Earn an Online Bachelors in Health Informatics
Pursuing a Bachelors in Health Informatics online could help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to streamline medical industries. This means you will learn how to assist doctors, patients, and other healthcare facilities to store and maintain vital medical information with the aid of technology.
Courses do this by teaching students about computer systems and medical basics like anatomy. This holistic education is then applied to improving healthcare systems to better address doctors’ and patients’ unique needs. Even when taking your classes online, you might even have the chance to engage with the same systems used in places like hospitals, care centers, and insurance agencies.
An Online Bachelors in Health Information Technology - Basics
Online Bachelors in Health Information Technology courses blend technology with medical communications. This is typically done by holistically educating students about medical processes as well as computer systems. By doing this, students may understand the daily practices they’re trying to improve and the systems that may be doing the improving.
The bachelors in health informatics online degree’s simple goal is to quickly deliver information to where it’s needed in the healthcare field. For example, courses could show students how to improve processes to retrieve medical records or lab test results. As a sample of the comprehensive curriculum, an Online Bachelors in Health Information Technology may include some of the following classes.
- Medical Coding & Billing
- Healthcare Documentation Databases
- Healthcare Finances
- Medical Ethics
- Basic Anatomy, Physiology, & Pharmacology
Courses may vary by university. Check with your potential programs for an example of their course guide.
What Are Some Bachelors in Health Informatics Degrees?
Typically, health informatics is offered as a bachelor of science degree. This means that courses focus more heavily on data analysis, computer systems, and database development. Some schools may offer a general bachelor of science that includes a “health information technology specialization.” While these offer health informatics coursework, they may also cover more general information management topics. When researching these degrees, keep on the lookout for some of these common health informatics keywords.
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management (HIM)
- Health Information Technology (HIT)
- Electronic Medical Record Keeping
While these programs may differ in name, each deals with the same curriculum we talked about earlier. Where they differ is in who they’re trying to improve the systems for.
In 2013, the U.S. Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC) approved recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) for a set of risk-based rules for health informatics.
Health Informatics & Information Management End Users
You may have noticed that some of the above health informatics key words sound similar. For example, health informatics and information management sound like they would be identical degrees. Both programs want to cut the fat from healthcare’s communication systems. Why call a degree two different names, then? Because, their focus is different! While their curriculum is comparable, their end uses are different.
Health informatics deals with doctors’ day-to-day routine. System improvements should address delivering patients’ records, receiving lab work, and filling prescription timely and accurately. In short, health informatics makes sure information gets from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Health information management (HIM) differs in that it focuses on long term data transfers. HIM creates systems to store, access, and retain patient records. This way, all records return to a singular space so they could be updated with accurate information throughout the lifetime of the patient. This ensures that your medical records are correct and stay with you as you age or move. To summarize, it makes sure patients always have a record on hand.
These two systems do work in tandem, so it’s no wonder that they sound similar. It’s important to keep this information in mind when choosing which informatics degree you want to pursue.
Typically, earning a bachelors in health informatics online requires students to submit a 2.6 or higher high school GPA. In some cases, programs may require students to have previous health IT knowledge. In these cases, students may have to submit proof of some associate degree IT experience.
Compared to other undergrad programs, health informatics is a relatively short degree. Usually, students could earn a bachelors in health information in 2 to 3 years. Course length varies by program.
Students who have previously earned an associates degree in health informatics might earn a bachelors in less time. This is because they could potentially apply their associates credits to their bachelors in health informatics online. In these cases, students could earn a bachelors in health information management in 2 years.
Continuing Education after a Bachelors in Health Informatics Online
After earning a bachelors in health informatics online, you could continue your education to learn how to build new medical computer systems. The logical next step for your continued academics would be to jump into graduate education. A masters degree in health informatics might be a great starting point. For example, you could pursue some of the following.
- Master of Science in Information Technology – Healthcare Informatics
- Master of Science in Health Administration – Informatics Specialization
- Master of Science in Health Care Informatics
Or, if you want to test the graduate waters, you could try a certificate program. These programs are usually shorter and focus specifically on healthcare challenges. These programs require students to already have an informatics background (like a bachelors degree!). This could be a great, quick way to see if health informatics grad school is for you.
Or, you could move directly into a doctorate in health information. These intense programs focus not only on streamlining the system, but also on developing new systems to better serve the industry. Below are some potential degrees.
- PhD in Health Information Technology
- PhD in Healthcare Informatics
- PhD in Health Informatics
In November 1991, the American Institute of Medicine (IOM) cited in its annual report the deaths of 98,000 people and over 1 million injuries because of medical errors.
By earning a bachelors in health informatics online, you could be ready to pursue a career as a medical record or health information technician.i These positions draw almost directly from the skill set covered in bachelor’s courses. Things like basic anatomy, health data standards, coding systems, and healthcare reimbursement methods are used daily.
While these positions typically require an associate’s degree for entry-level roles, employers may look for a bachelors degree’s advanced skills and knowledge. And, these positions are projected to grow from 2014 to 2024. Available technician opportunities could increase by 15%. Medical record and health information technicians could potentially earn a median salary of $37,110 a year.
These skills and knowledge might be applied in more places than just a hospital! Many healthcare offices could potentially benefit from connecting their technology. That way, patient records could easily be distributed to specialists, emergency workers, and others. You could apply your new skill set in some of the following areas.
- Outpatient Clinics
- Health Centers
- Medical Research Organizations
- Consulting Firms
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Insurance Companies
- Government Health Agencies
Online Health Information Bachelors Degree: Next Steps
To continue your search, browse the list of bachelors in health informatics online programs on this page. Click their associated link to read a brief description about what that school has to offer. While you’re there, click the “request info” button to receive more details. This could be a great way to find out more about deadlines, admission requirements, and more. Good luck in finding a perfect Online Bachelors in Health Information Technology!