How a Master’s in Health Informatics Can Prepare Students for Current Trends in the Field

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Man looking at multiple screensAs medical professionals seek out ever-sophisticated ways to help patients, there remains a need for experts who can use information and communications technology to address care delivery and outcomes. Optimized, efficient and safe use of technology is one of the main pillars of running an effective health care facility, and the demand for the relevant skills is only likely to increase.

The latest tech trends sweeping the medical world are heavily data-driven. An infusion of accurate information, provided at high speed and drawn from increasingly universal records systems, can enhance general operations and patient care. Examining these trends shows the relevance and value of disciplines such as health informatics.

Health Care’s Data-Driven Era

Ready access to accurate data has clear use cases in health care. The more information medical professionals can call up—and the faster their access to it—the better these individuals can care for their patients. Recent trends have embraced this concept, finding new ways to harness the helpful information now flowing through systems.

This includes the convergence of existing technological areas, such as electronic health records and data analytics. TechTarget’s Scott Wallask recently predicted that 2018 is the year electronic medical record data becomes a richer resource for high-speed analysis, with technology vendors rolling out new offerings that will directly take aim at patient health management.

Another of TechTarget’s experts, Kristen Lee, suggested that an even more data-intensive trend is coming into clinical settings: Artificial intelligence, the next step in big-data analytics, is on the agenda in medical organizations. With more development, artificial intelligence-based algorithms could help doctors recognize difficult patterns in huge data sets and make critical calls such as cancer diagnoses.

Blockchain systems could also have a major role to play in health care this year, according to HIT Infrastructure. Blockchain ledgers could become secure and accurate ways to store individuals’ data. However, before medical systems can make progress in using these solutions, data technicians will have to adapt to a new strategy to store information. The way blockchain ledgers work, with each transaction adding data and nothing ever deleted, is radically different than existing methods of storage. This will require a mindset change.

Consider Health Informatics

Professionals interested in adding to their personal skill sets to embrace health care’s ever-increasing data focus may be wondering what kind of degree or certification to pursue. Health informatics programs fit this description, equipping students with relevant and up-to-date information about the way today’s hospitals and other care facilities operate.

The curriculum in health informatics programs covers a swath of areas, from the technical elements underlying safe and effective data use to the soft skills and interpersonal abilities needed to make progress within a team. Modernizing a health care organization today involves new strategies alongside hands-on tech deployments, and high-quality informatics programs will reflect this dichotomy.

Informatics is a more design-oriented discipline than the related health information management. Informatics degree holders may find themselves in project management, programming, database design and change implementation roles. These are jobs that will need to be filled to get the health care industry from its current transitional state into the more efficient and seamlessly data-driven model organizations are striving toward.

Receiving a Health Informatics Degree from UIC

The University of Illinois at Chicago, home to the largest medical school in the U.S., offers an online Master of Science in Health Informatics that can educate students on the combination of skills and experiences relevant in modern medical facilities. The qualified faculty members of UIC are constantly updating the program’s curriculum and instruction methods, as they recognize that the industry is in a state of change and HI education should evolve alongside it.

The UIC MSHI program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. As an online program, students can complete coursework in an asynchronous manner and from a location of their choosing. The courses are designed to include vital information on both the technology that is changing health care and the processes behind intelligent use of those new systems.

Becoming an expert in today’s health care industry doesn’t just mean learning new facts, though. There is a revised mindset and perspective that can lead modern organizations forward. Taking the specialized courses that make up the UIC health informatics degree program is one way to gain a window into this new way of doing business. With trends shifting ever further toward demanding, but essential, data use processes, such an education can be a passport to some of the most dynamic and influential roles in the medical field.

Reach out to an enrollment advisor today to learn more about the UIC online  program.

Recommended Readings:

Health Informatics and the Data Deluge


Four healthcare technology trends to watch in 2018, TechTarget

Applying Healthcare Blockchain to HIT Infrastructure, HIT Infrastructure

Leading the Future of Healthcare IT, University of Illinois at Chicago