Online Colleges for Health Care Informatics

COLLEGE FINDER

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Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following four criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  2. Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  3. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  4. Have reported data for all 11 ranking variables listed below

We ranked 1,813 colleges and universities in the United States on 11 criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified:

1.Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject: 25%
2.Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level: 12.5%
3.Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment: 12.5%
4.Average in-state tuition for undergraduates: 12.5%
5.Graduation rate: 7.5%
6.Retention rate: 10%
7.The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Prepaid, Guaranteed, Other): 4%
      a.Payment: 1%
      b.Prepaid: 1%
      c.Guaranteed: 1%
      d.Other: 1%
8.Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers): 2%
       a.Academic/Career: 1%
       b.Placement for Completers: 1%
9.Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military): 4%
       a.Dual: 1%
       b.Life: 1%
       c.AP: 1%
       d.Military: 1%
10.Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid: 5%
11.Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students: 5%

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

Sources:

  1. Bachelor of Science Health Information Management, Western Governors University, Accessed March 2018, https://www.wgu.edu/online-nursing-health-degrees/health-information-management-bachelors-program.html
  2. Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics, King University Online, Accessed March 2018, https://online.king.edu/online-degree-programs/bachelor-of-science-in-health-informatics/
  3. BS in Healthcare Administration, Southern New Hampshire University, Accessed March 2018,https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-healthcare-administration/health-information-management
  4. BS in Health Information Management, Southern New Hampshire University, Accessed March 2018, https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-health-information-management
  5. Health Information Management, Portland Community College, Accessed March 2018, https://www.pcc.edu/programs/health-info-mgmt/
  6. What is the Difference Between Health Informatics and Health Information Management? Oregon Tech, Accessed March 2018, http://www.oit.edu/docs/default-source/programs-information-technology-documents/health-informatics/what-is-the-difference-between-hi-him.pdf
  7. Online Master In Health Informatics Degree, ASU Online, Accessed April 2018, https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/master-advanced-study-health-informatics
  8. Online Master's in IT, Southern New Hampshire University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/masters/ms-in-information-technology/healthcare-informatics
  9. Health Information Management Master's Degree Program Online, Western Governors University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.wgu.edu/online-nursing-health-degrees/health-information-management-bachelors-program.html#close
  10. Master of Science in Health Informatics, University of San Francisco, Accessed April 2018, https://www.usfca.edu/nursing/programs/graduate/masters/health-informatics
  11. Clinical Data Managers, O*Net, Accessed April 2018, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2041.02
  12. Informatics Nurse Specialists, O*Net, Accessed April 2018, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1121.01
  13. Computer Systems Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2016, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm
  14. What is a Nurse Informatics Specialist, HIMSS, Accessed April 2018, http://www.himss.org/what-nurse-informatics-specialist
  15. Informatics Nurse Specialists, O*Net, Accessed April 2018, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1121.01
  16. Nursing Informatics Career & Salary, NurseJournal.org, Accessed April 2018, https://nursejournal.org/nursing-informatics/nursing-informatics-career-outlook/
  17. Clinical Data Manager Job Description and Salary Data, USF Morsani College of Medicine, Accessed April 2018, https://www.usfhealthonline.com/resources/career/clinical-data-manager-job-description-salary-data/
  18. How to get a clinical data manager job, ProClinical, Accessed April 2018, https://blog.proclinical.com/how-to-get-a-clinical-data-manager-job
  19. Clinical Data Managers, O*Net, Accessed April 2018, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2041.02
  20. Computer Systems Analysts, O*Net, Accessed April 2018, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1121.00
  21. Computer Systems Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2016, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm
  22. Computer Systems Analyst, US News Money, Accessed April 2018, https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/computer-systems-analyst
  23. What is a Computer Systems Analyst, Anyway?, Rasmussen College, Accessed April 2018, http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/what-is-computer-systems-analyst/
  24. Medical Records Director Jobs, Employment, Indeed.com, Accessed April 2018, https://www.indeed.com/q-Medical-Records-Director-jobs.html
  25. Medical Records Director Salary, PayScale, Accessed April 2018, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Records_Director/Hourly_Rate
  26. Medical Records Director Job Description, Salary.com, Accessed April 2018, https://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/Medical-Records-Director-Job-Description.aspx
  27. Director of Medical Records Job Description, Roosevelt General Hospital, Accessed April 2018, http://www.myrgh.org/documents/Director-of-Medical-Records.pdf
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Anyone seeking a degree in health care informatics should be aware that the field is fairly nuanced. It focuses on applying information technology to enterprise-based data systems and analysis, all with the end goal of improving patient care. It is also important to note that this is different from health information technology, which focuses on patient records stored in electronic form as well as compliance, billing and coding for these records.

