Bachelor’s in Health Informatics Program Guide

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May 11, 2021

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The health informatics field exposes students to healthcare, information science, and computer science. Health informaticists often work in data or clinical analysis, computer systems management, applied research, electronic health records (EHRs), or higher education. The aging baby-boom generation will likely drive increasing demand for these healthcare professionals.

A bachelor's degree in health informatics provides graduates with computer technology management and healthcare administration skills. This multidisciplinary field offers job possibilities in diverse fields.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Health Informatics?

Health informatics professionals often find data analysis, problem-solving, and other technical tasks fulfilling.

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in health informatics should experience strong demand. Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects significant job growth for medical records and health information technicians (8%) and medical health services managers (32%). With the U.S. population growing older, the need for healthcare services may likely increase as well.

A bachelor's degree in health informatics takes most students four years to complete. Most programs comprise approximately 120 credits.

Students with an associate degree in health informatics or a computer science background might need less time to fulfill their course requirements. Other factors like taking fewer courses per term or attending school part time might affect how long it takes to graduate.

Health informatics professionals often find data analysis, problem solving, and other technical tasks fulfilling. However, they need to devote significant effort to staying informed about constantly changing information and concepts in the field. Success in health informatics depends on staying current with new technologies and practices, including fulfilling continuing education requirements.

Many health informaticists get a certification to supplement their online bachelor's degree, which they typically complete in 8-12 months. Many certifications reflect a health informatics specialty, such as the registered health information technician credential from the American Health Information Management Association. Some professionals need a license to work in fields like nursing.

What Will I Learn in a Health Informatics Bachelor's Program?

Core courses for an online bachelor's degree in health information typically include EHRs, health data management, healthcare computer systems, healthcare legal foundations, and medical terminology. Aspiring professionals should build a background in biology and computer programming as well. Most students graduate with a thorough understanding of healthcare administration and information systems.

An online bachelor's degree in health informatics provides students with competencies in analytics, communication, computer skills, and leadership. While some proficiencies depend upon specialization, students generally need strong technical skills to manage computing systems and work with large data sets.

Graduates also need to develop a strong sense of integrity because they work with medical and health records, even though they typically do not work directly with patients.

Concentrations

Management

A management concentration allows learners to focus on leadership. Depending on the program, this specialization might require an internship, providing students with experience that can position them for future managerial positions.

Administration

Students who focus on administration learn about data analysis and classification, medical records, and health information. This concentration typically enables professionals to obtain certification as registered health information administrators.

Analytics

Students who seek careers as data analysts typically pursue an analytics concentration. They learn how to use computer programs to analyze patient records and health data to make access to health information faster and more efficient.

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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Health Informatics?

With a bachelor's degree in health informatics, graduates can work in many industries as data analysts or health informatics specialists. Some professionals find employment in hospitals that provide general or specialized care. Diagnostic and medical laboratories that serve medical providers also employ health informaticists.

Graduates can also fill analytics or management roles in physicians' offices and outpatient care facilities. There are also opportunities in pharmaceutical manufacturing for professionals with expertise in analytics, database management, and computer system administration.

Popular Career Paths

Information Systems Manager

Also called information technology managers or project managers, these individuals direct computer-related functions in an organization. They determine technology goals and implement measures to meet them.

Medical Records or Health Information Specialist

This role typically involves coding, organizing, and managing health information. These specialists maintain databases and catalog patient histories.

Medical and Health Services Manager

These professionals plan and supervise a healthcare organization's medical and health services. Medical and health services managers stay abreast of legal and technological changes in the field.

Popular Continued Education Paths

Master's in Health Informatics Doctorate in Health Informatics Health Informatics Graduate Certificate

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Health Informatics?

An online bachelor's degree in health informatics can increase an individual's earning potential. Medical records and health information technicians earn a median annual salary of $44,090, according to the BLS. Managers can receive higher pay. For example, medical and health services managers make a median annual salary of $104,280.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Health Informatics Programs

What is health informatics?

Professionals in health informatics work with health records to support healthcare delivery. Using data analysis and classification methods, health informaticists ensure that physicians, nurses, and other providers can access patient records quickly and easily. The data they store and retrieve includes patient information, diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes.

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in health informatics?

Tuition for a bachelor's degree in health informatics can cost between $10,000-$25,000 per year. Costs fluctuate depending on the school's location, delivery format, and whether a student can pay in-state tuition. Enrolling in an online program might allow students to earn their diploma in less time, resulting in lower costs.

What do you study in health informatics?

Graduates with an associate degree in health informatics might find that a bachelor's program will likely require additional computer science classes. Other courses typically include health data management, healthcare legal foundations, healthcare reimbursement, medical terminology, and EHRs.

Is a bachelor's in health informatics worth it?

People who thrive in organizational environments and possess a passion for improving patient outcomes might find this career fulfilling. They may also see an increasing demand for their services. The BLS projects that employment for medical and health services managers could grow by 32% between 2019 and 2029.

What's the difference between a bachelor's in health informatics and a bachelor's in bioinformatics?

Health informatics addresses general, population-level issues, while bioinformatics is a subdiscipline within health informatics. Bioinformatics applies computing technology to sizable biological data sets. For example, bioinformatics graduates might use genomic data to develop prescription medications.

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