MSHI Concentration Webinar

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UIC’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics program now offers three specialized concentrations for students who seek career enhancement and diversification. In this webinar, we’ll outline the concentration areas including Health Data Science, Consumer and Mobile Health and Leadership.

Transcript

Joan Ziegler: Welcome to the University of Illinois Chicago’s Health Informatics Webinar. Thank you for taking time to join us today. I’m Joan Ziegler, one of the enrollment advisors on our program, we will be talking about our three concentrations that are available in our masters in health informatics program. The program is 100% online and the first CAHIIM accredited program. You choose four electives at the end of the program, and we’ll be able to choose one of these three concentrations.

In this webinar, you will learn the purpose of the concentrations. The three concentrations are, health data science, consumer and mobile health informatics, and leadership. You will also learn about the requirements rates concentration, and an overview of the two new concentrations, consumer mobile health Our presenters today are, Miriam Isola, our program director and Dr. Margaret Czart, clinical assistant professor. Dr. Isola has experience in healthcare information technology, operations, and transformation. She has advised health systems, hospitals, academic, medical centers, and accountable care organizations, as they implement information technology, look to improve population health outcomes and reduce costs. Dr. Isola is the program director for our health informatics master’s of science program, and has been involved in online teaching of health informatics for more than 15 years.

Dr. Czart has worked over 15 years in online education, specializing in course design and assessment. She has experience with virtual reality environments for educational purposes. Her areas of interest include, consumer health informatics, public health informatics, and biomedical visualization with stimulation. She currently focuses on consumer patient engagement in health promotion, disease prevention, and disease self-management using technology. This includes the development and assessment of health information online for patient education and engagement through motivational interviewing.

Now I will pass it along to Dr. Miriam Isola to get started.

Dr. Miriam Isola: Thank you for the introduction and welcome too everyone. We are glad to be here today to provide some information on our concentrations in our masters of science in health informatics. We have three concentration options and today Dr. Czart and I will present information on our two new concentrations, consumer and mobile health informatics and leadership. We will talk about the requirements for the concentration to give an overview of our goals and benefits to students of pursuing a concentration.

To provide some context, I want to start out by sharing this diagram of the 10 knowledge domains for health informatics. The trade basic underlying domains are health information science and technology and social and behavioral science. You can see them in the diagram as F1 F2, and F3, the remaining knowledge domains are formed where these three basic areas overlap. Our curriculum and the concentrations are designed to focus on these knowledge domains. For each of the 10 domains, our program is defined competencies.

Students who graduate with the master’s of science in health informatics of MSCI 17 competencies that you see here on this slide. Students who also are on concentration develop a deeper competence in some of these areas, depending on which concentration they choose. This is a key reason for pursuing a concentration, it enables students to use the elective, courses to build a deeper competency in a particular area of interest.

Pursuing a concentration is really an intentional use of your electives to build a deeper competency in one particular area of interest. Within health informatics there are many different directions you could go. These concentration support students to pick an area that matches with their interests and successfully build a career in that area. The concentrations are useful in helping students to steer their efforts in a direction that will help them find jobs in the health informatics field.

This slide gives an overview of course planning for students, they do select the concentration. For all the concentrations, students must complete 26 credit hours of required courses. Then as a second step that they select the concentration, they complete two required courses and those are listed below, two different courses for each of the concentration. Finally, students then select two additional electives from their list in the concentration and this gives students four courses worth of deeper expertise in their area of concentration. The total credit hours earned for the master’s degree and the concentration is 38 credit hours.

Here, you can see the list of courses available for students to select in each of the concentrations and you can see where we’ve provided several options of at least four additional courses to select from after the required course up finished.

When the students talk with their advisors about concentrations. Students may know that they want a concentration as soon as they enter the program, as they’re applying for the program. After the first two semesters of study, students may begin taking electives and they can talk with their advisor about designating a concentration then. In either case, they can work with their advisor to establish a course plan that includes courses that they’ll take for the concentration. Sometimes students may not know if they want a concentration when they start the program. As they complete several courses, they may develop a better idea of what they want to do and be ready to designate a concentration then. Finally, another time students should talk with their advisor is when they’re getting close to graduation, this is important as it will ensure that they have completed all four of the courses for the concentration.