This probably sounds more complicated than it is. To put it more simply, "health care informatics" is about using technology to provide better health care, while "health information technology" is about using technology to organize health care information.

Fortunately, a variety of online degree programs for health care informatics are available to help explain the field in more depth. An online education's flexibility can be beneficial to many different kinds of students, whether they are brand-new to college or coming back to higher education after many years. And earning an online degree in this field may help students to earn positions in hospitals, health insurance organizations, policy institutes, research facilities or anywhere else that health care informatics can be put to good use.

Featured Online Colleges for Health Care Informatics

Finding an online school that is the right fit for you takes time and research, even in the health care informatics field. That's why we created this list of featured online colleges in the discipline, chosen using data that came from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For more details on our methodology, see the bottom of this page.

1

Southern New Hampshire University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$31,136
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
87%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
105
School Type
4-year

Students looking for online degree programs for health care informatics can find two options through Southern New Hampshire University. The first is the university's online Bachelor's of Science in health information management, and the other is its online Bachelor's of Science in health care administration with a focus on health information management.

One reason to consider SNHU is the ease of its online application process, which does not require a fee nor the submission of former transcripts. In fact, staff at the university seeks out those prior transcripts and then does a subsequent transcript evaluation. Another factor making this school attractive is the ability of students to transfer in up to 90 credits toward an undergraduate degree.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Location:

2500 North River Road, Manchester
New Hampshire 03106-1045
 
2

Portland Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,802
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9
School Type
2-year

The online Associate of Applied Science in health information management degree program offered at Portland Community College can be utilized through the Desire2Learn platform. Students can access all assignments, lectures, quizzes and videos through this interactive, online learning tool. Only the practicum class in this degree program requires attendance at an actual site.

In fact, this two-credit practicum course also incorporates practice exams to help graduates prepare to take the national Registered Health Information Technicians, or RHIT, exam. This certification may be beneficial to anyone seeking a job or interested in standing out among other applicants. PCC's open admissions policy only sweetens the deal, making the school easily accessible to applicants who have earned a high school diploma or a GED certificate.

Accreditation:

  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Information and Information Management Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Location:

1200 SW 49th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97219-7132
 
3

King University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$27,276
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
55%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14
School Type
4-year

Students interested in online colleges for health care informatics may find the Bachelor of Science in health informatics degree program offered through King University to be a suitable fit. The program comprises 12 different courses, all which can be completed entirely online. Particularly hardworking students interested in a quick completion may be able to finish this degree in as little as 16 months.

Courses at King University are generally five weeks each. Students also may be able to transfer in credits to the school or take advantage of reverse articulation agreements with other Tennessee community colleges. Additionally, the university is a military-friendly school, meaning that military students should be able to find help with making their academic choices.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Location:

1350 King College Road
Bristol, Tennessee 37620-2699
 
4

Western Governors University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,070
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
100%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
61
School Type
4-year

Competency-based learning is at the heart of online education at Western Governors University. This simply means that students pass their classes once they can prove their skills through papers, projects, exams or other types of assessments. This competency-based approach is even used in the online Bachelor's of Science in health information management degree program offered through the university.

Further distinguishing this degree program is the fact that students can take as many courses as they want each semester, and tuition at Western Governors is charged by semester, not by the number of credits a student is taking. This can help to cut down both time and money costs for completing a degree program, depending on the number of courses a student can handle at one time. The university's open admissions policy is the cherry on top of this customizable opportunity.

Accreditation:

  • The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

Location:

4001 South 700 East,Suite 700
Salt Lake City, Utah 84107
 

Degree Overview: Health Care Informatics

Health care informatics degree programs are an important part of teaching students how to apply technological solutions to the challenges they may work to overcome in the health care industry. This section takes a look at coursework students may complete during health care informatics degree programs, as well as the skills they may develop during this coursework.

Online Health Care Informatics Courses

Professionals who pursue the health care informatics field must develop a strong understanding of how computer systems are used in the medical field. In order to teach students this understanding, online colleges for health care informatics may include the following courses in their curriculum.

