A variety of versatile health informatics careers await those who earn a master's degree from an accredited school in the field. According to the American Health Information Management Association, health informatics (HI) professionals bear an important responsibility in the growing healthcare industry to manage critical medical data accurately and ethically. This process involves developing and managing information technology systems according to the highest standards and best practices available to promote security of patient data. As a result, the need for leaders in healthcare informatics, who can integrate state-of-the-art protocols for data management with compassionate patient care, has increased across public and private sectors for all health-related industries and businesses.
Career Trends for Health Informatics
Since 2007, health informatics jobs have increased 10 times faster compared to other healthcare occupations. In large part this is due to the demand among employers for HI professionals with more specialized medical coding knowledge and clinical work experiences. This is especially true for higher management positions where appropriate certifications and clinical expertise are increasingly required of job candidates.
Foundations for a Master's Leading to Health Informatics Careers
Successful candidates for master's programs in health informatics typically possess strong aptitudes for math, science and technology combined with good communications skills, adaptability and knowledge about human behavior. Additionally, these graduate degree seekers choose programs from schools accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. These degrees prepare graduates for the fast-paced expectations and rapidly changing protocols that accompany health information technology jobs at upper management levels. Additionally, they provide foundations for graduates to obtain state and national certifications administered through AHIMA or the Healthcare and Information Management Society.
Career Paths for Health Informatics with a Master's Degree
Many graduates who earn a Master of Health Informatics are already working in a related healthcare occupation as billing or coding specialists, insurance processors, medical information technologists or nurses. A graduate degree in health informatics can expand their career options by increasing knowledge and competencies concerning patient confidentiality, compliance regulations, coding and billing operations, data protection, medical technology systems and legal protocols. Holding a master's degree also opens doors to management, supervisory and administrative positions across multiple job settings in private and public domains including:
- General hospitals, community clinics, military hospitals or veteran's groups
- Physician's or dental offices
- Residential facilities and rehabilitation centers
- Occupational, physical or speech therapy groups
- Mental health agencies
- Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance providers
- Educational organizations
- Non-profits, such as the Heart Association or the American Red Cross
- Emergency relief and disaster preparedness programs.
- Federal or state health organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health
Those pursuing a master's in health informatics can look forward to a 23 percent increase in job availability through 2022 with median earnings of $88, 589 for upper level positions. Additionally, HI master's graduates, especially those with healthcare backgrounds, have the expertise and experience in health technology management that makes them attractive to employers. If contributing to the improvement of the healthcare information system sounds appealing, then earning a master's in the HI field can lead to sustainable, satisfying health informatics careers with job advancement opportunities.