Health Informatics is essentially the study of information technology as it relates to healthcare, taking into account the unique needs of health organizations when it comes to securing data, retrieving information for use by healthcare professionals, and processing payments. A person with a bachelor of health informatics degree is typically hired by hospitals, clinics, or private practices to ensure that the technology these businesses use continues to operate efficiently*.
A bachelor of health informatics degree is offered through a number of different universities and colleges across the United States, many of them providing the classes online. These degrees are earned by completing coursework that typically takes at least four years to finish with full time study for those who have little or no experience in the field. The length of the program, however, may vary depending on if the student will be transferring in credits earned previously through other programs. In that case, the health informatics degree can be earned in as little as two years or less.
Typically, such a degree requires the student to complete between 120-135 credit hours of study. Courses which are commonly required cover important topics such as healthcare finance; health services information systems, healthcare policies and regulations, management of projects, and medical terminology**.
According to industry insiders, the average salary for health information technologists is approximately $32,039 per year. However, this figure isn't completely accurate when it comes to professionals who have earned a bachelor degree or higher in the field of study***. That's because simple technicians and medical coders are also included as health information technologists, despite the fact that many of them only possess high school diplomas and little post-secondary training. For those who maintain the IT infrastructure of a business, the pay is more likely to be comparable with that of other IT professionals, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is about $48,900 per year****.
The number of jobs within the field of IT support is expected to grow by seventeen percent over the next decade, which is faster than for the average profession in the United States. In healthcare, however, that rate of growth is expected to be much higher as the sheer amount of information which must be stored, retrieved, and processed in the upcoming years is expected to explode****. With the passing of the ACA, more patients and regulations may mean a greater emphasis on developing robust information systems for healthcare organizations. Health informatics experts are poised to profit greatly from this new demand for their services and knowledge.
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*For more information, please visit: http://www.wgu.edu/online_it_degrees/health_informatics_degree
**For more information, please visit: http://www.devry.edu/degree-programs/college-health-sciences/healthcare-informatics-about.html
***For more information, please visit: http://www.healthinformationtechnologysalary.org/complete-hit-salary-breakdown/
****For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-supp...