Health informatics is a field that combines digital technologies and medical facilities, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical healthcare. It makes use of computer technology to collect, store, manage, use and share information for effective patient care.
Healthcare is a growing industry, opening doors to numerous different career opportunities. The integration of computer technology into healthcare has further brightened the job prospects in the areas of
- Designing computer applications such as Electronic Medical Record or other clinical information systems
- Developing customized healthcare information systems
- Installing order entry systems or others
- Modifying healthcare applications
- Testing healthcare software systems
- Organizing and analyzing data
- Processing information
- Data administration
Healthcare information is an interdisciplinary field that includes conceptualizing, designing, developing, implementing and adopting IT based innovations in healthcare for better planning, organizing, management and service delivery.
The professionals are employed as software developers, healthcare analysts, database developers, business or systems analysts or system implementation specialists in different clinical, research and educational settings.
They may work with hospitals, vendor organizations, consulting firms, data management companies, healthcare information development firms, research firms, public health departments and other government organizations.
The job prospects are bright in this field. However, employers are keen on hiring people who have excellent clinical knowledge along with expertise in computer science, clinical decision support, medical coding, medical image processing, web application development and data security and privacy policies.
A formal education and training in health information post secondary school can help individuals enter into this industry and progress towards building a rewarding career. They must possess strong clinical knowledge, excellent computer programming skills and business and communication skills.
Health informatics courses in Toronto
A number of colleges in Canada offer post-secondary health informatics courses. Unfortunately, not all are accredited. Centennial College’s three-year health informatics technology program is a fully CIPS/CTAB accredited program. It incorporates the knowledge of healthcare systems and informational technology. It prepares students to design, develop, modify and test healthcare applications.
The healthcare informatics program emphasizes on object-oriented software design methodologies, user-oriented interface design, telehealth, structure of healthcare information systems, data security and privacy in healthcare systems. It covers a wide range of subjects including
- Software engineering fundamentals
- Functions and number systems
- Web design and development
- Object oriented software engineering
- Tools, algorithms and methods for HCIS
- Data warehousing and data mining
- Systems integration
- Computer techniques in medical imaging
Students learn about a wide range of programming languages including Java, HTML, XML, .NET, J2EE, Oracle and C#. In addition, it lays a strong emphasis on business skills, communications and the Canadian workplace experience. The program combines classroom learning, hands-on-labs and software development projects.
The diploma in health informatics is a post-secondary program. In order to apply for this program, you will need:
- Secondary school diploma or equivalent
- English Grade 12 C or University or equivalent
- Mathematics Grade 11 M or 12 C or University or equivalent
Apart from this, qualified college or university graduates with a background in software can get admission directly into semester three of this program.