Informatics and CS

Business Informatics, Health Informatics & Computer Science

Emphasis on Health

HCI logo.

The Informatics and CS program provides students with an option to enter the thriving health field. We offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Health Informatics.

Health informatics is associated with outstanding demand and remarkable salaries. The North American health informatics market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4%. Major factors driving this growth include increased pressure to cut healthcare costs, growing demand to integrate healthcare systems, financial support from the U.S. government, government initiatives, and a rise in the aging population. Among the major constraints to the growth of health informatics is a shortage of health informatics professionals (reference).

There is a lack of Health Informatics programs worldwide, and many are online only and relatively expensive. Our undergraduate degree was one of the first in the United States, and was developed to address this scarcity.

Our degree is distinct because it is delivered in cooperation with the Kasiska School of Health Professions and has a health informatics practicum as its cornerstone.

Our program is a joint offering between a very established, well-credentialed College of Business and a very prestigious Division of Health Sciences. The Division of Health Sciences (DHS) is the lead health sciences institution in the state of Idaho. Combining features from two majors exposes students to the fundamentals of IT as well as the function, operation, and nature of health care. Our curriculum provides students with exposure to the interaction and interdependencies of technology with other key elements in health care. Our joint major provides an effective bridge between health sciences and information systems.

Both Health Informatics degrees include a Health Informatics Practicum, which requires field experience in a health informatics setting consistent with the student’s career goals. The purpose of the health informatics practicum is to expand classroom learning to include "hands-on" experience in health informatics in the context of a particular industry sector. The practicum is intended to provide students with the opportunity to synthesize all previous coursework, to develop competence in professional practice, to apply knowledge to the solution of health informatics problems, and to develop a respect for and a commitment to continued professional knowledge.

Our health informatics program focuses on developing the competencies and skills needed to work with leading edge technologies as well as to implement process change, system design, and management within the unique constraints and practices associated with the healthcare industry.

Health informatics graduates have opportunities to work in hospitals, physician networks and practice groups, insurance companies, regulatory agencies, and industry suppliers such as pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and vendors of hospital equipment and medical supplies.

One of our recent health informatics graduates, Angela Byington, works at St. Luke's in Boise. She recently visited ISU and addressed the members of our ICS student group about the employment options and opportunities associated with health informatics. A video of her presentation can be viewed on YouTube (link) and her slides can be found here.

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