Students who earn a health informatics bachelor degree online will learn to engage with new and evolving technologies that are critical to the healthcare industry. This interdisciplinary field intersects with several aspects of medical data collection and organization, allowing you to craft your niche within the medical field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 15% growth in health informatics careers by 2024. Professionals need a progressive and comprehensive online program with updated technological resources and training methods to succeed.
What are the best health informatics programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:
|1||University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL|
|2||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|3||King University||Bristol, TN|
|4||Dakota State University||Madison, SD|
|5||East Carolina University||Greenville, NC|
|6||University of South Carolina Upstate||Spartanburg, SC|
|7||University of Illinois at Chicago||Chicago, IL|
|8||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester, NH|
|9||Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis||Indianapolis, IN|
|10||University of Wisconsin Green Bay||Green Bay, WI|
Choosing a Program
Choosing a health informatics online degree program that fits your particular academic interests is important. An online degree can be tailored to fit your personal career aspirations. Common core courses for many online programs focus on the business and administrative side of the healthcare industry. Project management, economics in the healthcare field, marketing, and human resource management are topics frequently taught in core curricula. You will also have the opportunity to pick a number of elective courses that fit your interests.
A degree in health informatics can prepare you for a variety of fulfilling careers in the healthcare industry. Many graduates seek positions such as medical records managers, office directors, informatics analysts, clinical informatics specialists, healthcare consultants, and nursing home administrators. There will be time throughout your coursework to hone your skills and develop your specialties.
Most health informatics online degrees require a final project and a batch of courses based on the skills you've learned throughout the program, often referred to as a capstone project and capstone courses. These two components of your training help define your specialty in the health informatics field. Specializing helps students learn their strengths and find the job that best fits their expertise.
2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Health Informatics Programs
University of Central Florida
|Orlando, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
UCF in Orlando offers several programs for distance learners, including an online bachelor's degree in health informatics and information management. About 50% of first-time students graduate without any college debt. Most program requirements may be completed remotely; however, some prerequisites and electives may not be available online.
The 120-credit program typically takes four years to complete. The core curriculum includes coursework in health sciences and research methods, medical terminology, health data management, and health law. Students must also complete professional experience hours.
Prospective students must first apply and obtain acceptance to UCF prior to enrolling in this program. Applicants must possess a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA and submit official high school and college transcripts (if applicable). If students possess fewer than 60 college credits, they must also submit ACT or SAT test scores.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
WGU is an online university that offers many degrees, including a bachelor's degree in health information management that holds accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. WGU uses a competency-based format and allows students to move through coursework at their own pace.
The program comprises 36 total courses and typically takes about 39 months to complete. The curriculum provides a comprehensive overview of essential topics in business, healthcare management, leadership and management, and the health sciences. Students must also complete professional experience hours, a portfolio, and capstone.
WGU boasts a 92% pass rate for this program. Prospective students must possess a high school or GED diploma and prior experience in the field. Qualifying experiences include an associate degree in a related field or a resume showing at least three years of relevant employment.
|Bristol, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
King — based in Bristol, Tennessee — offers an online bachelor's degree in health informatics. The university holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and caters to working professionals hoping to advance their careers. Online learning incorporates an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework remotely at any time of day.
Students must complete a total of 124 credits, including general education, elective, and major course requirements. A few example courses include informatics for healthcare leaders and decision-makers, ethics and legal issues, project management, and cloud computing. Each course takes five weeks to complete.
Prospective students must possess a high school diploma with a minimum 2.2 GPA, a GED diploma, or a minimum of 16 college credits. Applicants must submit official transcripts from previously attended schools.
Dakota State University
|Madison, SD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
DSU has a main campus in Madison, South Dakota, and it also offers a variety of online degree programs, including a bachelor's in health information administration. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. DSU reports that 100% of its students find employment in the healthcare field within a year of graduating.
The 120-127-credit program typically takes four years to complete. The curriculum includes classes in leadership and strategic management, healthcare procedure coding systems, and basic medical terminology. Students must also complete professional experience hours. Graduates qualify to sit for the American Health Information Management Association exam, preparing to become a registered health information administrator.
Prospective students must complete DSU's health information technology program or possess a registered health information technician certification. Qualifying applicants must also hold a high school or GED diploma and submit official transcripts.
