Many professionals in the healthcare industry are getting a health informatics certificate.
“Informatics” may be a newer term to the healthcare industry, but the importance of collecting and storing data related to patients’ health is nothing new. Healthcare informatics combines the application of data-driven storage and analytical systems with the world of medical records and healthcare settings.
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Receiving a graduate certificate in healthcare informatics could help you begin or advance your career in health data management, and it can also help you pursue industry certification in the field.
Health Informatics Certificate Programs Online
Many of the people who apply to health informatics certificate programs have a background in computer sciences or healthcare and wish to learn more about the areas in which the two fields intersect.
Health informatics is essential to the field of healthcare. The healthcare industry relies on the dependable storage and retrieval of a great deal of sensitive data involving treatment plans, drug information, and biometric data. Many healthcare professionals, from doctors to insurance companies, rely on this data.
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A health informatics certificate program will often expose you to the following areas:
- The various information systems used in healthcare informatics
- The data stored on each system
- How to protect this data and transmit it correctly
- How to analyze and understand this data
Even though health informatics professionals are rarely involved in patient treatment, certificate programs will also provide education on common medical terminology to allow for accurate data analysis. You can also learn about the various operating systems, programs, and software involved in health informatics. Depending on your career goals, you may become part of the teams who design and develop future tools.
Health Informatics Careers & Salaries
Professionals typically complete an online health informatics certificate program in order to enrich their knowledge of healthcare, data analysis, or information technology.
Popular career paths include working in the healthcare or pharmaceutical fields in a data analysis or information technology capacity. There are many different types of roles for professionals with these skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries for some of the positions related to health informatics.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$159,010|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$131,490|
|Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers||$109,020|
|Information Security Analysts||$102,600|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340|
|Database Administrators and Architects||$101,000|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$99,270|
|Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars||$55,560|
|Medical Records Specialists||$46,660|
Much like a health information technology bachelor degree, a healthcare informatics certificate program can help you prepare for the challenges and scenarios you may discover when compiling and analyzing data in the healthcare industry.
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A graduate certificate program could also complement a number of healthcare roles. Your prior education and experience may influence the types of positions you can qualify for. Completing a health informatics certificate program may also help you prepare for industry certification.
Healthcare Informatics Certificate Curriculum & Courses
The courses offered as part of your healthcare informatics certification process will vary, depending on the program you select.
Here are examples of the types of courses that you may encounter as part of your online health informatics certificate program:
- Introduction to Health Informatics: This course helps you understand the basics of what is included in health informatics as well as its importance to patient care and the future of healthcare.
- Biomedical Sciences: In this course, you’ll learn about what types of data are captured in health informatics and why they are important.
- Information Technology in Healthcare: You can learn about common technological resources and programs currently used in a healthcare setting.
- Health Information Systems and Electronic Health Records: In this course, you’ll discover the particulars of healthcare recordkeeping, including privacy requirements.
- Healthcare Database Management: This course provides you with a detailed understanding of the types of databases that can benefit those in the medical profession.
- Hospital Information Systems: In this course, you’ll specifically examine the data tracking and recordkeeping systems used in a hospital setting.
- Health Data Analytics: You can learn how to review the data to track patterns and outcomes in health records.
- Outcome Measurement and Research in Healthcare: This course helps you learn how to use the data tracked by health informatics to conduct research and provide details regarding the efficacy of various programs.
- Medical Terminology: For students who do not have a medical background, this course encourages familiarity with common medical terms and abbreviations that are frequently used in recordkeeping.
- Programming for Health Informatics: This course provides students with experience in the various types of computer programming common in healthcare records keeping.
You may wish to review each online health informatics certificate program for specific course details.
Each school will have its own unique admissions requirements for its healthcare informatics certification program. Here are some common criteria for graduate certificate programs:
- GRE or GMAT scores (only some schools require them)
- Bachelor transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
In addition, most programs ask students to complete an online application. An application processing fee may be requested as well. It’s helpful to review your prospective school’s application process in detail. You can also speak with an admissions staff member if you have questions regarding a school’s specific requirements.
When selecting a healthcare informatics certification program, you may wish to give preference to schools that have regional accreditation. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes regional accreditors and has an online database of accredited schools.
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There are many potential benefits to selecting an accredited program, including the availability of certain types of financial aid. Some employers also require candidates to have received their education and training from an accredited institution. Many professional organizations and licensing boards also look for applicants who have received their credentials from accredited schools.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
A common first step in applying for need-based financial aid is completing the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application will help determine if you are eligible to receive federal aid for your health care informatics certificate. Other financial aid opportunities may also be available.
For instance, some schools offer students scholarships, grants, or payment programs based on academic performance or participation in a certain program. You can connect with your prospective school to learn which opportunities you may qualify for. Additionally, your employer may offer tuition reimbursement or other forms of educational assistance to help offset the cost of earning your healthcare informatics certificate.
What Can You Do with an Online Certificate in Health Informatics?
Many of the individuals who earn their online graduate certificate in health informatics currently work in the healthcare or pharmaceutical industry or plan to do so professionally. Their roles and responsibilities may differ.
