Chatham Views

Top 8 things you need to know about informatics

Master of Healthcare Informatics

Chatham’s Master of Healthcare Informatics (MHI) is a fully online, 10-course program. The program is designed to support the needs of working adults and includes small classes taught by an engaged faculty and subject matter experts. Employees of many organizations are eligible for an automatic 20 percent discount on tuition. 

When people say “informatics” they mean “healthcare informatics.”
The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines it as the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning.

You’re glad it exists.
“Combining technology, data and the wisdom of health professionals helps us make much better decisions,” says Healthcare Informatics Coordinator Debra M. Wolf, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN.

It’s big and getting bigger.
One of the primary goals of the Affordable Care Act is to improve healthcare through technology. And regardless of what happens with a new administration, that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Which means: $$$$$.
As of 2015, the overall average salary for health IT professionals was $111,387.52, according to an annual compensation survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The average salary for IT professionals across all industries was much lower, at $85,460 according to cited health information managers as number 10 in its list of 50 Top Paying Healthcare Careers.

And: jobs.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

There are a ton of places where you can work.
“Informatics plays a critical role within every healthcare organization, facility and profession,” says Wolf. Here’s just a sample of the types of places that hire informatics specialists: hospitals, rehab centers, private healthcare practices, software companies, healthcare consulting companies, biopharmaceutical companies, medical device/technology companies, healthcare associations, insurance companies and research laboratories.

You can change the world.
In addition to opportunities in corporate and clinical settings, you can also improve healthcare on a wider scale, such as through developing or managing public health information or surveillance programs, and helping to monitor, control, and prevent the occurrence of diseases across the globe in public health organizations, government and non-governmental agencies.

It’s a remarkably accessible field to enter.
One great thing about informatics is that it’s a field that’s approachable from both healthcare and business sides—so a background in either is a big help. Here’s a short list of the types of professionals who might find it an asset:

  • respiratory therapists
  • social workers
  • physicians
  • occupational therapists
  • physical therapists
  • physician assistants
  • nutritionists
  • business personnel
  • human resources staff
  • administrative managers
  • laboratory staff
  • radiology technicians/staff
  • accounting/financial managers
  • IT analysts, managers, software developers, etc.
  • nurses of all specialties