Since health informatics has become such a growing field, many are wondering if they can get a degree in health informatics. The good news is that not only can a person get a degree in health informatics, but there are also various degree levels available. The degree level chosen can depend on what the individual has in terms of career goals. Health informatics also offers various career opportunities from being a medical coder and billing to being the hospital administrator in charge of the budget. Here is some information on health informatics, including degree levels and career outlook.
What is Health Informatics?
The easiest way to describe health informatics is to say that it deals with health information, but there is also a lot more to health informatics than just health information. Health informatics involves the acquisition, retrieval, collection, storage and use of health information with the purpose of providing the safest and highest quality of healthcare to patients. Health informatics is a combination of health information and information technology.
Information technology involves using information in the healthcare industry while health informatics refers to how and why the information is used. Health information has to do with the collection and maintenance of health information. An individual who files electronic health records and patient history files is working with health information. A health informatics specialist doesn’t just collect and file the information but focuses on using it to analyze and improve the efficiency of healthcare.
Health Informatics Degree Levels
There are many degrees an individual can pursue in health informatics. While some students pursue associate degree programs in health informatics, the majority of aspiring health informatics specialists earn bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Individuals who want careers in health informatics typically choose undergraduate programs, and those interested in leadership or manager positions often pursue master’s degree programs. Health informatics programs usually include the following courses.
- Medical terminology
- Healthcare data
- Electronic health records
- Health information law and regulations
- Health information technology
- Healthcare compliance and classification
- Computer networks
Many of the health informatics degree programs are offered both on campus and online. Some possible degree choices a student might choose in health informatics include:
- Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management
- Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management
- Bachelor of Science in Health Information Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics
- Master of Science in Health Informatics
- Master of Science in Information Security
Career Outlook for Health Informatics Specialists
An estimated employment growth of 18 percent is expected for healthcare occupations in general between 2016 and 2026 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The field of health informatics alone is expected to grow 13 percent during that time. An estimated 27,800 new jobs will be created in health informatics by 2026.
As of a May 2017 wage report by the BLS, medical records and health information technicians earned wages ranging from $25,810 to $64,610 with the average yearly wage at $39,180. Wages for health informatics specialists can vary a lot because this field is involved in so many different occupations. Candidates who decide to get a degree in health informatics are enhancing their job opportunities and wage potential.
Choosing a career in health informatics can be a wise decision because it’s such a vast field. Health informatics is an ideal choice for someone who wants to work in the healthcare industry but wants to limit patient contact. Once a candidate decides to pursue a degree in health informatics, it can be the start of an exciting and rewarding career.
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