Online MS in Health Informatics (MSHI) & Health Information Management


Health informatics and health information management professionals use technology to help hospitals and medical workers deliver quality healthcare efficiently. With a master’s degree in health informatics, graduates can excel in this non-patient-facing IT-based healthcare career.

Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors, with an estimated 2.6 million new jobs in demand in the coming decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), openings in healthcare careers will increase 16 percent between 2020 and 2030, a rate twice as high as the current 8 percent growth rate for all occupations in the United States.

While this occupational category includes patient-facing roles ranging from medical records specialists, physical therapists, nurses, and physicians, the explosive growth of this field equates to an increase in information technology (IT) services to support patients and professionals in healthcare settings.

Health informatics refers to activities involved in collecting, securely storing, and using healthcare information to help providers deliver services or care. These professionals manage information technology or serve in managerial roles. The job typically requires a mix of computer skills, information technology expertise, and specialized healthcare knowledge.

As an interdisciplinary field, it also requires a healthcare management and administration background and technology and information science skills. The BLS does not track specific occupational data for IT healthcare management but does show the general field of computer and information systems managers positions will increase by 11 percent in the coming decade, adding 52,700 new jobs (BLS 2021).

As more and more medical practices use electronic health records, the field of informatics becomes increasingly essential. Patients are concerned about privacy and security regarding their personal information online, and medical providers rely on these records to deliver care that may save or extend patients’ lives. In these ways, skilled health informatics professionals save people and organizations money and time.

A master’s degree in health informatics can prepare graduates for opportunities working for hospitals, insurance companies, primary care facilities, pharmacies, physician offices, and healthcare consulting firms. To improve the healthcare industry’s safety, efficiency, and effectiveness, healthcare informatics degree holders accept a range of healthcare IT positions. Examples include healthcare IT consultants, nurse informatics, medical records technicians, chief medical information officers, clinical data analysts, and multiple senior management roles.

Universities offer several programs that build health informatics skills. The two primary degree options include a master of science in health informatics (MSHI) and a master of science in health information management (MSHIM). These degrees are similar but emphasize different aspects of the field. For example, health informatics focuses on using applied information technology to improve healthcare. In contrast, health information management emphasizes using technology to store and retrieve patient data and comply with institutional and governmental regulations.

This guide highlights reputable and accredited online master’s degree programs that prepare students for managerial roles in health informatics. In addition, four faculty members of these schools are profiled to showcase some of the programs’ academic caliber and professional features.

Related Posts

  • 6 December 2021

    Five Emerging Careers in Healthcare Administration (2022)

    Healthcare administration is one of the fastest growing careers in the US. But in an increasingly complex and fragmented landscape, healthcare administration is becoming more of an umbrella term than a specific career.

  • 3 November 2021

    A Guide to Successful Cancer Registry Virtual Management

    Cancer registries are central to a successful organization's cancer program. From quality metrics tracking to regulatory agencies at the highest level, cancer registries perform essential reporting functions and provide crucial data to drive program decisions. As working remotely becomes more of the norm, organizations must be flexible to the needs of cancer registry professionals to work in a virtual environment.

  • 23 April 2021

    Healthcare Documentation Integrity Week: An Expert’s Guide on What to Know

    This year’s Healthcare Documentation Integrity Week (HDI Week) takes place May 16-22, 2021. It’s a weeklong celebration of the contributions healthcare documentation specialists make toward ensuring complete and accurate patient records. Previously known as medical transcriptionist week, it has transitioned to its current title in order to better recognize the wide spectrum of healthcare professionals who contribute to the integrity of the medical record. In an age of increasing digitization and data analytics, this has never been more important.

  • 1 April 2021

    Records & Information Management Month 2021: The Future of Blockchain & EHRs

    One of the problems that medical providers still face today is the absence of readily available patient medical records. Even though today more than 85 percent of physicians use electronic medical records (EMRs) to manage physical records in a digital environment, this does not mean that your complete medical data is readily available. Improvements have been made since the days of paper-based record keeping. However, even institutions that use EMRs face problems with scattered data.

  • 13 October 2020

    Health Informatics Specialist – A Day in the Life

    In today’s healthcare organization, practically everything is connected to data and IT, giving health informatics specialists a broad but crucial role to play. That’s one of the reasons they enjoy a high salary: according to PayScale, the top 10 percent of health informatics specialists earn over $103,000 per year.