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March 25–31, 2012, is the 23rd annual Health Information Professionals (HIP) Week. Throughout the week, WGU Connection will post about health informatics and WGU’s online B.S. in Health Informatics students and graduates.
What is health informatics? Many of our students receive that question from friends and coworkers when told about the online bachelor’s degree in health Informatics program at Western Governors University. The answer to the question is pretty broad, because health informatics, also sometimes called "health IT," blends a variety of professional disciplines:
Where will you find health informatics used? Anywhere you find health information being created, communicated, shared, stored, and used. Health data is created every time a medical provider takes a patient history, and that data becomes information about the patient.
That health information, generated by patient data, is used by:
Health information goes from the micro level to the macro level, and health informatics professionals participate at all levels. Some places where health informatics professionals work:
Job titles for health informatics professionals include:
Health informatics employment prospects are good: Jobs are expected to grow by 47% in the next five years.
Our Standard Path reflects industry needs and a forward-thinking approach, anticipating changes in the healthcare environment. Students who enter our program should be adaptable, curious, team players who are comfortable working with change. Health informatics is all about people using information systems to communicate health data/information to build the medical knowledge base, improve the quality of patient care, lower healthcare costs, and grow a nationwide health information system.
By Christine KowalskiWGU’s Health Informatics Program Coordinator
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