Who might be attracted to a graduate degree in HI?
Health informatics seeks better uses of both information and information technology to enhance the quality of care provided throughout the health system.
Health Informatics is an attractive degree to anyone looking for a healthcare or information technology career that is personally rewarding and offers advantages like high salary, good benefits, and excellent job growth potential.
There are three primary demographics that might be especially interested in Health Informatics:
- Informatics and CS majors
- Students in other health majors
- Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians interested in augmenting their skills
Informatics and CS Majors
HI is an excellent major for anyone with an interest in information technology but with a desire to improve healthcare and patient outcomes.
This doesn’t exclude those in other majors. Some individuals discover their true passion later than others, and the HI major is designed to take that into account and level the playing field for all students.
Students in Other Healthcare Majors
Health Informatics can be an interesting secondary major for students from other healthcare majors, such as nursing, pharmacy, lab/radiology technicians, biology, etc.
Physicians, Nurses, and Other Clinicians
Health professionals with both clinical and technical acumen are attracted to Health Informatics. Healthcare providers such as physicians and nurses can complement their medical training with a comprehensive informatics education.
Individuals with experience spanning both a clinical background and medical expertise are ideal candidates to fill informatics positions being created in the healthcare sector. Such experience and knowledge can increase awareness of the concerns of the clinical staff and can allow an individual to act as a liaison between the clinicians and the IT department in addressing health informatics issues.
William Hersh, MD, (link) discusses physicians in informatics:
Overall, the opportunities for physicians in informatics are substantial and growing. While many early informatics roles for physicians focused on research and development, the real growth opportunities are now for those seeking to be informatics practitioners. These practitioners play a variety of roles not only in planning and implementing systems, but deriving value from the information within them.
An ever increasing number of healthcare organizations have recognized the importance of physician informatics leadership.
Nursing informatics combines knowledge of nursing, information technology and health records and data. Informatics nurses are responsible for bridging the gap between clinical and IT. Few people recognize the importance of effective and efficient patient care as intimately as the nurses who are frequently charged with providing it.
Because of the level of expertise and compassion that goes into nursing, many healthcare settings are looking for nurses who have a specialist skill in informatics. Nursing informatics looks to improve record keeping procedures, works toward lowering inaccuracies in patient care plans, and addresses the logistics of technology in patient care.