The important thing to think about is how you want to use your elective. This may happen after you’ve started your program, but we recommend to all students that they discuss how they intend to use their electives with their advisors before they begin taking them elective courses.

Now, I would like to get into more details on the leadership concentration. It is important to understand what the leadership concentration offers students. We’ve defined the following goals that you can see here on this slide. The concentration is not just focused on leadership in general, but on leadership and health informatics specifically. It’s important to understand that health informatics leaders may work in a variety of healthcare domains, not just hospitals or settings that provide patient care. The concentration is meant to address all of these potential areas where students may build their careers. We wanted to enhance our curriculum to enable students to develop a deeper leadership competency, which I will go into more specifically on the next slide.

On this slide you can see the leadership core domain with the knowledge, skills and professional attitudes that are necessary for leaders to be successful in a fast changing healthcare industry. Within the leadership concentration, students will build competencies in need for domains that are specific to leadership. They will learn the essential, they will learn strategic perspective and how to motivate direct and guide stakeholders and how to apply social behavioral theory and principles of health and human factors.

Health informatics is about technology and healthcare and that includes the human interaction with this technology. Just having technology does not ensure that it’s adapted and used effectively, good leaders help to do this. The leadership concentration prepares students for the interaction with people that is an essential part of using technology in healthcare.

Why would students want to get a concentration in leadership? Students may be interested in moving into leadership positions in their current organization. We’re all familiar with the term leadership and have experience working for various leaders in our department, or maybe even higher executives in our organizations. The comment I often get from students after taking the 546 leadership course, which is one of our required courses, is that they never studied leadership and they did not realize there was so much involved in leadership.

There is a lot to leadership, and while you may have some leadership strengths, it’s also important to build specific skills that leaders need such as, team leadership, conflict resolution, and adaptability. The planning involved in large healthcare organizations as they prioritize their health IT projects can be complex. Many organizations approve over 50 projects to be completed in a year. This requires planning and strategy to prioritize projects and plan the resources needed to get them done. This is another key reason why students may want to pursue this concentration.

Another one of the main things we stress is adaptive leadership, and this is key for being a leader that can construct solutions for undefined problems. Leadership requires flexible thinking and adaptability. There is not always a playbook for what to do and leaders must have skills that enable them to innovate and solve new and undefined problems. We saw this clearly over the past year with the COVID pandemic, this is something we focus on in a leadership concentration.

We also teach students how leaders use data in many ways. They use it to evaluate risk by using one and control charts, they use it to visualize metrics for quality improvement data and to communicate progress and goals for the organization.

Here we can see more leadership skills that students will gain from the concentration courses. The courses help students go beyond knowledge about leadership to actually developing these important skills. At the end of the concentration, students will have developed skills by doing hands-on exercises in these courses, they will use data to facilitate decisions, they will have applied problem solving studies to case studies, they will have designed and proposed solution to lead organizational change. All of these things that you see here on this slide are skills that students will gain in the concentration.

Going back to the four leadership knowledge domain, in the next couple of slides you will see that we’ve identified several competencies under each of them. Here on this slide for the first two domains, you can see that we have seven specific competencies defined here. So this, I just want to emphasize that our focus has been on providing value to students by teaching these competencies that they can take with them out into the job market after graduation. This is a continuation from the previous slide covering the other two leadership knowledge domains. We can see that there’s a number of specific competencies that students will develop.

Courses in the leadership concentration include, project and vendor management, organizational dynamics, and human factors in health information technology. While students do gain the foundational knowledge needed about leadership, these courses also all stick together to prepare students for the actual work they will do as leaders.

