Health Informatics

Masters of Science

Master of Science 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!


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:

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.