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What Can I Do with a Degree in Health Informatics?

“About 40 percent of [healthcare] business that was once done in a hospital now can be done outside the hospital because of technological and medical advances,” said Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, recently at an exclusive event at Hofstra. “The world of healthcare has completely changed. The whole new world of digital health telemedicine, all the facilitation made possible by technology, is making the delivery of healthcare continue to evolve,” he continued. “As a leader you have to be out front in doing these things.”

Health Informatics is an emerging field that brings the design and development of information technology innovations to health care delivery. From overseeing electronic medical records and cybersecurity to managing complex projects and new protocols through technology, health informaticists are improving patient care and transforming medicine.

Health informaticists can take on a variety of roles such as data analyst, health information systems specialists, and even Chief Medical Information Officers. 

With a move toward telemedicine and electronic records, health informatics is a growing field projected to grow nearly twice as fast as other occupations in the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health informaticists can work in hospitals, for private health care providers, in integrated delivery networks or as private consultants.

The New York metro area is the projected to have the highest number of health informatics jobs in the nation in the coming ten years with an average salary of $95,890 and a mean annual wage of $135,640, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Who Should Become a Health Informaticist?

“You do not need to have a specific background to excel in health informatics,” says Nicholas Mercado, Program Director of the Master of Science in Health Informatics at Hofstra University.

“All we ask of [our students] is that they keep an open mind and understand that this is where health care is going and to be able to adapt in this rapidly growing field.”

Health informatics attracts a wide variety of students, says Mercado. “We have clinicians here who are seasoned physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and even students with a heavy technology or computer science background. We’ve had students with a dental background, people from human resources, insurance companies, and students who worked for research institutions. We bring together these people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds with different career aspirations but with one common goal: to become a leader in healthcare through informatics.”

In fact, Hofstra’s program takes an interdisciplinary approach, offering a well-rounded curriculum that includes statistics and analytics, database management, standardization of clinical data, healthcare security, systems analysis, and more. “Because we attract students from all walks of life,” says Mercado, “students have the ability to form a network of collaborative relationships in the field.” Students are also able to meet leaders in the field and gain first-hand experience through a practicum.

Want to know more about becoming a health informaticist?