Who are the best candidates for a Master’s in Health Informatics?
Dr. Joanna Abraham, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences
Dr. Miriam Isola, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences
Dr. Spyros Kitsiou, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences
Summary: Health informatics is a dynamic and evolving field that draws professionals from a variety of backgrounds, like IT, hospital administration, nursing and clinical. The best candidates are people who desire to develop and design new ways to optimize the collection, storage, retrieval and use of healthcare data.
I think professionals from various backgrounds. Need not be a health care person per say because if you want to learn or apply your knowledge that you have in the past into health care, they could be people who could join the program because I was one of them. I was trained in computer science and information sciences and technology, but then I applied the knowledge that I learned into medical arena or medical world. There could be professionals from various degree, need not be stuck to health care specific, but normally we get students from in the clinician world you have MDs, RM, registered nurses, RTs, pharmacists, those are the people who come, then we have people from the revenue cycle or the revenue world which is basically people who work on insurance claims, reporting, quoting. Those are other set of folks we do get into our program. I think people who are interested in design in terms of design and redevelopment of certain technologies. I do work on computerized physician auto entry systems and redesign of the system and user interface so that’s something that there are students out there who are interested in that space. Our course has actually helped them in coming up with the prototype or developing something at the end of their course or career.
I’ve also seen people from other industries decide that they’d like to come into the healthcare industry. It’s a growing industry. There’s a lot of jobs being created in this industry. It’s very dynamic and evolving, so people are interested in healthcare, and they sometimes make a switch.
I have a computer science degree, my Bachelor’s degree is in computer science. So, up to when I was 22, 23, I was really programming, I was interesting in programming languages and I had no idea about the application of IT in healthcare. All of a sudden, I started becoming interested in healthcare and for various reasons. So I pursued my Master’s and PhD degrees in Health Informatics and I have to tell you that this was a very, very rewarding choice of mine.