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Health Information and Communication

Medical Informatics Specialist

Career data updated last on 8/21/2014
Medical Informatics Specialist Medical informatics specialists use information technology to benefit the health and human services industry. They create and maintain new ways for hospitals to keep records, making essential medical information as accessible as possible. Medical informatics specialists create new ways for hospitals and research centers to communicate with one another, while streamlining the interpersonal communication between staff members and patients. Information technology is used extensively in the health science field, from word processing and budgeting software to desktop video and Local Area Networks or LANS. A wide variety of skills and expertise is reflected in the diversity of responsibilities and positions held by informatics professionals. Generally, they provide technical support for databases, design new systems, and make purchasing decisions for new equipment. Speicialists may also evaluate usability, figure out ways to enhance systems, check data for accuracy, and train staff members how to access the database.
Salary $44.93/hour- $99,500 annually
Significant Points There is plenty of room for advancement, particularly if the specialist decides to focus on project management or administration. Many specialists that move up the ranks of the medical informatics field end up earning six figure salaries.
Specializations Spcialization areas include:
  • Public Health Informatics
  • Dental Informatics
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Chemical Informatics
Work Environment Graduates from a degree program in medical 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.
High School Prep General college preparation is recommended: three courses in math including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, or a higher level math course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; three science courses including one biological science, one physical science and one lab course; four English units and two social studies units, including one in U.S. History; and two years of a second language. Computer science courses are strongly encouraged.
Academic Requirements

Degree programs in medical informatics range from certificate level programs (graduate and undergraduate level certificates) to Bachelor's and Master's degrees in the various disciplines of medical informatics, including Biomedical Computing or Health Information Management. Bachelor's degree programs in health informatics are typically four-year programs focusing on the ways that the health and medical fields acquire, store, and utilize data. These programs emphasize computer science, biology, chemistry, and mathematics. The curriculum covers everything from genetics to artificial intelligence.

Students wishing to further their education in medical informatics or to specialize in one branch of the field can enroll in a Master's Degree program in medical informatics. These programs are commonly offered on-campus or via distance learning programs with one or two intensive, weeklong residencies per year. Colleges and universities design Doctoral programs to prepare the student to conduct research in medical informatics. The PhD in medical informatics also prepares the student to teach at the university level. Most certificate level programs in medical informatics appeal to professionals already working in the field who wish to expand their knowledge or specialize in a certain area. Introductory certificate programs are also available for students who wish to gain an overview of the field in preparation of an undergraduate degree in medical informatics.

Schools/Organizations

DeVry University-Westminster Campus
Bachelor Degree Bachelor's    On-line program available On-line program available
National American University-Colorado Springs Camp
Associate Degree Associate    On-line program available On-line program available
National American University-Denver Campus
Associate Degree Associate    On-line program available On-line program available
University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus
Doctoral Degree Doctoral
Masters Degree Master's    On-line program available On-line program available
University of Colorado-Denver
Doctoral Degree Doctoral
University of Phoenix
Masters Degree Master's    On-line program available On-line program available
Walden University
Masters Degree Master's    On-line program available On-line program available
Western Governor's University
Bachelor Degree Bachelor's    On-line program available On-line program available

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