What Is Health Informatics?

Health informatics is a science that defines how health information is technically captured, transmitted and utilized.

Health informatics focuses on information systems, informatics principles, and information technology as it is applied to the continuum of healthcare delivery. It is an integrated discipline with specialty domains that include management science, management engineering principles, healthcare delivery and public health, patient safety, information science and computer technology. Health informatics programs demonstrate uniqueness by offering varied options for practice or research focus. (Source: The American Health Information Management Association)

Health informatics professionals make a difference in the lives of patients, health care providers and administrators by:

  • Setting standards for electronic records;
  • Educating and advising about electronic health records issues;
  • Advocating for records quality and standards compliance, especially regarding patient privacy and security and interoperability;
  • Providing health information to support clinical decision making;
  • Anticipating and shaping new developments in mobile health, usability and big data application;
  • Analyzing data for clinical research, auditing, quality assessment, risk management and costs assessment.

What Can I Do With This Background?

Typical job titles for health informatics professionals include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Chief compliance officer
  • Chief clinical informatics officer
  • Director of clinical informatics
  • Director of health information management
  • Product manager
  • Informaticist researcher
  • Data quality manager
  • Data architect
  • Meaningful use specialist
  • Electronic health record system specialists
  • Clinical Decision support

Employers may be hospitals, health care providers, industries or consulting agencies.

What Courses Do I Have to Take?

Students interested in this field have two options at Kent State: a 36 credit-hour Master of Science with a concentration in health informatics or an 18 credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics.

What Professional Organizations Are Relevant to This Career Path?