I’ve talked about how the concentration prepares you for the workforce, so what are the jobs that leaders do in health informatics. Here on this slide you can see some examples of career opportunities and job titles. Students may work as a health informatics director, and this could be in a hospital, ambulatory care or in a nursing home, they may work on the payer side in the insurance sector as a project or program manager, or they may become an organizational change management consultant working with a vendor or consulting agency. Students might work with large companies that are now moving into the healthcare arena. They’ve not been thought of as healthcare companies in the past, but now they are dipping their toe in the water in the healthcare arena. This would be organizations such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and many others. Students may become a product or portfolio manager in life sciences research or pharmaceutical sector. Finally, a good number of our students move into executive leadership positions as chief nursing informatics officer or chief medical information officer. There’s a number of different titles there that all fall into the executive suite and our students are prepared to move in that direction.

You can see that this is the partial list, but there are many different directions in health informatics leader can take in building their career.

Finally, I would like to end by talking about what students need to do. What do you need to do with the next step? First, give some consideration to whether or not a concentration is right for you. Now that you’ve learned what the concentration is and what it’s meant to do, is it right for you to pursue a concentration? Next, we recommend that you talk with your advisor about how you want to use your electives and update your course plan document, where you’re keeping track of your progress toward graduation and the courses you’ll take. Finally, considering rolling in one of the concentration required course. This could help you begin to see if pursuing concentration is right for you. You’re going to take for what is covered in that area and you may find that that is the right area for you.

It’s never too early to begin thinking about how you’ll transition from your academic work in the program into the job market. Concentrations are designed to help students make this transition.

Dr. Margaret Czart: Hello, My name is Professor Margaret Czart and I’m here to talk to you about the fall 2021 consumer and mobile health informatics concentration. First to give you an overview, what is the consumer and mobile health concentration? It focuses on the consumer and patient views in terms of using technology for health issues. This includes, health literacy in consumer education. You focus on tools such as personal health records, patient portal, web browsers, social media, and mobile health applications. You also focus on the accessibility and understandability of health information for patients. This includes issues of telehealth patient data access using technology. You will also learn to observe patient and consumer health behavior, interviewing patients and consumers on their needs and what challenges they all have in terms of accessing information and using technology for healthcare purposes. You’ll also learn to develop surveys to help address large group of population of individuals in a given area.

Why pursue a consumer and mobile health concentration. This is for students interested in the patient tools such as the patient portal, web browser, social media, and other aspects for health information, and how consumers and patients use this for making decisions in regards to the health care issues. We also take a look at these technology and tools, how they could be used to educate the consumer or patient regarding health information issues and the quality and accessibility of this health information as well.

What are the benefits of a consumer mobile health concentration? Within the MSHI program, they covered the elective requirement. Therefore by taking this concentration, you will meet the elective criteria within the MSHI program. You also become experts in regards to addressing challenges that consumers and patients have in regards to help digital and data literacy. You become the experts on how consumers and patients find technology useful for addressing healthcare issues. They become the stakeholders in the decision making process and what the consumer and patient role is within healthcare organizations today.

How’s the curriculum designed? As stated, it meets the elective portion of the MSHI program requirement. That means that there’s 12 credit hours for electives required within the program, and there’s 12 credit hours within the concentration. All students who select the consumer and mobile health concentration will be required to take two required courses and take two elective courses. What does that mean? You have the MSHI degree required courses, which are the 10 required courses, which all students take. Then there’s the BHIS is 528 and 522 courses, which provide the foundation of consumer and mobile health informatics.

BHIS 528 is the consumer health informatics course and BHIS 522 is the mobile health course. Then you have a choice of two elective courses. You may choose two of these four courses, which is BHIS 504, qualitative methods and health IT evaluation, BHIS 523, advanced mobile health technologies, BHIS 535, organizational dynamics and health informatics, and BHIS 570, human factors and cognition in health information technology.

Current and new students may sign up for the health concentration. New students will do this partially through the application process and or they could be like current students, which will probably decide whether or not this concentration is good for them after they take the first five courses of the MSHI program. The first five classes recommended are the 437, 599, 503, 505 and 510. Students will still graduate within the regular time period if you sign up for this concentration.

