Online Medical Informatics Degree Programs

Medical informatics is an important part of the healthcare industry and medical informatics professionals use information technology to benefit the health and human services field. Online medical informatics degree programs provide students with a solid educational background to provide technical support for medical databases, create new systems, and make purchasing decisions for new equipment in a variety of career fields. Students learn to pay attention to detail and develop and enhance their communication, problem solving, customer service, and troubleshooting skills. Students learn how to develop and maintain new ways for healthcare facilities to keep records and make necessary medical information easily accessible. They also learn how to create better ways for healthcare facilities and research institutions to communicate with each other. Read more about online medical informatics degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, medical records and health information technicians held 170,000 jobs with about 2 out of 5 technicians working in hospitals (1). According to Payscale.com, individuals with a Master of Science degree in medical informatics earned average annual salaries from about $69,000 to $82,000 depending on how many years experience (2).

Employment Outlook

Employment of medical informatics professionals varies on degree, field, and position. Employment of medical records and health information technicians is projected to grow faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 18% and adding 30,000 new jobs (1).

Specialties

Medical informatics offers a few specialties for students to focus their academic study on and pursue a meaningful career. Medical informatics specialties include healthcare informatics, medical information technology, health administration, health information management, medical statistics, bioinformatics, database management, public health informatics, clinical informatics, social informatics, nursing informatics, and organizational informatics. Students interested in a particular specialty should select institutions that offer strong programs in the particular area of interest.

What to Expect

Medical informatics degree programs provide students with a solid educational foundation and focus on the ways the medical fields acquire, store, and use information. Undergraduate degree programs require general education courses in English, composition, science, mathematics, art, and electives. Core coursework varies by program, but most programs emphasize courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, algebra, statistics, information technology, and medical terminology. Master degree programs focus on more specialized instruction and enable students to customize their program. Doctorate programs involve advanced coursework and extensive research and prepare students for research and teaching positions.

The End Result

Medical informatics is growing field that provides a variety of career options. Medical informatics professionals work in a variety of environments such as clinics, hospitals, insurance agencies, research institutes, medical information technology firms, and universities. Career opportunities for medical informatics degree graduates include:

Medical Informatics Officer
Imaging Informatics Analyst
Pharmacy Informatics Specialist
Clinical Informatics Coordinator
Patient Client Services Informatics Coordinator
Informatics Nurse Specialist
Senior Informatics Analyst
Informaticist
Medical Informatics Project Manager
Medical Informatics Researcher
Medical Informatics Teacher
Medical Database Administrator
Medical Informatics Systems Analyst

A career in medical informatics will be rewarding for individuals who have a sincere desire to help people in the medical community such as patients, doctors, and other medical personnel. Medical informatics professionals approach computer problems in creative ways and apply technology to practical real-world experiences. They must be able to explain complicated issues in easy to understand ways that people can understand. They must be able to effectively work independently and as part of a team and be able to work with a wide range of professionals such as administrators, programmers, designers, and managers.

(1) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(2) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey for Degree: Master of Science, Medical Informatics

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