  • Health informatics fundamentals: As the name suggests, these courses are designed to build a foundation of health informatics knowledge for their students. Basic topics usually covered in these courses include types of information systems used in the industry, data standards and telemedicine.
  • Operating systems: Though not necessarily health care-focused, courses on operating systems can teach students how common operating systems -- such as UNIX, DOS and Windows -- are used. Specific course topics might include data storage, how computers interact with each other and hardware operational methods.
  • Pharmacology:The curriculum of a pharmacology class may include subjects such as the effects of different drugs on the body, how drugs are developed and approved, pharmaceutical classifications, coding and billing, and pharmaceutical technology.
  • Biomedical data analytics: A complex topic, courses in biomedical data analytics are important for being able to process and interpret various data sources. Lessons might include linear modeling, linear algebra, probability, data manipulation and model diagnostics.
  • Technical communication: Technical communication is the study of how to communicate technical information (verbally or in writing) to audiences that may or may not have expertise in technology. Students often learn how to draft white papers, user manuals, design specifications and similar documents in these courses.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

In order to be successful in a health care informatics career, candidates should be accomplished at a number of industry-relevant skills. The following are some of the abilities they may want to focus on developing as they work on their degree programs.

  • Communication:Health care informatics professionals use both written and verbal communication skills to explain what computer systems are needed in a facility and which of the many options may be the best choice for their specific employer.
  • Learning: People in the health care informatics field must be able to quickly understand and utilize new developments in technology and health care regulations, so strong learning skills are necessary.
  • Creativity: When a computer system is being updated piecemeal, some very strange issues can arise. Health care informatics professionals need to be ready to think on their feet and devise innovative ways to fix or circumvent an organization's technology problems.
  • Instructing: As the people who are updating the technology for the entire facility, health care informatics professionals often find themselves responsible for teaching their peers how to use specific hardware and software programs that they have installed. Understanding how to teach others this information can thus come in handy.
  • Time management: Health care facilities may be trying to upgrade multiple systems at once, especially if more than one system decides to break at the same time. Strong time management skills are needed in order to juggle several projects at once and complete the necessary work on time.

Health Care Informatics Career Outlook

As technology rapidly evolves and becomes more entrenched in the health care field, the education students receive at online colleges for health care informatics becomes increasingly important to performing the job. This section explores various positions that health care informatics students may pursue after completing their studies, with job descriptions and education requirements for each career.

Informatics Nurse Specialists
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$92,740
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
44,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
8.8
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
Informatics nurse specialists are responsible for helping to develop and maintain computer systems used in the health care field. People who want to pursue this career are generally required to have a master's degree in nursing or computer science, and they are expected to perform duties such as:
  • Evaluating the technology needs of a health care facility and selecting programs based on those needs
  • Training nursing colleagues on how to use computer systems
  • Acting as a liaison between nursing professionals and systems engineers and analysts
  • Conducting nursing informatics research
  • Developing policies to help keep patients' medical information secure
Clinical Data Managers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$88,980
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
4,400
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
33.4
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Master's degree
Clinical data managers have the important responsibility of collecting data for medical projects, such as pharmaceutical and clinical trials. In order to do this, clinical data managers complete tasks such as performing logic tests on clinical databases, creating and implementing data management plans, completing statistical comparisons of data, writing instruction manuals for computer systems, and preparing reports.

Although some clinical data managers may be able to find employment after completing a bachelor's degree, these professionals are generally required to earn a master's degree in computer science or engineering, or a graduate certificate in health informatics or clinical data management.

Computer Systems Analysts
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$92,740
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
44,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
8.8
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
In order to be successful, computer systems analysts need strong communication, analytical, systems evaluation and programming skills. These professionals are responsible for helping organizations adopt computer systems and procedures that can help them run their business more efficiently. They determine which kinds of technology should be used by their organization; choose and configure hardware and software; and train other staff on how to use new systems.

Analysts are usually able to find work after earning a bachelor's degree in a computer-related discipline, but positions and requirements can vary wildly depending on the employer. Some employers prefer candidates to have earned a master's degree; others may prioritize candidates who have taken business classes as well as computer classes; still others may accept candidates with non-computer-related degrees so long as they have established technical experience.

Medical Records Directors
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$42,820
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
15,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
13.5
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Postsecondary nondegree award
With the increasing automation of medical records, it's imperative for health care facilities to maintain the integrity of this vital information. Medical records directors work to keep patient information complete, secure and stored based on federal and state regulations. Specific job duties include developing systems procedures and ensuring they are adhered to throughout the organization; verifying that medical records are complete and fixing records that are incomplete; training staff on how to use computer systems; and monitoring the effectiveness of record management systems.

In order to earn a position as a medical records director, candidates are expected to have at least an associate's degree, though many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree.

Article Sources