What are the goals of the consumer and mobile health informatics concentration? You become the experts on the patient perspective, but you also understand the professional perspective of how technology is supposed to assist the healthcare system. This includes everything from the tools that are clinical, which are the consumer patient portal and personal health records to the web browsers, social media and other technologies as well.

What will you mainly learn about in this concentration? About the patient engagement perspective, informed decision-making, health and digital literacy and the organizational role for the consumer and patient as stakeholders.

What are the career opportunities? You will address an individual’s beliefs and behavior in terms of addressing healthcare issues and how technology can assist in that perspective. You will assist with the decision-making process.

How does a patient use technology to make decisions about their health care? This technology allowed them to change their beliefs in regards to addressing their healthcare issues. Then there’s the issue about what does a patient understand and does not understand regarding the health information available to them through technology and what digital literacy challenges does the patient or consumer know how to use technology for healthcare purposes.

You’ll also learn to address the organizational change where, what’s the role of non-profit organizations and or other healthcare professionals outside of the clinic in terms of educating patients and how technology can be used to address those issues.

What are the present and future trends? With the 21st Century Cures Act, patients have a much more important role in terms of gaining and engaging in their healthcare and becoming stakeholders through to shared decision-making in healthcare. However, they need assistance in both understanding healthcare issues and or how they use technology. They may not know what technology’s available for them and or they may find technology helpful in helping them address their healthcare issues.

What are some of the competencies that you will learn within this concentration. As stated earlier, you will address the learning, the health and digital literacy, which can be part of the health belief model technology acceptance model, and the internet of things. You may also learn about the usability of technology, the engineering of technology, how it’s the technology designed, what’s helpful about it, what still has challenges needs to be addressed.

Specifically in digital literacy and mobile health applications, this may be such a simple as patients not being open to using various web browsers, or it could be an issue of a patient knowing how to download a mobile app to be able to use it. It could be that some patients just don’t use mobile health technology because they don’t know how to download an application and or use specific applications. We also take a look at the organization role. We know that patient portals are available through the web browser, and now they’re also available through the mobile app, but what are the challenges in terms of getting patients to use it, to address healthcare issues? The same goes for technology tools such as the personal healthcare record. These are different things that you will be learning throughout the consumer and mobile health concentration.

What do you need to do? First, you need to decide if this concentration is right for you. You need to talk to your advisor about what you want to do in terms of the electives. You can take a look and talk to faculty as well in regards to the courses of consumer health informatics and mobile health informatics, and you will choose to have four electives. You are allowed to take more electives if you’re interested too, but the minimum to earn the concentration is the two required courses into electives, which meet the elective criteria of the consumer in mobile health concentration to have it on your degrees on addition to having the MSHI degree. In your diploma you will also have this consumer and concentration as well.

If you have any questions, you may contact me by sending an email. If you happen to be in one of my courses, then you may also ask questions about the consumer and mobile health concentration at that time as well. Thank you.

Joan Ziegler: Well, we’ve prepared a Q&A session, and these are some of the most commonly asked questions about our concentrations. To get started, here’s our first question. What will students learn about consumer health and patient engagement in the CMH concentration, the consumer health and mobile health concentration?

Dr. Margaret Czart: Right. Within the consumer mobile health concentration, students will learn about various patient engagement theories and approaches on getting a consumer, which is pre-disease health promotion aspects, and those who already have a disease to get engaged in their healthcare. How do you use various technology tools to help find information and also educate themselves about their particular healthcare issue? The big challenges are however, sometimes they may not know how to use it, and therefore they will be looking for professionals such as consumer health informatics professionals to help them learn to use the technology, regardless if it is the standard web browser or a mobile device, which is where the mobile portion of the consumer health and mobile health informatics concentration will cover.

Joan Ziegler: Thank you. Another question related to that is, what skills will our students learn that will be applied to careers in consumer mobile health concentration?

