Health Informatics

Masters of Science

Master of Science in Health Informatics

Why MSHI?

With classes available at the Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Meridian, and Twin Falls campuses, ISU's Master of Science in Health Informatics program is a fantastic opportunity for both students and current healthcare professionals.

  • Have you already received a Bachelor's degree but are looking for a more rewarding yet lucrative career?
  • Are you a healthcare provider interested in improving health care through better technology and information? You can complement your medical training with a comprehensive informatics education.
  • Are you seeking a major that makes it possible to not only help others but still earn a great salary?
  • Are you a recent high school graduate or lower division undergrad interested in entering the workforce as quickly as possible? If so, take a look at our concurrent BBA and MS in Health Informatics!

Health informatics integrates applied computer science and healthcare professions into a single field in order to develop strategic uses of information technology to address the challenges that healthcare organizations face, and to revolutionize healthcare practice and research.

Health Informatics professionals understand the relationship between information technology, people, health, and the healthcare system.


The Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) helps bridge the long-standing gap between the medical and administrative knowledge possessed by healthcare personnel and the information technology knowledge possessed by technologists.

A career in Health Informatics offers a way to combine two very strong interests: information systems and care, focusing on the business and information systems behind the healthcare system.

Health Informatics professionals must keep current in computer and software technology as well as in all federal and state laws that regulate the use and security of electronic patient records. They are expected to stay up-to-date in clinical guidelines and medical terminology. In addition, Health Informatics professionals are also tasked with keeping patient, hospital, and practitioner data secure and accurate.

The Health Informatics major is designed to enable graduates to enter careers in information systems usage in healthcare organizations. Information systems play an increasingly important role in the burgeoning healthcare field. The Health Informatics degree is intended to develop the skills necessary to manage information systems in a healthcare environment.

Health care poses very unique and challenging obstacles to Informatics. The protection of confidential patient information, the complexity of health information models, the changing health landscape, and the required adherence to governmental initiatives, all create external forces that must be managed to ensure the successful implementation of health solutions.

If you want to use your Informatics knowledge to truly make a difference in other people's lives, Health Informatics is the major for you!


STEM

Health Informatics is STEM!

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes are assigned to every major in order to classify the program. Every major offered by the ICS department has a CIP code indicating that it is a STEM Designated Degree Program, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The CPI code assigned to our Health Informatics majors is 51.2706 (Medical Informatics).


Demand

Patient privacy regulations, combined with the rapid growth of both medical knowledge and technology, have increased demand for Health Informatics professionals qualified to lead industry change. In the 2013 HIMSS Workforce Survey both vendors and healthcare provider respondents identified the availability of qualified workers as the most significant barrier in meeting their staff needs. The Health Informatics field is becoming increasingly crucial for helping healthcare organizations store, retrieve, and process medical data in today’s digital age.

With the 2010 enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Federal Government mandate that every U.S. citizen have an electronic health record (EHR) by 2015, together with the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) via the associated Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and the requirement by the federal government that each state develop a Health Information Exchange in order to become part of a vast electronic national health information infrastructure, the Health Informatics job growth rate will undoubtedly only continue to increase. Here are some key facts from The HIT Workforce Shortage:

  • 67 percent of hospitals report shortages of Health Informatics (HI) staffing.
  • While cost is still a major problem, hospital executives report that lack of staff is now a bigger barrier to implementing HI.
  • Hospitals indicate they need staff in the areas of clinical software implementation and support, and health information professionals say they need clinical application support, network/architecture support and clinical informatics.
  • The federal government made $19.2 billion available to physicians and hospitals in 2009 under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act to help them set up electronic health records (EHRs).
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 21 percent increase in the employment of medical records and health information technologists between 2010 and 2020.
  • A 38 percent increase in workforce is needed to achieve sufficient levels of HI professionals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that Health Informatics jobs will grow by 23 percent between 2012 and 2022, making Health Informatics one of the fastest-growing occupations. It is expected that as the field develops due to health-related initiatives and mandates that the federal government established in 2009, the need for Health Informatics professionals will grow at an even faster rate.

Professionals who understand the relationship between information technology, people, health, and the healthcare system are in short supply and high demand. The lack of people with appropriate education and training in Health Informatics continues to be a major problem. Idaho State University’s interdisciplinary programs in Health Informatics will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to use information technology to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes—and to advance their career in this growing field.


Advising

Advising for the Master of Science in Health Informatics will be coordinated by the Program Director of Health Informatics, Dr. Velma Payne. Professor Payne's office is BA 533, or she can be contacted by email at paynvelm@isu.edu for advising or admissions inquiries.

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Why Should You Get an MSHI?

In a nutshell, to help others, excellent salaries, and fantastic job prospects!

A degree in Health Informatics allows you to put your high-tech skills to use and help others from all walks of life.

According to the 2016 Healthcare Information Technology Salary Report produced by HealthITjobs.com, the average Health Informatics salary is $93,469, and the average salary for those with 0-2 years’ experience is $68,629.

A recent survey of HI leaders shows that about 67% of healthcare providers face an IT skill shortage. Patient privacy regulations, combined with the rapid growth of both medical knowledge and technology, have increased demand for Health Informatics professionals qualified to lead industry change. The recent profusion of government mandates and initiatives regarding the need for and access to health information, including the Health Information Technology and Clinical Health Act, the Affordable Care Act, the State Health Information Exchange, and the DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization effort, have generated enormous demand for Health Informatics professionals. The Health Informatics job growth rate is projected to increase by 23 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.