As a student pursuing the Master of Health Informatics degree at the University of Cincinnati, you likely have a general idea of the path you plan to follow after graduation. On one hand, you may know the exact role you plan to obtain with your master’s of health informatics. On the other hand, you may be ready to explore your options as you discover new interests throughout your courses as a graduate student. Regardless of where your mind is at, there’s no harm in exploring the possibilities and getting an idea of the different roles you can acquire with your master’s degree.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health informatics will grow 17 percent between 2014 and 2024, a rate that’s faster than the average for most occupations. This is likely due to the aging population growing dramatically, which will raise the demand for careers in the health care industry as a whole – according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of older adults is expected to be near 83.7 million, nearly double the estimated 2012 population of 43.1 million. It’s also due to the expected need for more educated professionals who can implement and manage health care information technology systems that will likely expand to more health care settings in the future.
“The field is exploding,” Charles Friedman, director of the health informatics program at the University of Michigan told U.S. News & World Report. “Access to health information on the web is taking off at a meteoric pace. It’s creating enormous employment opportunities.”
Let’s take a closer look at some of the career paths you can follow with a master’s in health informatics:
Health Informatics Specialist
According to Payscale, a Health Care Informatics Specialist helps establish and maintain the health information technology systems within a health care institution. Someone taking on this role will be expected to have exceptional computer skills as well as network and cyber security knowledge, as he or she will be involved in researching, implementing, troubleshooting and updating technology systems. Some of the other tasks you would handle include:
- Developing protocols and policies to ensure the systems comply with regulations.
- Identifying network problems and developing solutions to improve the workflow.
- Providing training workshops to staff members who need help understanding the new system.
- Reaching out to customers with complaints to address issues and provide resolutions to improve the processes of the system.
The median salary for a Health Informatics Specialist is $60,913.
Healthcare IT Project Manager
A project manager in health IT assists in planning certain projects within a company to ensure they’re taking efficient steps to maintain and utilize health information technology systems. Someone with this title many take on the following tasks, according to Payscale:
- Help technical team design and develop workflow tasks.
- Coordinate delivery plans and offer solutions to problems that meet quality standards.
- Organize and maintain the technology project plan for the company with regular communication.
- Help the team test out the projected plans, offering solutions if issues develop.
The average annual salary of a Healthcare IT Project Manager is $84,725.
Chief Medical Information Officer
A Chief Medical Information Officer will take on both administrative and clinical care responsibilities, according to the American Medical Informatics Association. In other terms, someone with this title is a practicing physician who will take on managerial responsibilities in regard to information systems. Some of the tasks you would take on include:
- Organizing and managing information systems.
- Working with the implementation team to streamline the workflow throughout the setting.
- Serving as an advocate to use health information technology in the health care setting.
- Overseeing and evaluating current operations in IT.
The average annual salary of a Chief Medical Information Officer is $151,331.
Medical Informatics Systems Analyst
A Medical Informatics System Analyst works independently in a health care setting to analyze data on external policies and procedures, as well as internal business units to assess the needs and metrics of the workplace, according to Health IT Today. Besides analyzing the informatics systems, some of the tasks you would take on as a Medical Informatics Systems Analyst include:
- Collaborating with other staff members to analyze data and define metrics.
- Interpreting and validating data processes.
- Assessing quality of data.
- Coordinating with the cyber security team to ensure software is working properly.
- Making certain all organizational guidelines are met and compliant to federal, state and local laws. Implement solutions as needed.
- Training staff members to understand data.
The average annual salary of a Medical Informatics Systems Analyst is $65,778.
Clinical Informatics Manager
A Clinical Informatics Manager will likely work in either a hospital or a clinic. This position requires years of experience, preferably a past in a managerial role as well, which is important to keep in mind as you boost your resume during your graduate studies. In this role, you’ll be responsible for planning and managing the clinical informatics program in your health care setting, according to Payscale. You’ll be expected to take the lead and plan, develop and implement plans to improve the informatics system. Some of the other tasks you would take on as a Clinical Informatics Manager include:
- Supervising a group of staff members.
- Giving technical direction when necessary.
- Making sure all services and applications are compliant with state and federal laws, and are kept to optimal professional standards.
- Practicing continued education to develop skill and knowledge in informatics.
- Inspecting the informational system on a daily basis, and coming up with new solutions to maintain it.
The average annual salary of a Clinical Informatics Manager is $91,568.
Some of the other career paths you can follow with a Master of Health Informatics include:
- Clinical Informatics Analyst
- Configuration Specialist
- Informatics Liaison
- Clinical Applications Specialist
With a degree in Health Informatics, you’ll have acquired the right combination of health care and business knowledge you need to take on any of these career paths. Once you’ve completed the online program at the University of Cincinnati, you’ll graduate with confidence in knowing you’re prepared for the complex work environment that is the health care industry. If you’re ready to discuss one of these career choices, you can reach out to one of the members of student support staff.
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