Dr. Margaret Czart: There are various skills that the students will learn throughout the concentration and to begin courses they will begin to learn about the different technologies. Some of the current known challenges of using a web browser to social media, to patient portals, personal healthcare records and mobile devices and virtual reality as well, which is now used for educational purposes of patients.

In addition, in other courses in the elective courses, they’ll get to more advanced skills such as learning to observe consumers or patients behavior in using technology. What are some of the challenges that they observe? What questions they can ask if they want to interview a patient or a consumer about their uses of technology? How does design introductory surveys about how to get information to address the needs of a consumer or a patient in terms of using technology for either access to health information and or understanding.

One of the most important skills that they will learn is how to take all that information and write it at the consumer patient level, which is at the approximate seventh or eighth grade comprehension level, so that it’s understandable to everyone regardless of their age, in terms of using technology for healthcare.

Joan Ziegler: Okay, great. Another question is, what trends are you seeing in consumer health informatics and how does our consumer mobile health concentration prepare students for the future?

Dr. Margaret Czart: Current trends are that the healthcare system in itself is, now requires patients to get more engaged in their healthcare with the 21st Century Cures Act. Unfortunately, patients, like many professionals, vary in their skills and expertise in their willingness to use certain technologies. Therefore, the concentration makes awareness of all those who are at the beginner level still using the traditional web browser to those that use all the wearable devices, mobile devices, whether you’re talking by the Fitbit device or even just using mobile applications on your mobile phone to help track and access health information online.

In addition, the other additional trends is that patients look to technology to also educate themselves about different diseases and health conditions. However, there’s the need for professionals to help assess that information and determine the accuracy and the validity of that health information that they may access using these various technologies as well. That’s where a lot of the courses, especially the elective courses may help build on the required courses of the concentration to help learn these advanced skills.

Joan Ziegler: Okay. Wonderful. At what point in the program do students decide which of these concentrations they want to enroll in?

Dr. Margaret Czart: Throughout the program the students may vary when they gain their interest. There could be in the health professionals such as nurses who deal with patients very often and may come into the program stating that they want to start the concentration, or at least acknowledge that they have interest in the concentration at the start of the program, even at the application process. Others may want to take a few of the beginner classes such as the health care data course or the healthcare information systems to learn both the professional side as well as the patient perspective of using technology for health information and what are it’s purposes.

Joan Ziegler: Another question is, what is the key distinction between consumer health engagement versus patient engagement?

Dr. Margaret Czart: Consumer health engagement is focused on the pre-disease or disease prevention stage where it’s those who may express symptoms of a disease or just in general want to prevent all symptoms altogether. When they educate themselves on how to prevent disease, whereas patient engagement and it’s more about those who are already have been officially diagnosed with a disease and want to take further steps to prevent the disease or health condition from getting worse and or how to educate themselves on how to keep it under control as well, so that’s those two perspectives is so very wide range of population of people that we’re going to be trying to address within this concentration.

Joan Ziegler: Okay, great. Another question we have is, what are the key skills learned to deal with consumers and patients within the consumer mobile health concentration?

Dr. Margaret Czart: The very first skill that they will learn in one of the required classes is how to learn and translate professional information into the level of a consumer or a patient that is again, the seventh or eighth grade comprehension level. Therefore, it’s understandable to all individuals regardless of their age. The other aspects will be how to address issues of design of technology and how to assess what are its benefits, whatever its challenges, it may even include writing a guide on how to use technology. Additional skills that they will learn is to observe behavior of how people use technology today, what are the needs are, what are the most common devices of technology used for healthcare purposes and or what do they use that technology for?

Joan Ziegler: Another question, what is the distinguishing difference between health and digital literacy?

Dr. Margaret Czart: These are very two important key terms in terms of the consumer and mobile health concentration, health literacy is a big general umbrella term that relates to understanding information. This can understanding numbers and it can be understanding text in the word format. It’s a very big general term used as, then we could break down health literacy further down to data literacy, which is understanding pieces of information, which can be numbers such as blood pressure to understanding the name of the diagnosis itself.

