated for growth simply because there are not enough health care professionals in this line and demand outstrips the supply. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for people who are knowledgeable about health care informatics is expected to grow faster than average (21%), unlike many professions which are facing a declining growth rate. This is because of a large shortage of professionals in this field.
As this is a specialized, and yet new, sector, many students are not even aware of career options in this field. The fact is the healthcare informatics is a combination of different disciplines and also involves
· Computer science
· Information science
· Communication systems
· Clinical guidelines
· Dealing with medical health records
Many universities offer full time courses leading to a Health Informatics MBA. Often these courses are undertaken either by medical professionals with little understanding of the use of information technology, or IT experts with no experience in the medical field. The course in health informatics is useful to both categories as it addresses the knowledge deficit.
Usually courses take about two years, include between 33 and 36 credits, and at many universities, can be taken and completed entirely online. Some of the topics that will be included in the specialization courses curriculum are:
- Healthcare law
- Healthcare specific information systems
- Economics and finance of healthcare
- Healthcare ethical issues
- Crisis and emergency management and planning; and of course
- Information security
There may be slight variations from one university to the next however most of the information learned will be the same.