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Universities Respond to need for Healthcare Informatics Professionals

Screen shot 2009-12-15 at 10.25.22 AMRecently healthcare informatics seems to be a buzzword in both the healthcare and education industries. As Congress pushes for a new healthcare system and information technology advances both converge in healthcare informatics and educators are taking notice.

Now many colleges and universities across the world are offering degree programs in healthcare informatics. These students pursuing this degree path are on the forefront of an industry and will have a decisive advantage.

They will create and maintain new ways for hospitals to keep and update records. Most industries need information specialist, however with the volume of medical records healthcare informatics has the possibility to change data collection.

With the relative newness of the field, it offers a vast array of opportunities in hospitals, health insurance companies, internet companies, medical research laboratories, government contractors and health information technology suppliers. Job descriptions vary based on the concentration.

The emerging specialties within the field of healthcare informatics are bioinformation, public health informatics, organizations informatics, social informatics and clinical informatics.

Current Universities that offer a degree in healthcare informatics are Drexel University, University of Connecticut, University of Sheffield, MS from University of Maryland University College, and MS from Walden University, MS from UW Milwaukee, MS from Northwestern, MS from University of Illinois, Chicago to name just a few.

Almost every major state college is also developing programs in the field.

Lawmakers are also urging for a push in health U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy of RI proposed a bill known as the “Personalized Health Information Act” which would give hospitals and doctors incentives to sign patients to electronic health records. This bill is to encourage healthcare providers to assume the significant short term investment for the general and long term benefits of electronic health care systems.

With political power and pressure to healthcare providers the need for healthcare informatics professionals is ever increasing.  In addition to a growing need stateside, there is also international demand.

Recently the ISO has issued a technical report to help emerging countries impliment a health informatics system. In efforts to create a internationally harmonized system the report will present information to help guide the development of systems to countries with limited resources and restricted infrastructure. International Standards will help provide globally synchronized healthcare information updates and informatics systems.

Internationally and domestically the need for education in healthcare informatics is present and universities are responding in record numbers.

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