Then we bring into digital literacy because we live in such a digital society where technology is all around us. It is a person’s ability to use the various technology tools. This can range from using the basic web browser to using the patient portal or personal healthcare record to social media and mobile devices and now how gaming technology is used to help patients learn about different medical procedures prior to the procedure actually being conducted.

Joan Ziegler: Wonderful. Another question, how will new medical wearable devices and the collection of data you address in our new consumer mobile health concentration?

Dr. Miriam Isola: This actually takes us into one of our new and exciting areas of the concentration. Wearable devices and patient generated data will be covered in several of our courses and the students will learn about the features of these mobile devices and sensors being used in mHealth and patient care today. They’ll learn about patient care processes, which we’re starting to see more and more incorporated into mHealth. A good example of this as Professor Czart mentioned earlier is a Fitbit device. Many people are now using this to capture health-related data and this data can be uploaded to an electronic medical record so their providers can see the data too. It’s one thing to see vitals when you’re in the doctor’s office, but these devices enable patients and their physicians to see data over time what’s happening when they’re at home, not just in the doctor’s office. This gives us a much more complete picture of what’s going on in daily life as patients are focusing on the drivers of health.

In the concentration, students will apply what we know about current uses and envisioned future uses on mobile health solutions. They will identify best practices and evaluate mHealth solutions. It’s critical for students to understand all of the different stakeholder perspectives. They must understand the value proposition for both patients and providers. Why would both of these groups want to be using mHealth solutions? We are using mHealth because they can expand our ability to improve quality of care and patient health outcomes. It’s important for our students in the concentration to understand how these wearable devices and the data collected with them, provide us with new tools to engage patients in their healthcare and hopefully lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Joan Ziegler: Now we have a question about the new leadership in health informatics concentration. How will this new leadership in health informatics concentration prepare students for future leadership roles?

Dr. Miriam Isola: We’re excited about the leadership concentration, we’ve had courses in leadership before and it is one of the key knowledge domains in the master’s program, but a leadership concentration will go further to preparing students to operate within a leadership team and a variety of organizations in the healthcare industry. Patient care organizations such as hospitals, ambulatory care, nursing homes, any patient care organizations would be a place where leadership concentration students may work.

However, there are a lot of other opportunities for leadership related to health informatics in other sectors of healthcare, such as research in life sciences or pharmaceutical firms. A health informatics leader might work as an entrepreneur at a small startup company, or even at a big fortune 500 business such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. What we’re seeing today is these companies are all starting to move into the healthcare space. No matter where they work, the leadership concentration will prepare them with skills such as teamwork, conflict resolution, and adaptable leadership. It all helps students to prepare healthcare organizations planning and the execution of major healthcare IT projects such as an installation of an electronic medical record or analytics programs or systems and artificial intelligence projects.

In the concentration there’s a project management class that will help prepare students to be a project manager for these healthcare IT projects, and this could lead to work in the area of consulting or work at a software vendor. Overall, the leadership concentration will prepare students in two main areas, they’ll be able to take a strategic perspective and they will also learn people skills, the ability to motivate direct and guide the various stakeholders. I’ve had many students in the introductory leadership course say that they’ve never leadership before, and they didn’t realize how much is involved. The concentration will prepare students for success as leaders so they understand how to implement digital technologies and use leadership principles such as organizational change management, team leadership and innovation leadership. Leadership is much more than having responsibility and being in charge. It is having a leadership skills, which we teach in the concentration.

Joan Ziegler: I know a lot of times students are interested in getting some practical hands-on experience. One of the questions is, how will the practicum option be handled and how does the planning process for that work?

