Online Master's in Health Informatics
Master of Science in Health Informatics
Drexel University's CAHIIM-accredited online Master’s in Health Informatics (HI) prepares you for emerging roles in healthcare that call for strong information systems and data analytics skills. This new kind of professional helps both clinicians and consumers understand and manage vast amounts of medical data.
The MS in Health Informatics program is perfect for information technology specialists who want to pursue careers within biomedical and health organizations. It is also ideal for current healthcare professionals who want to use electronic health data to improve the quality and safety of patient care.
What is a Master’s in Health Informatics?
A master’s in health informatics is a professional graduate degree. It is for bachelor’s educated students who want to study at the crossroads of healthcare, business intelligence (BI), information technology (IT)/ information systems (IS), and data analytics. At its core, health informatics (also Health Information Systems) uses IT to organize and analyze electronic health records (EHRs) to improve healthcare outcomes.
The MSHI program at the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. While housed in the College of Computing and Informatics, the program receives curricular support from the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Dornsife School of Public Health, and LeBow College of Business.
To earn your degree, you’ll need to complete 45 quarter credits. Some of these are required courses. They cover topics from databases and human-computer interaction to software engineering economics and web systems and architecture. In your three approved electives, you’ll be able to select courses that reflect your interests and goals, such as cybersecurity, epidemiology, health research, or any other approved area. You’ll also have one free elective.
What Can You Do with a Master’s in Health Informatics?
The demand for workers who understand healthcare IT systems is growing rapidly given the widespread use and broad streams of EHRs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 20% rise in demand for educated medical and health services managers from 2016 through 2026. That’s much faster than the average for other occupations. Twenty-three percent of workers in Health and Medical Administrative Services hold a master’s degree.
This outlook favors master’s prepared students with knowledge of health care IT. Apart from understanding theory, such professionals will have the technical skills needed to organize, manage, and integrate electronic data into many sectors of the healthcare industry. These sectors include major employers like hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing and residential care, government, outpatient centers, public health, consumer health, and medical research.
Here are five job titles that people with a master’s degree in health informatics may hold:
- Informatics Nurse Specialist
Informatics nurse specialists apply their knowledge of nursing and healthcare IT to help design, develop, and modify computerized healthcare systems. Some people working in this field are business consultants. Others have job titles such as Clinical Informatics Strategist, Nursing Information Systems Coordinator, and Clinical Informatics Director.
Projected Job Openings from 2016-2026: 44,900
- Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts bring business and IT together by understanding the needs of each department. These professionals study data processing systems used by an organization to figure out how to make them more efficient and effective. This involves testing, trouble shooting, and consulting.
Projected Job Openings from 2016-2026: 44,900
- Chief Medical Information Officer
Chief medical information officers often set the policies and standards for their organization. This takes an ability to see the big picture, plan, and strategize. Many CIOs working in healthcare also oversee operational activities at the highest levels of management.
Projected Job Openings from 2016-2026: 20,000
- Healthcare IT Project Manager
Healthcare IT project managers often help set information technology goals and work to ensure the organization’s computer systems are on point. Since all computer-oriented duties fall under their purview, they often interact with computer systems analysts, software developers, InfoSec analysts, and computer support specialists.
Projected Job Openings from 2016-2026: 42,400
- Medical Records Coordinator
Medical records coordinators make sure that records are complete, accurate, and compliant. They need to stay current with the healthcare industry’s rules and numerical coding system. Some may also manage a team of health information clerks.
Projected Job Openings from 2016-2026: 15,800
Is a Master’s in Health Informatics Worth It?
There are several reasons why pursuing a master’s in health informatics may be worthwhile. One is about growth in the industry. Another is how to prepare to meet competition with robust credentials. Let’s take a deeper look:
- Build in-demand skills
Health informatics covers a lot of ground from many disciplines. It looks at the resources, devices, and methods that collect, store, protect, and grant access to information in health and medicine. The program also teaches you how to use modern, high-tech information systems to create more efficient and productive healthcare environments. Because it is CAHIIM-accredited, the curriculum is ensured to meet CAHIIM’s rigorous academic standards and also integrates insight from industry leaders who identify key skills needed to succeed in the field.
- Fill gaps in your education
A MS in health informatics appeals to technical and clinical professionals alike. It may, in fact, help you fill the gaps in your education. This can mean developing your IT skills if you are a clinician. Or, infusing your computing background with a solid foundation in health IT. For example, computer systems analysts working in a hospital usually need to understand Medicare and Medicaid.
- Step into leadership
Graduates who have a master’s in health informatics generally take on positions as managers of health information. Health information managers maintain and secure patient data. They also overs the work of medical records and health information professionals. To step into a position of authority, a master’s degree may be necessary.
- Keep your knowledge current
Managers of health informatics must have their finger on the pulse of many areas. From evolving information technology and current or proposed laws about health information systems to trends in managing and securing large amounts of complex data.
- Pursue jobs in high growth fields
Employment projections for computer and information technology jobs are on-the-rise by 13% from 2016 through 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. Knowledge of health informatics applies to the pharmaceutical industry, nursing and healthcare, psychology, clinical medicine, epidemiology, medical and biological research, and beyond. In any area, pulling up patient data is crucial to executing a treatment plan, patient monitoring, surgery, and innovation.
