Health informatics is the application of information technology in the field of healthcare. Health informatics ensure that medical records are archived and recorded for patients and doctors, as well as medical research scientists. A skilled health informatics technician improves the quality and effectiveness of health care by allowing doctors and public health officials to find trends in data which can help identify effective pharmaceuticals, precise diagnoses, and potential virus and disease outbreaks.
The field of health informatics is projected to grow steadily over the next decade, as medical records are increasingly digitalized worldwide, and advances in technology allow for new innovations. There are currently 352,200 Medical and Health Service Managers employed in the United States, and that number is expected to grow by 20% over the next ten years. Therefore, a degree in health informatics is a great way to qualify you for stable and lucrative career options.
Let’s take a look at some of the academic skills that you will build in a health informatics degree program:
- Information Science: Learning how to safely archive digital information, and be able to access it in an organized and efficient manner is a skill that translates into many professional opportunities beyond healthcare.
- Computer Science: Learning the capabilities and limitations of both hardware and software in order to devise new systems of information organization and retrieval.
- Social Science: Develops the ability to interpret data in a way that allows professionals to make wider determinations about how to prevent the spread of disease, such as identifying at-risk populations and cultural practices that are potentially hazardous.
- Behavioral Science: Understanding how to turn the subjective experiences of human beings into organized objective sets of data is a difficult task that necessitates understanding social dynamics and behavioral theory.
- Management Science: The study of navigating hierarchies and other structures of human organization in order to achieve a common goal, such as keeping a hospital staff on the same page with patient data collection.
- Public Health: Understanding the various dynamics at play in the health of large populations, such as the logistics that determine the spread of disease, the intricacies of the health insurance system, and how to provide quality medical care for rural populations.
Developing an understanding of all of these subjects and being able to simultaneously take all of them into account is what will make a successful health informatics technician or manager. If you might have an aptitude for one or two of these subjects, a health informatics degree program will develop the rest of them so that you have a holistic understanding of the dynamics at play in a healthcare system.
Health informatics technicians and managers are hired by all kinds of healthcare institutions, including hospitals, nursing homes, universities, and group medical practices. Most professionals in the field of health informatics work standard business hours in an office at a desk with a computer. If you still have questions about the field of health informatics, check out our list of top-ranked degree programs and visit their website to request more information about what is health informatics.