East Carolina University
|Greenville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
ECU — located in Greenville, North Carolina — offers an online bachelor of science in health information management. This program holds accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Online learning at ECU allows students to complete all coursework remotely, although some professors may require proctored exams.
The 120-credit program includes coursework in leadership in healthcare, applied health services research, and healthcare finance and accounting. Graduates qualify to sit for the American Health Information Management Association exam and become a registered health information administrator. ECU currently boasts a 100% first-time pass rate for its graduates.
Students must complete 33 credits of prerequisites and foundation courses with a 2.5 minimum GPA prior to entering the program. Applicants must submit transcripts from all previously attended schools.
University of South Carolina Upstate
|Spartanburg, SC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
Spartanburg's USC Upstate offers 15 fully online degree programs, including a bachelor of arts in health informatics. Online learning typically uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework at any time of day. However, some instructors may require occasional live online classroom sessions.
This program, which is offered in association with Palmetto College, teaches students the process of generating, acquiring, storing, and retrieving information. The curriculum includes coursework that covers healthcare organizations, networking technology, healthcare info systems, cybersecurity, and project management.
USC Upstate is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Applicants must fill out an online application and submit transcripts from previously attended schools and SAT or ACT test scores.
University of Illinois at Chicago
|Chicago, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
UIC offers 80 bachelor's programs, including an online bachelor of science in health information management. Online learning uses an asynchronous format that allows students to complete all coursework remotely at their convenience.
This health information program comprises 123 total credits. Before beginning major requirements, students must complete prerequisite courses, such as academic writing and human anatomy and physiology. The core curriculum includes classes in coding and classification systems, healthcare financial management, and health information research. Students must also complete a clinical practicum.
Prospective students must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants should also submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT test scores.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
SNHU offers over 200 online degree programs, including a bachelor of science in health information management. The program uses a career-focused curriculum and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management. Online learning allows students to complete their degree from anywhere at any time of day.
The 120-credit program explores key topics like healthcare delivery systems, healthcare quality management, communication and technologies, and pathophysiology and pharmacology concepts. Students must also complete a practicum under the supervision of a professional. Graduates can sit for the American Health Information Management Association exam to become a registered health information administrator.
SNHU allows students to transfer in up to 90 college credits. Applicants must possess a high school or GED diploma, submit official school transcripts, and complete an application.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
|Indianapolis, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
IUPUI oversees a variety of online degree programs. Among these options is a bachelor's in health information management program that holds accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Students can complete coursework entirely online.
The curriculum includes courses in database design for health information management, healthcare financial management, health information technology, and introduction to health informatics. The program also incorporates a professional practicum requirement. Additionally, IUPUI offers an accelerated 4+1 program, allowing students to earn both a bachelor and master of science in health informatics in five years.
IUPUI is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Prospective students must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants must also submit ACT or SAT test scores.
University of Wisconsin Green Bay
|Green Bay, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
UW-Green Bay offers an online bachelor of science in health information management and technology that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. This degree completion program caters to adult learners with previous college experience.
Students complete 48 credits of core classes, including statistics for healthcare; quality assessment and improvement; and ethical issues, security management, and compliance. The remaining courses depend on whether students select the healthcare management or healthcare technology emphasis. Students must complete a capstone to graduate.
Prospective students must possess at least 60 credits earned with a 2.0 minimum GPA. Applicants should submit official transcripts from previously attended colleges and universities.
What Else Can I Expect from an Online Bachelor's in Health Informatics Program?
Each health informatics online degree will reflect the objectives and character of the institution. Details pertaining to the kinds of training you will receive will vary from program to program. Looking at the core curriculum can give you a better understanding of the material you'll be working with. These sections will often include elective courses taught in previous years, giving you an idea of how the degree can be customized.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH INFORMATICS
Courses taught through an accredited program will prepare students to enter the field. Below is a sample curriculum of what you can expect to encounter during your instruction.
Healthcare Delivery Systems: This course teaches you the cultural, economic, and political aspects of healthcare. Students explore health care costs and accessibility of services at the federal, state, and local levels.
Ethical and Legal Considerations: In these types of courses you will learn about the U.S. legal system and ethical procedures within the field. In your career you will deal with a variety of scenarios where your knowledge of applicable laws and legal restrictions will set you apart from your peers.
Professional Practice and Experience: Some health informatics online degrees offer on-the-job learning experience. Here, you will apply and refine the skills you have learned in other courses.
