Healthcare Informatics MBA Online
By Bob Horton
The health care industry is one of the most important industries in the economy of this country. However, it is vital that the field has to be innovative in terms of its IT services. Quality must be increased, but costs must be reduced at the same time. This can be achieved by the proper management of health informatics. An MBA in Healthcare Informatics delivers professionals who understand both computer information systems and health administration.
What We Do
Someone with an MBA in Healthcare Informatics understands how patient data should be organized and maintained within a clinical registry or databases. Additionally, they track health outcomes for different patients and use this information for various quality assessments.
Essentially, an MBA graduate is able to optimize methods, resources and devices, as well as understand how to use information. This is applied in both health care and biomedicine. As such, rules exist in pharmacy, clinical care, public health, nursing, therapy, medical research and alternative medicine.
Why It’s Hot
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information and medical records technicians earn $34,160 per year without any degree. Those who hold an MBA in Healthcare Informatics manage these people, which means their salary could be as much as three times as much. Furthermore, growth for technicians is expected to be 22% between 2012 and 2022, and this implies that growth for their managers will follow suit.
Furthermore, due to the various recent health care reforms, including the Affordable Care Act, those with knowledge in systems administration are in high demand. Not just that, the needs of the population are changing, particularly as the population ages, which means demand is likely to rise even further.
Finally, one of the greatest barriers health care organizations are experiencing in terms of developing their IT problems is down to staffing issues. Simply put, there aren’t enough people around to manage demand. This means that you are almost guaranteed to find a job once you graduate.
Once you have graduated from your MBA in Healthcare Informatics program, you can get to work anywhere in the country, or even in the world. The health care industry is one of the largest in the world. This means that you could work anywhere from a large hospital in a major city, to a field hospital in war torn Africa for a charitable organization. Your role will obviously mean that you have to work with electronics and data, which means you will be largely desk-based. However, you will also have to spend a lot of time in meetings and inspecting different departments.
How to Do It
If you want to enroll in an MBA in Healthcare Informatics, you will first need to complete a four year bachelor’s degree. While your major can be in any field, it is usually recommended to have some sort of focus on either IT or a health-related field such as nursing. Additionally, you will usually be expected to have a very good understanding of algebra and calculus and you may have to complete some undergraduate courses in this field. You will usually also have to hold a GPA of 2.0 minimum and you will have to pass the GMAT exam. Admissions to these programs is highly competitive and you will generally have to provide a resume, a letter of intent and an essay. It is recommended that you apply to a number of a different schools to increase your chances of being accepted.
You can choose to study either on campus or online. One on campus option is the MBA Program with a Concentration in Health Informatics offered by Georgia State University Department of Computer Information Systems, which is a relatively new program. It consists of four required courses, followed by a number of elective courses. The school is ranked 9th in the country for their information systems graduate program according to the U.S. News & World Report (2015).
MBA in Healthcare Informatics Online
Many people prefer to study online. This is because it allows them to balance their academic career with their existing personal and professional commitments. Furthermore, it may allow them to become international students, should they find a program at a foreign university. Some online options you may want to consider include:
- *Health Informatics MBA – New England College – This degree has been designed for working professionals and can be completed in just 20 months. Students complete 28 credits in core courses, followed by 12 credits of specialty courses.
- MBA in Healthcare Informatics – Southern New Hampshire University – This program is designed to further the career of those who already have experience in health care or IT. Graduates assume the lead role for the design, planning, maintenance and implementation of health care information systems. Graduates also have a great understanding of the interaction between systems and data in the health care industry and how this impacts on individual patients and health care organizations.
- Health Informatics MBA Specialization – Anna Maria College – Anna Maria College is one of only three schools in this country that offer this degree online. This means that the degree is highly prestigious and graduates are in very high demand.
- Online MBA – Urbana University – Urbana University offers an MBA program specific for MDs and MD students, as it focuses on the administration of all aspects of health care.
Pros & Cons
- It would not be hard to look for a job because of rising demand.
- With the combination of health care and informatics, which are both in a high state of flux today, you will be involved in cutting edge technologies.
- Getting an MBA is expensive.
- Just like in any management position, you will likely have to work long hours.
- Southern New Hampshire University offers a range of merit scholarships and other external scholarships to their students.
- New England College offers various graduate and undergraduate scholarships.
- Anna Maria College offers financial aid to students, as well as pointing them to various study loans.
- The Stafford Loan, which is generally offered for the first $20,500 of tuition fees.
- Georgia State University offers a number of scholarships and grants to their students.
- Health Informatics Consultant: Here, you will be a self employed consultant, allowing you to provide advice, information and guidance to various health care facilities. Usually, they will want your expertise to help reduce the various overhead costs. You will achieve this by training teams, updating networks and improving current software solutions. According to the American Health information Management Association (AHIMA), you can expect to earn an average of $80,000 per year.
- Chief Medical Information Officer: Here, you will ensure the flow of information in a health care organization is both efficient and effective. According to AHIMA, average salaries for these professionals are between $100,000 and $200,000 per year.
- Hospital Administrator: Here, you will oversee how the various departments in the organization you work with function while making sure they are efficient. You will also be a liaison officer between the various governing boards and you may even have some HR responsibilities, focusing on hiring, training and retention. If the organization you work for is small, you may be responsible for the full running and operations of the facility itself. In a larger facility, you will usually only focus on a single area.
- Health Care Consultant: You will be responsible for the review of existing policies and strategies and the development of new ones. This can be applied to medical, biotechnological and pharmaceutical fields. The goal is to improve patient care, business procedures, product development and medical matters. While you may be a self-employed consultant, it is also possible to work directly for a company.
- Private Practice Manager: You will manage the office of a physician. Some supervision of administrative workers and nurses is likely to be included. You will also work closely with all members of staff, communicate closely with government offices and insurance companies, ensure finances are handles properly and so in. Essentially, your role will be to ensure efficient operations that are fully compliant with the various regulations.
- U.S. News & World Report Health Care Management Rankings
- Health Facilities Management Magazine
- Health Informatics Journal
- Online Journal of Public Health Informatics
- Electronic Journal of Health Informatics
Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Healthcare Informatics