Just as in every other aspect of our lives, data plays a big role in today’s healthcare landscape. Health organizations need people who understand how to create systems that collect and maintain that data, as well as how to extract information from it to create actionable insights. This is where the field of health informatics comes into play.
What is health informatics?
Health informatics is the field that synthesizes data analytics, data science and information management to collect, analyze and apply data to improve health outcomes. Informaticists develop and evaluate systems that collect and use data to increase efficiencies in healthcare organizations. The ultimate goal is to enhance healthcare services, lower costs and improve patient outcomes.
What is the difference between health informatics and health technology?
Health informatics encompasses the collection, analysis and application of data, while health technology can refer to any type of device, equipment or system in the healthcare setting.
Is there also a difference between health informatics and health information management?
While both involve data, there is a difference between the two. Health information management typically pertains to the organization, analysis and protection of health data. It’s also concerned with how that data is used. While health informatics may include that, it has the added scope of developing, implementing and evaluating the very systems used to collect and analyze that data.
What do you need to pursue a career in health informatics?
In the early days of health informatics, many informaticists were administrators who were thrust into the role of supervising the development of a health information system or volunteered to create one. Since then, the field has matured and become more specialized, with many health organizations employing dedicated informatics and data science personnel. There are now undergraduate and graduate programs in health informatics, equipping those who wish to enter the field with the specific skills that health organizations are looking for.
Why should you enroll in a master’s in health informatics?
Data and its impact on operations continues to play a larger and larger role in health organization operations. All of them are collecting tremendous amounts of data, and the organizations which collate and analyze this data best will have an edge over those who don’t. They’ll have better operating efficiencies, which will translate to better cost savings and patient outcomes. A master’s in healthcare informatics is not only critical for those wishing to advance their career in informatics, but is also beneficial for leaders in health organizations who need to better understand how data is collected and processed, and the impact data has on operations.
What jobs can you get with a master’s in health informatics?
A master’s in health informatics is a solid credential for a wide variety of positions in the field. Here are some examples:
- Director of health informatics
- Healthcare informatics consultant
- Clinical informatics manager/specialist
- Health informatics specialist/analyst
- Senior health informatics and information systems advisor
- Healthcare informatics and reporting specialist
Equip yourself with the skills you need to excel in the field of health informatics. Explore American College of Education’s fully online M.S. in Health Informatics.