A certificate in health informatics can be helpful for those who work as data analysts or scientists as well as for those who administer systems and databases for medical facilities. A graduate-level education in health informatics can also help professionals pursue positions as health information managers, clinical informatics analysts, and health information technicians.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Certificate in Health Informatics Online?
The amount of time it takes to complete your healthcare informatics certification depends on the program you select. Many programs are designed to be between 9 credit hours and 18 credit hours in length.
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As a result, they may be completed in about 6 months to 18 months of full-time study, depending on whether the school you choose follows a semester or quarter system. Part-time enrollment may also increase the amount of time it takes to get your certificate in healthcare informatics.
What’s the Difference Between a Health Informatics Certificate vs. Certification?
Technically speaking, a health informatics certificate and a healthcare informatics certification are two different things.
|Health Informatics Certificates||Health Informatics Certifications|
There are a variety of organizations that offer professional certifications to complement your health informatics training.
What’s the Difference Between a Health Informatics Graduate Certificate vs. Masters Program?
Some schools offer both a health informatics graduate certificate and a health informatics masters degree. Here are some of the differences between the two educational paths.
|Health Informatics Graduate Certificate||Health Informatics Masters Degree|
A number of professions feel it is worth getting a masters in health informatics, but you may wish to review each program type in further detail before you apply.
Is a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics Worth It?
Yes, a graduate certificate in health informatics is worth it for many professionals. Throughout a health care informatics certificate program, you can learn the ins and outs of data storage and analysis in the healthcare field. This can help prepare you for a variety of career fields in data management and IT development.
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The fields of healthcare and information technology are also seeing faster than average growth. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 17% job growth for health information technologists and medical registrars over the next ten years.
Universities Offering Online Health Informatics Certificate Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Boston University’s online Health Informatics Graduate Certificate program requires the completion of 16 credits of coursework. It can typically be finished in 8 to 12 months. Students in the program have access to a supportive online community and can learn from instructors with hands-on experience in the industry. Classes are small and require the completion of case studies and applied projects.
Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Duke University offers a Health Informatics Certificate for those who already have at least one year of health-related work experience. To earn the certificate, students must complete 19 credits. Potential courses include Introduction to Health Informatics, Clinical Data Analytics, and Synthesis of Specialty Practice. All courses may be taken online, but there are on-campus intensives in the fall and spring.
Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Indiana University offers a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Informatics. The program is 100% online and requires the completion of 18 credits, including a mentored practicum worth 3 credits. Potential courses include Foundation of Health Informatics, Health Informatics Standards and Terminology, Informatics Project Management, and Business of Health Informatics.
Indiana University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Temple University offers a Health Informatics Graduate Certificate. The certificate can be completed online and requires 12 credits of coursework. The program is designed for working professionals and emphasizes practical application of knowledge. Credits earned in this program may be applied to an MS in Health Informatics.
Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Arizona offers an online program for a Graduate Certificate in Health Care Informatics. Students must complete 9 credit hours of coursework and have the option to participate in a practicum. Potential courses include Healthcare Informatics: Theory and Practice, Human Factors in Health Information Technology, and Database Management in Healthcare Systems.
The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Massachusetts—Lowell offers an online program for a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics. Prospective students can apply at any time. The program can potentially be finished in just 9 months. Students must complete two required courses, Health Informatics and Healthcare Information Systems, and then choose two electives.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Missouri offers a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics that can be earned online or on campus. The certificate requires the completion of four courses, all of which may be counted toward an MS in Health Informatics. All students are required to take Introduction to Health Informatics and then must choose three additional courses.
The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of New England offers a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics that can be completed 100% online. The certificate requires the completion of four courses. The curriculum consists of classes like Introduction to Healthcare Administration and Healthcare Quality for Enhanced Value-Based Patient Outcomes. Each course is 8 weeks long, and students can typically finish the program in 6 months.
The University of New England is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Tennessee—Knoxville offers an online program for a Health Informatics Certificate. The program is designed to be convenient for working professionals. Students must complete four courses for a total of 12 credit hours. The curriculum consists of classes like Introduction to Health Informatics, Database Management Systems, and Healthcare Information Architecture and Security.
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Villanova University offers an online program for a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics. All credits earned may be able to be transferred into a master’s degree program in software engineering. To earn the certificate, students must complete 5 courses. The curriculum consists of classes like Health Informatics and eHealth Systems, Software Engineering and Health Informatics, and Healthcare Safety, Security, Law, and Ethics.
Villanova University is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Health Informatics Certificate Online
If you are interested in pursuing next steps to begin or advance your health informatics or data-centered healthcare career, you might consider getting your health informatics certificate online.
Much like a health informatics bachelor degree online, this graduate certificate online program can offer greater insight into the special requirements and considerations of tracking and analyzing data in the world of healthcare. From managing pharmaceutical data to analyzing information security for a hospital, there are many roles that depend on the knowledge that you could develop in a health informatics certificate program.
You can take a look at some of the graduate certificates offered by accredited schools to determine which programs best suit your professional goals and long-term career interests.