A Guide to the Field of Health Informatics

Health Informatics: the Intersection of Healthcare, Technology, and Business

Do you want a healthcare career, but find you’d rather work with information rather than patients? Even so, do you still want to play an essential role in improving medical care? If this sounds familiar, health informatics could be the perfect career choice for you.

The best of both worlds, health informatics positions allow you to use your technical skills to help people, but they also offer competitive pay and job security due to the rising demand for experienced workers in the industry. With skills combining information technology and health domains, individuals with health informatics training can play unique and increasingly important roles in a wide range of professional settings. Read on to learn what health informatics is, what it isn’t, what you can do in the field, and what UC Online programs can get you there.

What is Health Informatics?

Health informatics is a rapidly growing, interdisciplinary field that uses information technology to organize and analyze health records in order to improve medical outcomes — all while ensuring that every patient’s data is accurate, complete, and readily accessible to the healthcare providers who need it. With more patient and healthcare system data being generated than ever before, the science of health informatics is focused on how these technological innovations can be used to harness the unprecedented access to information and improve human health.

What is the Difference Between Health Informatics and Health Information Technology?

Although health informatics and health information technology have a lot in common, they are two distinct disciplines with specific responsibilities and work settings.

  • Health information technology revolves around computer systems and their associated programs. Professionals in the field select, build, and maintain the tech infrastructure used to collect, store, and manage data securely in healthcare organizations.
  • Health informatics is a non-clinical healthcare discipline at the intersection of medicine and data. Health informaticists use computer systems and their associated programs to achieve better patient outcomes and to understand trends and perceptions in the field of healthcare.

What is the Job Outlook for a Career in Health Informatics?

Fueled by the healthcare industry’s goal of improving patient care through evidence-based medicine, data security, and accessibility, health informatics has become one of the fastest-growing sectors between healthcare and information technology, offering a variety of career paths with competitive salaries and reliable job stability. Below is a sample of health informatics positions with corresponding average salaries.

  • Health informatics consultants are responsible for the databases that healthcare organizations use to maintain patient records, and either work full-time for a specific employer or with a consulting agency where they assist a variety of clients. The average salary for this position is $74,588.
  • Health informatics specialists work to ensure that every patient’s data is accurate, complete, and readily accessible to the healthcare providers who need it by overseeing the structures, processes, and systems used to collect and analyze said data. The average salary for this position is $87,007.
  • Clinical informatics analysts regulate and improve clinical practices within the healthcare industry, often complying with a strict set of guidelines while optimizing workflow and clinical information systems. The average salary for this position is $88,212.
  • Database administration managers work for corporations in a variety of industries like health care, information technology, retail, or finance to maintain secure databases on behalf of their organization. The average salary for this position is $129,240.
  • Chief medical information officers serve as the bridge between the medical and IT departments, designing and customizing medical recordkeeping software and training healthcare professionals on various tools and technologies. The average salary for this position is $160,134.

Worried healthcare isn’t for you? Many informaticists go on to find employment in a variety of non-medical settings that include government agencies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical developers, and software firms.

What Degrees and Certifications from UC Online Can Lead You to a Career in Health Informatics?

At UC Online, we offer five health information/informatics-related programs to not only make you an expert in the field, but to train you to see the person connected to the data, ensuring their information stays the way it should: human and relevant.

  • The Cancer Registry Management Certificate qualifies and prepares you to sit for the Certified Tumor Registrar exam, which distinguishes cancer registry professionals by demonstrating requisite knowledge, professional competence, and a high level of commitment to the profession. After completing our fully online program, you’ll have the knowledge and skills you need to excel in both health information and cancer registry management.
  • The Medical Coder Certificate will teach you to use industry-established codes and the latest healthcare technology to collect, organize, and report vital information such as diagnoses and treatment outcomes. Upon completing this program, you’ll be qualified and prepared to sit for the Certified Professional Coder and Certified Coding Associate exams.
  • The Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Systems provides the skills, knowledge, and certifications you need to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician exam. While most graduates start their careers immediately after earning their credentials, many continue on to the bachelor’s track with a 100% acceptance rate.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management provides the specialized knowledge and skills you need to successfully gather, analyze, and secure all forms of important medical information to improve the quality of patient care. On average, 85% of students complete the program within six semesters and 88% were employed in healthcare-related jobs upon graduation.
  • The Master of Health Informatics will prepare you to manage complex projects and data systems, and leverage data to improve patient care delivery and population health. Ranked #2 on Study.com’s list of ‘Best Online Master’s Degrees in Health Informatics’, our program will equip you with real-world skills and the opportunity to build your professional network.

“As a single parent with a full-time job, I needed a flexible program to help me balance my responsibilities. I was excited to find that the Master of Health Informatics curriculum aligned well with my job as a Clinical Analyst, and being able to immediately apply what I learned in class at my job was very rewarding. I continue to look forward to all of the doors this accomplishment will open for me!”
— Carelicha D., Master of Health Informatics Graduate

Help Achieve Better Patient Outcomes

Health informatics professionals are motivated by the need to enhance the quality and safety of patient care; to promote the advancement of public health; and to support biomedical research and population data — all of which is supported by countless new job opportunities across the globe each year. And at the University of Cincinnati Online, we’re proud that our health informatics degrees qualify our graduates to take on these emerging roles, seize future opportunities that come their way, and dramatically increase their earning potential.

So — are you ready to learn more? Explore our online programs to discover how you can achieve your goals with a health informatics degree from the University of Cincinnati Online; or take the first step in advancing your career by beginning your application today.

Wage data sourced from Ziprecruiter and Salary.com

birds eye view of students working at a round table with laptops and study materials
Need additional student resources?
Already an online student? UC Online has additional tips and tricks to ensure you are on the path to success. Check out our Student Resources section for what you need to maximize your learning.
Corporate Taxation professionals having a meeting
Helping You Build a Better Business Through Continuing Education
Employee recruitment and retention is crucial for the growth and profitability of an organization and should be a high priority for every business. At the University of Cincinnati Online, we want to help develop and retain your employees through our Business Partnership offering.

Sign up for updates from UC Online

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.