About Health Informatics

HealthIT

What is Health Informatics?

Health informatics - applied health care IT - is seen as one of the key components to creating an improved, higher-quality health care system. Health Informatics is the rapidly developing scientific field that utilizes computer technology in the advancement of health care. As an applied science Health Informatics sits at the junction of computer technologies, information science, clinical practice and business management.

It is the study of how:

  • health data are collected, stored and communicated;
  • those data are processes into health information suitable for administrative and clinical decision making; and
  • computer and telecommunications technology can be applied to support these processes.

Health Informatics is the rapidly developing scientific field that utilizes computer technology in the advancement of health care. As an applied science Health Informatics sits at the junction of computer technologies, information science, clinical practice and business management. It is the study of how health data are collected, stored and communicated; how those data are processed into health information suitable for administrative and clinical decision making; and how computer and telecommunications technology can be applied to support these processes.

Students learn to identify what information and data are needed by doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, consumers, patients, government planners and other health care professionals and how they are used in order to make effective health care decisions. Graduates from a degree program in health informatics work in a variety of environments. These include hospitals, medical research laboratories, health insurance companies, Internet companies, health information technology suppliers, or consulting organizations. Within each of these environments lie opportunities as database administrators, project managers, project designers, computer programmers, researchers, or systems analysts.

Nature of Work

Health informatics specialists are the link that joins computer systems and health care. They work collaboratively with medical and health care professionals on computer-related projects and problem solving. A graduate of our program is able to design, implement, and support  the computer systems needed in all aspects of health care including information management, medical education and research, disease diagnosis and treatment, patient monitoring and reporting.

Expert technical training prepares our graduates to design and maintain medical databases, computer networks, and internet or multimedia applications. Working in hospitals or other health care setting the graduate provides the computer expertise physicians and other medical professionals need for patient care. People who envision the potential benefits of using computers and want to work at the interface of technology and society will likely find Health Informatics a rewarding profession.

Is a Career In Health Informatics Right For You?

Health Informatics attracts individuals who want to work with people, are analytical, are self-motivated and enjoy problem-solving. Entering the new field of Health Informatics is very exciting and offers many opportunities. However, it also requires a high level of commitment from the student. The skills required to enter the workforce at a high level include academic knowledge, experiential skills and personal attributes. Oregon Tech’s program focuses on each of these areas to assure students that they have prepared for their career paths. Employers are looking for graduates who have acquired the personal skills in:

  • problem solving,
  • critical thinking,
  • people management,
  • project management,
  • time management,
  • independent thinking and
  • a passion for what they are doing.

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