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SLIS News

Learn about Health Informatics concentration

Posted Oct. 20, 2011

Watch virtual open house for new Health Informatics program

Health Informatics (HI) professionals are in great demand across the country and will continue to be needed as Federal initiatives for electronic health information networks are implemented. Kent State University is helping to address the rising demand in this area with a new field of study known as “health informatics.” If you missed the online open house last week, you can still learn about the program by watching the recorded session with presenters Michael O. Bice, Kent State professor, Health Informatics, and former health care executive; and Jim Carroll, Director, NorthEast Central Ohio Regional Extension Center (NECO REC), Akron Regional Hospital Association, former CIO at Aultman Hospital, Canton, Ohio

Health informatics (HI) is a new concentration in the Information Architecture and Knowledge Management program, housed within Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science. Students can choose either a master’s degree or a certificate option, depending on their experience and career aspirations. All courses will be online, except for a one-week summer workshop (for the M.S. program) to be held at Kent State.

Michael O. Bice, Kent State professor and former health care executive, leads the HI program. He said the degree will appeal mainly to physicians, nurses and other professionals already working in health care.

“One look at the headlines will tell you that health informatics professionals are in great demand across the country, and will continue to be needed as Federal initiatives for electronic health information networks are implemented,” Bice said.

Health informatics is the science that defines how health information is captured, analyzed, transmitted and managed, especially with regard to the delivery of health care. Corporate health care IT professionals will teach many of the classes, including, for example, clinical decision support, legal issues in health informatics, health information systems, leadership and organizational change, to cite just a few.

Bonnie Bartos, a graduate of Kent State’s nursing program who is now senior engagement leader, Lighthouse, Cerner Corp., said, “One of the major challenges in health care and health information technology today is the lack of health care clinicians and professionals who are specifically focused on IT and health care. The IT whiz-kid who just graduated from college doesn’t understand the clinical side, how we are using technology to improve patient care.

“Instead, we need to educate clinicians to understand the IT side of health care health information management and how the two disciplines can work together to improve care delivery, patient outcomes and the financial bottom line. That’s where I believe Kent State’s health informatics program can fill a big gap in the workforce.”

For more information about the program, visit www.kent.edu/healthIT.