Healthcare Capstone: Most online programs require you to complete a series of capstone courses and execute a final project. Here, you will demonstrate the skills you have mastered and how you will apply them in the field.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH INFORMATICS?
Full-time students can expect to finish their online degree in health informatics in four years. Most programs require approximately 120-140 course credits.
The length of your program might vary depending on if you have transfer credit available from another school or enroll in an accelerated program. The flexibility of online learning is helpful for those students that have outside work, familial, and personal obligations. Part-time students can expect to take longer than four years to complete their bachelor's degree.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Health Informatics Degrees?
When looking at health informatics online degrees, be sure to review the school's accreditation standing. Accredited schools have been evaluated by educational authorities who ensure that programs are in good academic standing. There are two kinds of accreditation: regional and national. Regionally accredited schools, while sometimes more expensive, allow students to easily transfer their credits; 98% of regionally accredited schools are degree-granting, nonprofit institutions. In comparison to schools with national accreditation, 65% are non-degree granting institutions and are often vocational or trade schools. Nationally accredited schools might not present the same opportunities to transfer credits to other schools and sometimes receive less outside funding opportunities.
Various positions in healthcare require state licensure. Be sure that your earned credentials will be recognized by the state and help you advance to your desired career position. The website for the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is a valuable resource.
The United States Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) oversee and approve accreditors. The DOE is responsible for establishing the standards and criteria necessary to be considered for accreditation. The CHEA is an association of approximately 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities that acts as quality control for educational standards. CHEA is also actively working to improve the quality of education by strengthening its accreditation review principles. More information can be found on the websites for the DOE and the CHEA.
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Health Informatics Graduates
By 2024, more than 56,000 new positions are expected to open in health informatics, health services management, and other related fields. This projection indicates a 15-17% increase in jobs, a faster growth rate than in many other occupations. The aging population and the increase of upgraded electronic recordkeeping systems in hospitals accounts for this projection. Earning your health informatics degree online can help secure your place among the next generation of professionals.
BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH INFORMATICS SALARY
The salaries indicated below speak to the variety of positions in health informatics. The table indicates that all salaries will increase with experience. The median pay for medical records and health information technicians in May 2016 was $37,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)|
|Medical Records Manager||$44,224||$38,000||$37,000||$42,000|
|Medical Office Manager||$48,388||$39,000||$48,000||$50,000|
|Clinical Informatics Specialist||$72,932||$65,000||$74,000||$81,000|
BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH INFORMATICS CAREERS
Professionals in health informatics work in various roles that combine technology and healthcare. Professionals must be familiar with current practices in data collection, storage, and access. You must be able and willing to adapt to technological upgrades, including advancements in software and hardware, in order to provide the best access, storage, and maintenance of medical records and pertinent patient information. Having an eye for detail and appreciation for consistent, methodological workflow is essential. Below is a list of health informatics careers and their duties.
- Informatics Specialist: Specialists optimize the use and function of medical records for patient care. They often serve as the liaison among the clinical staff and the software or computer vendors. Specialists often oversee software updates and ensure that all information collection and storage is sufficient for the needs of the location.
- Medical Transcriptionist: Transcriptionists listen to voice recordings made by healthcare workers and physicians and convert them into written text. They often review and edit reports, utilize voice recognition software, and posses an expansive knowledge of medical terms and abbreviations.
- Medical Records Manager: Managers assist in fiscal operations, including budgets and financial reports. They supervise the release of patient information to various medical agencies and ensure that all of those interactions are carried out according to state and federal regulations.
- Medical Records Director: Directors compile, process, and maintain medical records in hospitals and clinics. They follow the standards for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in order to protect patient privacy and confidential records.
- Information Clerks: Clerks are responsible for maintaining a variety of records and collecting data. In some scenarios, they may be required to work directly with patients and customers.
|Position||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate|
|Medical Records Technician||$44,224||15%|
|Medical Office Manager||$48,388||17%|
|Clinical Information Specialist||$72,932||15%|
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Health Informatics Program
Identify and explore all of the financial aid resources available to make your education affordable. Complete and submit a FAFSA application to be considered for federal loans. The sooner this is completed the better, since funds are delegated on a rolling basis. Additional sources of funding, such as work-study programs and scholarships, may be acquired through private colleges and universities. Some private organizations reserve funds for various racial, religious, and cultural communities.
Approximately two-thirds of college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the FAFSA is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.