June 26, 2017

Applicable Skills for Healthcare Practitioners

At the convergence of information technology, information management, and healthcare is the exciting field of health informatics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth in health informatics will increase 17% by 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.  Professionals coming from a healthcare background as well as those coming from an IT background are uniquely positioned to excel in health informatics – if they master the necessary skills.

The University of Miami’s online Masters of Science in Health Informatics program offers a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for a wide range of rewarding informatics careers. From information security to database design, here’s a look at some of the key skills students develop.

Understanding information systems and ensuring security

The Introduction to Health Informatics course is the first step in helping students understand the role of information systems and technology within a healthcare organization. It examines the business and technical issues associated with the selection, deployment, and use of health informatics, both in the clinical and back office areas.

Working in healthcare is not a pre-requisite for the MS in Health Informatics, notes Professor Ronaldo Montmann, MBA. “The program is designed for every prospective student to be exposed to healthcare, and allows any student who wants to expand their expertise to benefit.”

Professor Montmann, who currently serves as Vice President of Information Technology for Broward Health System, teaches the Information Security course, which covers strategies and legal requirements for restricting data access and ensuring patient privacy. 

The implementation of electronic health records and other new and emerging technologies present new challenges to data integrity and security. Knowledge, skills, and strategies for ensuring security and patient privacy are crucial for any professional wishing to succeed in a healthcare career today.

Practical knowledge of EHR implementation and database design

Practical, hands-on lessons that are applicable to the real world are central to the program. Mike Bolooki, a non-invasive cardiologist in Ft. Myers, has both a bachelor’s in science and a medical degree from the University of Miami. He decided to pursue the MS in Health Informatics to add additional skill sets to his clinical experience.

Immediately, he was able to put his new knowledge to work. “I have used my education in real time as I was learning it,” he says. “I was finding application in my day-to-day practice. I felt like I had a more intelligent opinion and was more informed.”

One of Bolooki’s class projects was to learn how to implement an electronic health record system. “It was interesting to go through the steps and see how the process takes place. We were encouraged to reach out to the places we worked and see what their perspective was when they implemented their records systems.”

Another course that Bolooki found especially helpful was Healthcare Databases: Design, Development and Clinical Application. “We had hands-on experience of building a database and then posting it and having it critiqued. It gives you more direct knowledge of how the process works.”

The MS in Health Informatics curriculum also includes courses in data analytics, public health informatics, and health information exchange, all taught by unmatched faculty who are experts in their fields. The 22-month program prepares graduates for successful informatics careers with a wide range of employers including hospitals, government, health insurance providers, medical vendors, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and consulting firms.

UOnline's, Masters of Science in Health Informatics program provides you with the skills needed to advance your career, increase your earning potential, develop professionally and grow your network. To find out more, call an enrollment advisor at 800.411.2290 or visit the site for more information.