Best Online Certificate in Health Informatics Programs
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Health informatics involves collecting healthcare-related data and funneling it through modern technology to contribute to better healthcare decision-making. This field blends two highly in-demand fields: healthcare and data management. As a result, a certificate in health informatics generally leads to stable careers with high projected growth rates.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records and health information specialists make a median annual salary of $45,240. The BLS projects 9% job growth for these professionals between 2020 and 2030. Candidates can qualify for these positions if they hold an online certificate in health informatics.
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Read on to gain more information about online certificate in health informatics programs, including common courses, admission requirements, and careers for graduates.
What Is a Certificate in Health Informatics Program?
Enrolling in a certificate program in health informatics can provide a good fit for students who are unsure of the level of education they want to pursue. These programs offer a low-cost way to try out the healthcare field to see if it suits you. They generally serve students who have already completed a bachelor's degree.
Requirements for certificate programs vary widely, but they often require 9-18 credits and take 6-18 months to complete.
What Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Health Informatics Program?
Most, but not all, online certificate in health informatics programs deliver coursework asynchronously, which means that they do not include scheduled course sessions. This delivery method suits working professionals and students with significant familial or personal commitments beyond their coursework.
Programs vary in their requirements. Students should generally expect to complete 9-18 credits over the course of 6-18 months.
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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Certificate in Health Informatics Program?
Each online certificate in health informatics program differs in terms of course requirements. However, below are several courses you can expect to take when pursuing an online certificate in health informatics.
Health Information Technology
This survey course covers a variety of IT topics as they relate to the healthcare industry. Most certificate-seekers take this course during their first semester, as it provides the foundational knowledge they need for the remainder of their coursework.
Introduction to Health Informatics
This course covers the mechanics of how data impacts healthcare systems, how the science behind medical technology works, and how medical computer networks function while remaining secure.
Health Information Systems
In this course, students learn how to use healthcare data in areas like telehealth, billing, and population health management.
Advanced Health Informatics
This course looks at health informatics on a much larger, global scale. Learners discuss how data is collected in hospital information systems and shared with other healthcare businesses, organizations, and government bodies. Students learn how hospital information systems are built, maintained, and secured.
What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Certificate in Health Informatics Program?
Students need to get their references, resumes, and transcripts in order before applying to online certificate in health informatics programs.
Admission requirements vary by program. However, most programs request the following materials:
What Can I Do With an Online Certificate in Health Informatics Degree?
According to the BLS, medical records and health information specialists earn a median annual salary of $45,240. The federal government is generally the highest-paying employer for these professionals, who can pursue work with agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 9% job growth for medical records and health information specialists, which translates to 37,100 new jobs in the field. The BLS attributes this growth to an aging population that should require additional medical care, along with the increasing prevalence of electronic healthcare records.
See where an online certificate in health informatics can take you. Learn more about health informatics careers.
Health Informatics Specialist
These professionals enter patient data, organize and analyze that data, and create reports to find trends in the data. Employers include large governmental agencies and tiny healthcare startups.
Average Annual Salary: $64,730 (Payscale, as of Dec. 2021)
Clinical Informatics Analyst
These analysts interpret healthcare data, finding ways to lower costs, provide better care, or make workflow more efficient. They then present that data to the healthcare organizations that employ them to implement improvements.
Average Annual Salary: $77,970 (Payscale, as of Dec. 2021)
Medical Records Specialist
Medical records specialists organize and manage healthcare-related data and information. They usually need a relevant certificate and typically work for healthcare organizations, spending most of their days at their computers.
Median Annual Salary: $45,240 (BLS, as of May 2020)
Clinical Health Data Managers
These professionals oversee various medical research projects, often focusing on a specific clinical or pharmaceutical trial. This is a deadline-driven and highly competitive corner of the health informatics world.
Average Annual Salary: $75,890 (Payscale, as of Dec. 2021)
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Implementation Specialist
These professionals provide technical support for installing, training, and maintaining health IT systems. Implementation specialists spend their days either at their computers or traveling around to help different users master software and systems.
Average Annual Salary: $55,920 (Payscale, as of Dec. 2021)
Health Informatics Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
The most common continuing education path for certificate-holders in health informatics is a relevant master's degree. Students can pursue graduate education in fields like healthcare administration or health informatics. They can also pursue professional certifications through organizations like the American Medical Informatics Association.
How Do I Choose an Online Certificate in Health Informatics Program?
The average cost for an online certificate ranges from $6,000-$15,000. Variables include if the school is public or private and if you attend full time or part time. Most certificate programs do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state learners when charging tuition; however, if you attend a state school, check tuition rates to make sure.
The Public Health Informatics & Technology Workforce Development Program can help students cover tuition through $73 million in scholarships and grants.
Consider whether you prefer synchronous or asynchronous learning. Synchronous programs require you to attend live online courses at specific times, while asynchronous programs do not, providing additional flexibility for working professionals and parents.
Even if you plan to enroll online, you may want to consider choosing a program at a school close to you. While most online certificate in health informatics programs do not include in-person requirements, your school may be able to connect you with local employers for internship and job opportunities.
The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) oversees programmatic accreditation for health informatics. Just as important is regional accreditation, which government agencies award to schools whose programs meet certain standards. If you enroll at a regionally accredited school, you can receive federal financial aid.
Look for student services at each of your prospective schools. These services can include writing centers, technical support, internship opportunities, networking events, and mentorship opportunities.
Best Accredited Online Certificate in Health Informatics Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Health Informatics Programs
Is a certificate in health informatics worth it?
What can you do with a certificate in health informatics?
Graduates with a certificate in health informatics can pursue careers as clinical health data managers, medical health records specialists, electronic health records implementation specialists, and clinical information analysts. They can often work in consulting roles or in in-house positions within individual healthcare organizations.
Is a health informatics certificate program hard?
Health informatics certificate programs can prove difficult for some students. The most successful students have an undergraduate background in and an aptitude for math, science, data analytics, and computer science. Students must be resilient and must enjoy problem-solving.
How long does it take to get a certificate in health informatics?
It depends on the school. However, most health informatics certificate programs last 6-18 months depending on if you enroll full time or part time.
What's the highest-paying job you can get with a certificate in health informatics?
The highest-paying job you can get with a certificate in health informatics is likely medical and health services manager. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $104,280 as of May 2020, with a projected job growth rate of 32% between 2020 and 2030.
To qualify for these positions, you need significant job experience and administrative and business skills in addition to data fluency and analytical skills.
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