By Regina Glenn, PhD, RHIA, CHDA, CCS, Faculty in Logan University’s Master of Science in Health Informatics
Are you analytical, data-driven and interested in medicine but not interested in providing direct patient care? A career in health informatics–the combination of technology, business and medicine used to ensure access to accurate data to provide quality health care services–may be right for you.
By using technology and data to identify ways to provide safe, quality health care and improve process effectiveness, health informatics affects personal and public health outcomes, patient participation and regulations. For example, health informatics helps enable patients to actively participate in their health care by providing access to patient portals to retrieve their health records and apps to track health information. Health informatics also assists in the development of standards, regulations and laws by providing supporting data.
Depending on your interests, there are many different career paths within this field, such as electronic health records, data analysis, project management, information governance, consulting, medical information officer, and policy maker. Health informatics professionals can be found in many settings, including health care (hospitals, dental offices, physician offices, long term care, etc.), insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, law firms, veterinary offices, IT and government.
Depending on the career path that best suits you, Logan University offers three tracks within its Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS-HI) program. First, the leadership track prepares student to be leaders within the field of health information or helps to sharpen the leadership skills of current leaders. The data analytics track offers the opportunity to understand analytics reporting in health care. In this track, skills are developed to manage and analyze clinical and operational databases. Finally, the applied informatics track develops expertise with managing and analyzing data in clinical decisions for quality improvement.
A health informatics professional will have analytical skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, technical skills, and be detail oriented. Job responsibilities may consist of:
- Troubleshooting and improving procedures to increase efficiency
- Training staff on systems and procedures
- Creating, analyzing and evaluating data and databases
- Ensuring compliance with regulations and standards
- Serving as a leader and building collaborative relationships to address barriers in the flow of information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021), positions held by health informatics professionals are expected for grow much faster than the average for all occupations. With the high demand for these skills and a large variety of options in which to use them, many can find a career in which they will grow and enjoy.
About Dr. Glenn
Having worked in health information management and health informatics for over 25 years, Regina Glenn, PhD, RHIA, CHDA, CCS has experience in many different health care arenas and with all levels within a health care organizational structure. Dr. Glenn has a Master of Science in Professional Studies in Education awarded by Capella University following the development of a thesis on educational programs for health information. She completed her PhD in Professional Studies in Education from Capella University with a dissertation focus of identifying the criteria needed for the development of educational programs for the implementation of the new ICD-10-CM/PCS classification systems.
Dr. Glenn currently works as a consultant and an educator assisting in the development of health information management and health informatics educational programs at different experience levels. She enjoys working on research projects that combine health care and education.