Health informatics professionals design and develop information technology (IT) systems for use in health care. They work to improve the delivery, management and planning of health care services in a number of different settings. The continuing growth of IT in health care means that professionals pursuing health informatics careers have a bright future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of jobs in health care will rise 18% from 2016 to 2026. An increase in the number of workers and the demands of an aging population will make IT innovations in health care even more important for managing people’s health.
An online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) from the University of Illinois at Chicago teaches you how to use health care data to improve patient outcomes, develop and maintain medical records and interpret medical data. An MSHI degree provides a specialized focus on medical terminology, clinical practices and the ethical dilemmas of those working in the health care industry.
Careers for Health Informatics Graduates
Graduates of an MSHI program have many career paths they can follow, from developing artificial intelligence for the health care industry to maintaining health care databases. No matter your specialization, health informatics careers give you the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of technology while making a difference in people’s lives. Below are six possible careers for MSHI graduates.
Chief Information Officer
The chief information officer (CIO) in a health care organization provides the vision when an IT program is being developed for the organization and the strategy to implement that vision. Good CIOs require leadership skills, including being able to motivate and inspire staff and to communicate their vision to colleagues. Other useful skills include business and financial acumen and the ability to make decisions based on data and to present IT solutions that are efficient and best suited to the needs of the organization. According to the BLS, health care CIO jobs are expected to increase in the coming years as hospitals strive to make the best use of IT innovations. The average salary of a health care CIO is $150,000 a year.
Director of Clinical Informatics
Directors of clinical informatics are also known as health informatics directors or directors of medical informatics. They are concerned with electronic medical records and implementing electronic records systems in hospitals and other health care facilities. Those who are successful in this role have good leadership and communication skills, as a large part of the job is training staff to use IT systems. Strong analytical skills and attention to detail are also highly sought after. Salary.com reports the average salary for this position is $158,347.
Clinical Systems Analyst
Clinical systems analysts manage the computer networks in hospitals and other medical facilities. They provide system upgrades and maintenance and may troubleshoot computer problems for staff and train new staff to use the system. Clinical systems analysts must have strong technical skills and the ability to quickly solve problems to ensure that computer networks function effectively for staff. Attention to detail and good communication skills are also essential. PayScale lists the average salary for this role as $67,023.
Public Health Informaticist
Public health informaticists use information technology to improve public health through research and information sharing. Those who specialize in this field use their skills to track public health issues and help educate the public about maintaining good health. Informaticists must have good communication and interpersonal skills, as translating data into easily understood health recommendations is a large part of the job. They must also be able to make data-driven decisions and pay close attention to detail. The average salary for a health informatics specialist is $76,150, as cited by ZipRecruiter.
Health Data Visualization Specialist
Data visualization presents data in image form, allowing it to tell a story to help people understand its significance. Clear data visualization can also help the public understand issues that impact their health. Health data visualization specialists use their analytical skills, critical thinking, storytelling abilities and computer and technical skills to translate large amounts of data into easy-to-understand visual formats. As reported by ZipRecruiter, the average salary for data visualization specialists is $85,247.
Health Care App Developer
Health care app developers create new technology solutions for doctors and patients to streamline the management of their health care information. App developers need computer programming skills, the ability to solve complex problems and an attention to detail. Creativity is another essential skill, as it allows developers to see new solutions in existing and emerging technologies. The wage of health care app developers depends on the type of app they’re creating and whether they will sell directly to customers or are developing an app for a health care provider. According to the website Business of Apps, the average salary of an app developer is $107,000.
Start Your Career Journey in Health Informatics
A health informatics career allows you to combine a love of computers and technology with the satisfying work of improving people’s health. If you want a solid grounding in health informatics so you can start your career with confidence, learn more about an online Master of Science in Health Informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.