Check out the 4 fastest growing jobs in the field to help guide your choice.
What are the Salary Expectations for Graduates with a Master’s of Health Informatics Degree?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places health information managers into the larger employment category known as health services and medical managers. Based on their most recent figures, the average annual salary for medical and health services managers was $99,730 in May 2018. Salaries depend on many factors including location, setting and experience.
Median Hourly Wage
Median Annual Salary
Nursing Information Systems Coordinator
Health Information Manager
Chief Medical Information Officer
Healthcare IT Project Manager
Medical Records Director
Data from bls.gov
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master’s in Health Informatics?
A master's degree in health informatics may take two years of full-time study. Drexel’s online MS in Health Informatics entails four 10-week quarters per year, which means you can choose to take more courses in a shorter period of time. The program is also available in a part-time format.
Master’s of Health Informatics Program Outcomes
- Convey how to use health informatics and data to solve healthcare problems across diverse settings, from individual patients to universal public health issues
- Develop and apply modern information science theories and practices to support the generation, management, and sharing of biomedical data
- Implement, adapt, and validate existing informatics models and methods as they relate to specific biomedical and healthcare problems
- Understand how to develop information systems that solve major issues in biomedical and healthcare administration using concepts and methods from the social, behavioral, communications, and organizational sciences
- Utilize key principles from ethics, law, and socio-economic policy that improve patient care
- Collaborate across disciplines to define, discuss, and resolve key issues in healthcare informatics
Master’s of Health Informatics Program Features
- 45 credits, including one free elective and three approved electives
- Curriculum focused on the systems of informatics and psycho-social aspects of the healthcare industry
- Available in a completely online format, on a full-time or part-time basis
- Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredited. Graduates of CCI’s CAHIIM-accredited programs are eligible to sit for professional certification exams including Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) offered by AHIMA
- Drexel University is a charter member of the American Medical Informatics Association Academic Forum
This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.
You may transfer up to 9 approved credits (3 courses) into the program.
|INFO 540||Perspectives on Information Systems||3.0|
|INFO 600||Web Systems & Architecture||3.0|
|INFO 605||Database Management Systems||3.0|
|INFO 606||Advanced Database Management||3.0|
|INFO 620||Information Systems Analysis and Design||3.0|
|INFO 648||Healthcare Informatics||3.0|
|INFO 659||Introduction to Data Analytics||3.0|
|INFO 712||Information Assurance||3.0|
|INFO 896||Health Informatics Experience *||3.0|
|NURS 557||Leadership and Stewardship in the Health Professions||3.0|
|NURS 558||Economics of Healthcare Management & Policy||3.0|
|Choose three of the following:|
|BST 571||Introduction to Biostatistics|
|BUSN 651||Healthcare Business Practice I: Foundations|
|BUSN 652||Healthcare Business Practice II|
|BUSN 653||Healthcare Business Practice III: Capstone|
|DSCI 511||Data Acquisition and Pre-Processing|
|DSCI 521||Data Analysis and Interpretation|
|EPI 570||Introduction to Epidemiology|
|EPI 572||Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies|
|HSAD 505||Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Management and Policy|
|INFO 517||Principles of Cybersecurity|
|INFO 608||Human-Computer Interaction|
|INFO 610||Analysis of Interactive Systems|
|INFO 611||Design of Interactive Systems|
|INFO 622||Content Representation|
|INFO 623||Social Network Analytics|
|INFO 624||Information Retrieval Systems|
|INFO 634||Data Mining|
|INFO 646||Information Systems Management|
|INFO 731||Managing Health Informatics Projects|
|INFO 732||Healthcare Informatics: Planning & Evaluation|
|INFO 733||Public Health Informatics|
|NURS 531||Epidemiology in Action: Tracking Health & Disease|
|NURS 532||Evaluation of Health Outcomes|
|NURS 564||The Business of Healthcare|
|RSCH 519||Introduction to Biostatistics|
|RSCH 523||Methods for Health Research|
|SE 630||Software Engineering Economics|
*You are encouraged to contact the program director to develop a project assignment and agreement for INFO 896.
- A four-year bachelor's degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution
- A GPA of 3.0 or higher, in a completed degree program, bachelors or above
With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.
- A completed application
- Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
- Scores from the General Aptitude Test of the GRE
- We offer a preliminary GRE waiver for students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher for a conferred undergraduate or graduate degree. This is a departmental decision. The GRE waiver does not need to be requested.
- Scores in the 50th percentile or above in all three sections are sought
- Scores must be less than 5 years old
- One letter of recommendation, two suggested (academic, professional, or both)
- Essay/Statement of Purpose
- In approximately 500 words, describe what professional goals you hope to achieve, how an advanced degree facilitates that success and anything else you want the Admissions Review Board to know about you.
- Additional requirements for International Students
The tuition rate for the academic year 2020-2021 is $1342 per credit.
- This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
- Special tuition rates available for Drexel University Alumni, Military members, and members of our Partner Organizations
- These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
- Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
- All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
- Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
- When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.
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