Pursuing an Informatics in Health Care Career: The MSHI Curriculum at a Glance

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Two colleagues at a shared desk, with their computers in front of them, have a discussion about a sheet of handwritten data.Technological advancements have revolutionized nearly every industry. Perhaps no industry has been impacted by these changes more than the health informatics field. An article in Electronic Health Reporter, an online source of health care IT news, notes: “From medical mobile applications to vital-monitoring wearables, smart technology is taking the health care world by storm and remodeling patient care delivery.”

For professionals who are looking to advance their knowledge of informatics in health care, earning an advanced degree — such as the Master of Science in Health Informatics offered by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) — is an excellent choice. Combining an online classroom with rigorous and extensive study in health care informatics, the Master of Science in Health Informatics is designed to prepare professionals to enter the rapidly advancing world of health care and technology.

Master of Science in Health Informatics Degree

The Master of Science in Health Informatics degree program is built on the business school model. The program combines technical knowledge, leadership and communication skills, and industry experiential learning to deliver an advanced, well-rounded education. By applying these elements to health data — a process known as health informatics — professionals are able to gain a better understanding of the health care industry and advance patient care around the world.

The informatics in health care degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is completely online, providing students flexibility for their studies. Throughout the program, students will discover the dynamic role that health informatics is playing in driving and changing the future of the health care industry. Courses will help develop and advance the skills necessary for success while applying informatics in health care. Some of these advanced skills include:

  • Written, oral and interpersonal communication
  • Deep knowledge of health care information technology systems
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking and decision-making

Graduates of the Master of Science in Health Informatics program can utilize their skills to lead their organizations in the development and implementation of health informatics strategies for the betterment of patient care.

Courses to Develop Unique Skills

Professional who are successful at applying informatics in health care usually share a common set of skills. Highlighted below are a few UIC courses that offer students an opportunity to further develop these skill sets:

Communication Skills in Health Informatics

The Biomedical and Health Information Sciences (BHIS) 503 (3 hours) course, Communication Skills in Health Informatics: This is an application course designed to help students develop, interpret and practice effective methods of communication needed within heath informatics. To take this course, a student must first acquire the consent of the instructor.

Health Care Information Systems

Health Care Information Systems, BHIS 510 (3 hours): This course enables students to examine different health information technologies used in health care organizations. Students analyze lectures, readings and case studies. This course is taught exclusively online and requires extensive computer use. Requirements before enrolment include an UIC netid, graduate standing and instructor consent.

Health Information Systems Analysis and Design

Course BHIS 520 (3 hours), Health Information Systems Analysis and Design: This is a project-based course that applies design theory and systems analysis to health care system evaluation, modeling and implementation. The course requires extensive computer use and is taught online only. It meets for eight weeks of the semester. Requirements before enrollment include an UIC netid, completion of BHIS 510, graduate standing and instructor consent.

Ethics and Legal Issues in Health Informatics

Ethics and Legal Issues in Health Informatics, course BHIS 505 (3 hours): This course delves into the ethical and legal issues surrounding computerized health information systems. The course is taught exclusively online. Keep in mind that before enrolling, an UIC netid is required along with instructor consent.

Requirements Involving the Master of Science in Health Informatics Curriculum

The Master of Science in Health Informatics curriculum involves certain admission requirements, degree requirements and technical requirements. Program curriculum highlights are outlined below.

Admission Requirements

All potential students will have their applications reviewed by the BHIS Committee on Academic Affairs. Those who do not meet all requirements may receive a recommendation for admission from the Graduate College upon the condition that requirement gaps are remedied.

All applicants must have the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution
  • A 3.00/4.00 grade-point average
  • A TOEFL score of at least 585
  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • Resume of education and work experience

Extra details, such as required TOEFL scores for ESL students, transcript specifics and extra requirements are outlined further on the MS in Health Informatics (Online) curriculum page.

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the MS in Health Informatics (Online) need to meet the following program requirements:

Prerequisites

  • HIM 486 – Foundations of Health Information Management
  • BHIS 406 – Medical Terminology for Health Information Management
  • Minimum Semester Hours – 38 hours

Course Work

Throughout the MS in Health Informatics degree curriculum, there are many different courses to choose from. There is a Health Data Science concentration available as one option.

More details can be found on the MS in Health Informatics (Online) curriculum page. Information includes classes available to specific degree tracks, classes involved in the concentration in health data science, further information on thesis, project or course-work-only options, as well as other requirements.

Technical Requirements

As the MS in Health Informatics is purely an online course, there are a few technical requirements that need to be met by students to participate within the degree courses. Students must know how to use a microcomputer operating system, spreadsheets, the internet, word processing software and email.

Further requirements for both PC users and MAC users can be found on the MS in Health Informatics (Online) curriculum page. Potential students should make sure their computer is capable of processing the informatics in health care course workload before applying to or starting the program.

Find Out How to Get Started in Health Informatics

If you’re interested in participating in the bright future of healthcare, health informatics is a promising field to look into. Learn more about the online MS in Health Informatics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the program’s curriculum to find out more about getting involved in this dynamic field.

Recommended Readings

Breaking Down the Systems Analyst Job Description

How Will AI in Health Care Continue to Evolve?

How the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management Can Prepare You for the RHIA Exam

Sources

Electronic Health Reporter, “The Future of Health Informatics in 2017 — And Beyond”

University of Illinois at Chicago, Academic Catalog: BHIS 503

University of Illinois at Chicago, Academic Catalog: BHIS 505

University of Illinois at Chicago, Academic Catalog: BHIS 510 

University of Illinois at Chicago, Academic Catalog: BHIS 520

University of Illinois at Chicago, Academic Catalog: MS in Health Informatics (Online)

University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Science in Health Informatics & Post-Master’s Certificate in Health Informatics