By Kim Chaudoin on 7/1/2011
Responding to growing demand in the workplace, Lipscomb University announces a new Master of Health Care Informatics (MHCI) program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is mandating a national health care information infrastructure, including electronic health records, by 2014 and few programs nationally are preparing students to become leaders in this emerging field.
Health care informatics is the discipline of managing health care data, of many kinds and from multiple sources, so that is becomes useful and accessible in appropriate ways to support and improve health care delivery and outcomes. The Lipscomb MHCI program combines the study of information security, data management and the clinical management and analysis of data and is offered through a collaboration of Lipscomb’s College of Business, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering Department of Information Technology.
According to a new study in Healthcare IT News, health information technology is number one on the list of top 10 ‘hot careers’ for 2011 college graduates. But professionals who can function in the various disciplines involved in health care informatics are in short supply. In the local Middle Tennessee area, the Nashville Technology Council’s Q2-11 Jobs Report indicated 1,161 open information technology (IT) positions, and the health care industry leads all industry sectors for these open IT positions.
“This degree breaks away from traditional preparation in IT in that it prepares students from all the perspectives needed in the profession: health care, business and IT,” Beth Breeden, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Lipscomb and expert in pharmacy informatics in the industry.
Currently accepting applications for a late fall class, the new master’s degree program is offered on alternating weekends for 13 months with an additional two months of individual capstone project work. The program is designed to prepare students for jobs in hospitals, health care consulting, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, insurance companies, governmental agencies, health-related software companies, business and industry.