Health informatics is a dynamically growing field that combines advances in multiple disciplines that span from medicine, health care, and policy, to computer science and information technology. The focus of the field is on health information — its generation, processing and use. Health informatics is closely related to health information technology (health IT or HIT), which focuses on applying IT tools in health care.
Health informatics professionals and researchers manage and interpret health data, information, and knowledge through information technology and computational tools, bringing together the worlds of health care, information technology, computer science, information science, and business. They closely examine how information is generated, recorded, processed, used, and disposed. Every facet of the information flow is examined, including devices, standards, terminologies, guidelines, and knowledge management. Every step of the way, health informatics professionals ask how technology can improve and how better practices can help improve quality of care and reduce cost. Graduates from our program combine general knowledge and understanding of health informatics with technical skills that allow them to process information, analyze data, and interact with IT systems.
One of the challenges facing our health care system today is the communication gap between clinicians and health care professionals who are not trained in advanced technology and technology experts who do not understand medicine and the specifics of health care delivery. A degree in health informatics helps bridge that gap, which is especially important now due to federal health care reforms that require providers to better utilize information technology in health care delivery.
Health informatics faculty conducts independent research in health informatics. Our expertise includes data analytics, health information integration, health IT policy, privacy and security, electronic medical records, consumer health informatics, and machine learning and data mining applied in health care. Visit our health informatics research page for descriptions of some of these projects.
We are committed to engaging undergraduate and graduate students in research activities. Many of our students participate in faculty projects and gain additional experience beyond the classroom.
Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS)
Provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to analyze, design, and support the adoption and use of health information systems and analytic applications for a wide variety of clinical, administrative, and research purposes as well as how to analyze complex health care data.