Dr. Miriam Isola:  Yeah. A practicum option is always good to have actual experience is always a benefit to students. We do offer a practicum course, and this is for students who have found a placement for their practicum. We do not find these placements for students since students are located all over the country, so we look for students to find a placement, somebody to sponsor them in a practicum, and if they do find a placement, the Dean’s office in our college will work to establish a contract with that organization, then we can place the student there. Establishing this contract is a lengthy process, it usually takes at least six months lead time, so if students are interested in setting up a practicum experience, they should refer to the student handbook for the deadlines and for submitting the request to do a practicum, there’s forms in the student handbook for that and real good information about the process and exactly how the practicum experience works.

Joan Ziegler: Great. Another common question we get as people are interested in our program is, knowing what types of jobs do IT graduates are moving into and what companies that they’re working for.

Dr. Miriam Isola: We have been collecting more and more information on this in a recent student satisfaction survey. We have found that the employment rate within one year of graduation is 95%, which is a really high number. Then the question is, what roles are students moving into? On this last survey, we heard that some of students moved into roles of clinical analyst with a major health insurance company, so we do see students going into the payer side of the healthcare industry. We have others that reported that they are senior application analyst with a clinical analytics team at a major healthcare system. There’s many opportunities in a healthcare system as more and more of them are looking for informatics expertise. Other things that students reported in this survey were, that they had jobs as an informatics engineer or an epic clinical analyst, so somebody working specifically with the epic electronic medical records, others that we heard were healthcare applications analysts, pharmacy, clinical informatics analysts, clinical research scientist, healthcare data analysis and IT, and some of our graduates move into leadership roles such as chief medical information officer or chief nursing officer. Those represent what we typically see with graduates of our program that do the master’s of health informatics degree.

Joan Ziegler: That is really great to hear, and especially to hear how many are finding positions after they graduate. I know our program is very much in applied health learning, and so that they’re able to apply their skills to jobs. That’s really great news. Another question is related to employers, is UIC collaborating with employers to ensure what’s being taught is in line with what employers are looking for.

Dr. Miriam Isola: Yes, we absolutely are. This is a key thing that we have been working on in this program to help students make the connection between the academics that they’re doing and into the job market, and to help with that transition, we do work with employers. We have an advisory board that includes employers from a variety of the sectors in the healthcare industry. These leaders provide us with their expertise and their perspective, they advise us on what they’re looking for when they’re hiring for health informatics jobs. Additionally, many of our faculty are actually still practicing and they remain active in various health care positions. Many of us have this information from this continuing work that we do, and we incorporate that into our curriculum. Some of us may be on boards at healthcare organizations or lead analytics teams and projects. This gives us a very good view into what the healthcare employers are looking for. Faculty are routinely updating their courses to ensure that we’re aligned with these qualifications that employers are seeking.

Joan Ziegler: Wonderful. That is really great. The last question we have is, where do you see the biggest growth happening in health informatics, such as hospitals, consulting, software vendors, medical organizations, insurance companies, et cetera? Where do you see the biggest growth?

Dr. Miriam Isola: Well, the healthcare industry is the largest growth sector of the U.S. economy overall. This past year we have seen healthcare in the news every day for all of us. We see growth in jobs in all of these business areas. We do see growth in two areas in particular, health data science is a big area and a growing area which involves data analytics, data visualization, artificial intelligence, so that is one of the key growth areas. Another growth area is now in consumer and mobile health. Just in this past year we saw an explosion of activity in telehealth and the use of mHealth devices. We expect that to continue and to grow, we see a huge recognition now of the importance of patient and consumer engagement. We’ve all become very focused on healthy behaviors, making healthy lifestyle choices. We are very pleased to be able to respond to these growth areas with our new concentrations.

Joan Ziegler: Well, thank you so much. We really appreciate you sharing all of this great information about our concentrations. Of course, we’ve had the health data concentration already, so the addition of the consumer and mobile health and leadership are fantastic to add to this program. I want to thank our audience as well for joining us today. If you are interested in learning more about our masters in health informatics program and any of these concentrations, one of our enrollment advisors, including myself, would be happy to talk with you, you can give us a call at 312-239-3693. Again, thanks so much for your time today.