Earning an Online Health Informatics Certificate

An online health informatics certificate could provide students with an opportunity to expand their IT knowledge into the medical field. Since you may have already learned informatics fundamentals in your undergraduate degree, you could instead focus solely on the healthcare applications. Specifically, you could devote your time to learning computer systems to improve transition-of-care processes.

By taking courses in healthcare billing, medical ethics, and daily hospital practices your new systems you could better compliment the already existing digital infrastructure. An online health informatics certificate could be a great step towards improving both a doctor’s and a patient’s day!

Online Health Informatics Certificate - Graduate Certificate

Online Health Informatics Certificate: The Basics

A healthcare informatics certification is a succinct program that focuses on the “health” part of “health informatics.” Like many other health informatics degrees, they focus on using computer systems to improve communication within sectors of healthcare industry. In laymen’s terms, they make sure medical records are safe, saved, and accessible. While this may be true, health informatics certifications build upon students’ previous undergraduate IT experience. Instead of teaching basic coding courses, this enables classes to solely focus on healthcare applications. As part of a health informatics certificate, you may encounter some of the below topics.

  • Medical Reimbursement
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Computer Systems

Courses may vary by institution. Check with your prospective university for more information.


While your health informatics certificate may teach general healthcare applications, you may also have a chance to specialize. For example, students could potentially specialize and apply their IT skills to a specific health industry. Informatics systems are commonly put into practice in places other than hospitals. Industries may require medical records to fulfill things like insurance claims, prescriptions, and job screenings. Receiving accurate information from a provider could make their own daily routine easier and more efficient. You could potentially take health informatics courses focused on the following fields.

  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Health Centers
  • Medical Research Organizations
  • Consulting Firms
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Insurance Companies
  • Government Health Agencies

Online Healthcare Informatics Certifications

During your research, you may find that health informatics certificates are called many different names. For example, you may see some of the following.

  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Health Information Management (HIM)
  • Health Information Technology (HIT)
  • Healthcare Analytics

While certificate names vary, they tend to cover similar curriculum. Where they differ is their intended audience. But, due to their near identical courses, earning a certificate in one area doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be applied in another. For example, the skills and knowledge covered in a healthcare informatics certificate may be applicable to a healthcare analytics position.

For more information about health informatics certificates and their end users, continue reading below.

The Difference Between Health Informatics Certificates

As was just discussed the difference between these health informatics degrees is that they have different users interacting with their software. In this case, end user is anyone that may have to use the technology. This could include doctors, nurses, insurances reps, the patient, and more. Each needs access to medical records quickly and accurately for their own unique purposes.

For example, health informatics specifically deals with improving a doctor’s day-to-day. Here, systems are used smooth the transition of patient records between things like lab tests, pharmacies, nurse stations, and specialists. It short, you ensure records get into the right hands as fast as possible!

On the other hand, health information management (HIM) has a long-term goal in mind. They ensure the longevity of records. These systems are used to collect patient data so that it’s stored in one place. This way, no matter where a patient goes, they could bring along an accurate medical record with them. Could you imagine changing doctors and losing your entire medical history? HIM aims to prevent that! They also make sure that any new additions to patient history are logged correctly for future use. This way, patients have an accurate record throughout their life that is easily distributed to any doctor or medical professional they see.


Graduate certificates in health informatics are made to be accessible to a wide range of students. That way, new students could easily flesh out their current IT abilities with healthcare experience. Students may be required to submit a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Note that these programs often do not require GRE exams to apply. Application criteria may differ by school.

Schools may also look for students with previous IT undergraduate experience. This demonstrates that the students have a basic understanding of coding systems. That way, the concise certificate program could build on these established skills and knowledge. Instead of teaching basic coding techniques, courses could instead focus on healthcare systems and their unique challenges.

Course Length

Going back to accessibility, health informatics certificate programs are often shorter than their other graduate counterparts. These programs touch on the necessary skills and knowledge to help you get out into the medical industry without superfluous elective classes. Additionally, since students may already have IT experience, they might not have to take additional coding courses. This could save students even more time. Due to this succinct program, students could potentially earn a certificate in 1 year.

Continuing Education

Many healthcare informatics graduate certificate programs feed directly into masters programs. The material covered in the certificate program may even be converted into masters credits. This way, students could test out the graduate experience before jumpstarting their new education. Since students may have learned the basics of IT coding prior to enrolling, masters courses continue with your healthcare education. Unlike the certificate programs, though, masters focus on constructing new computer systems. Some popular degree options are listed below.

  • Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Master of Science in Information Technology – Healthcare Informatics
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics and Management

But, your education might not stop there. You could then go on to earn a PhD in health informatics. These terminal degrees could provide you with the skills and knowledge to research, build, and use your own healthcare computer systems. These programs study current digital structures to change and improve the work flow within a medical systems database. These degrees are typically offered as a PhD in health informatics.

Potential Career Paths

By earning a graduate certificate in health informatics, you could be prepared to pursue a medical record of health information technician career path.i This position draws directly from the coursework of the graduate certificate. It pulls from your knowledge of computer systems and applies it in a healthcare setting. Typically, these roles adapt older medical systems to new technology. This way, places such as hospitals could improve their daily workflow.

While these positions often require candidates to have an associate’s degree, many employers may look for bachelor’s or graduate coursework. This could demonstrate more knowledge of advanced concepts such as medical ethics and computer programming. Additionally,  it might help you enhance your career to a managerial level later on!

The amount of available positions are projected to grow by 15% from 2014 to 2024. Medical record and health information technicians could potentially earn a median salary of $37,110 a year.

Find an Online Health Informatics Certificate

With this information, you’re ready to take your next steps towards finding an online health informatics certificate. To continue your search, browse the list of potential schools on this page. If you’re interested in a particular school, click its associated link. This should provide you with a brief description about the program.

While there, click the “request info” button. This way, your potential school is able to send you valuable information like admissions details, curriculum, and program length. Good luck finding a perfect healthcare analytics certificate program!

i https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-1