Technology in the healthcare field is vital. It provides clinicians, researchers, and corporations with the necessary tools to provide services to patients and develop life-saving medications. Technology connects patients to important information that can help them make better health-related decisions.
The demand for workers who understand the connections of healthcare, technology, information, and people is growing exponentially. To address this need, The iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology launched a new Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) that will help educate future leaders within this rapidly expanding field.
The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics estimates a 49 percent growth in the demand for educated individuals prepared to be administrators, specialists, consultants, educators, and researchers in health organizations by the year 2018. The MSHI provides students from diverse academic and professional backgrounds with the knowledge and skills they will need to use information and technology responsibly and effectively to improve health outcomes in medical settings, public health, industry, government and academia.
“The program has a very broad information systems approach,” said Program Director Prudence Dalrymple. “It’s not computer programming, and it’s not pure medical records. Instead, this program is looking at the whole area of health information.”
The program is designed both for the clinical professional, who works in healthcare but wishes to gain a better understanding of the integration of technology into the field, and the technologist, who wishes to apply his or her knowledge into a health setting. The MSHI is 15 courses, and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis completely online.
The interdisciplinary program housed at The iSchool at Drexel, receives curricular support from health-related colleges at Drexel , including the College of Nursing and Drexel University College of Medicine. Drawing on the strengths of these diverse areas ensures that students will graduate from the program with an understanding of both information systems and healthcare that complements prior education and experience.
“Health informatics encompasses the whole spectrum of health information technology, everything from drug development to consumer health,” said Dalrymple. “With healthcare reform, and what we’re seeing in healthcare today, there’s no question that health informatics is going to transform – is already transforming – the field. There’s no question that health informatics’ time has come.”
Founded in 1892, The iSchool at Drexel educates students in information science and technology at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels and features Drexel University’s Cooperative Education program. The College’s mission is to unite technology, people, and information to make a fundamental difference in tomorrow’s knowledge society. The iSchool at Drexel is a founding member of the iSchools Caucus of more than 25 prominent colleges dedicated to immersing students in the iField — connecting people, information and technology. For more information visit www.ischool.drexel.edu.
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Susan Haine McDonnell, writer/editor, The iSchool at Drexel
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