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Kent State University Kent State Online Public Health Master's Degree Health Informatics

Kent State University’s Online Master of Science in Health Informatics program helps provide you with the necessary expertise to make healthcare information procedures safe, secure, and user-friendly for providers and patients.

What is Health Informatics?

Health informatics is a science that defines how health information is technically captured, transmitted, and utilized.

Health informatics focuses on information systems, informatics principles, and information technology as it is applied to the continuum of healthcare delivery. It is an integrated discipline with specialty domains that include management science, management engineering principles, healthcare delivery, public health, patient safety, information science, and computer technology. Health informatics programs demonstrate uniqueness by offering varied options for practice or research focus.1

Health informatics professionals make a difference in the lives of patients, health care providers, and administrators by:

  • Setting standards for electronic records
  • Educating and advising about electronic health records issues
  • Advocating for records quality and standards compliance, especially regarding patient privacy and security and interoperability
  • Providing health information to support clinical decision making
  • Anticipating and shaping new developments in mobile health, usability, and big data application
  • Analyzing data for clinical research, auditing, quality assessment, risk management, and costs assessment

The History of Health Informatics

The history of health informatics begins almost 70 years ago. In the wake of World War II, several doctors and researchers were examining the role that computers could play in helping to diagnose medical diseases. They used logic and probabilistic reasoning to tackle specific healthcare problems in biology and medicine.2

Initially, the discipline went by many different names, including:3

  • Medical computing
  • Medical computer science
  • Computer medicine
  • Medical electronic data processing
  • Medical automatic data processing
  • Medical information processing
  • Medical information science
  • Medical software engineering
  • Medical computer technology

They all meant essentially the same thing, and often the terms were used interchangeably. Professionals in the field soon realized the importance of finding a universal term that would be broadly adopted to encompass the combination of science, engineering, and technology and eventually settled on health informatics.4

Should I get a Health Informatics Master’s Degree or Certificate?

Are you looking to advance in a career that puts you at the forefront of patient care, yet doesn't involve hands-on treatment?

Getting an Online Master’s Degree in Health Informatics

A master's degree in health informatics can help you advance into managerial positions. You’ll take courses focused on legal issues and medical ethics, health records management, human factors and usability, clinical analytics, and standardized terminologies in healthcare. You'll pursue exciting electives that teach you how to perform data analytics and industry research, and you'll develop the change management and project management skills you need to step into leadership roles.

A master's degree in health informatics is best suited to individuals who:

  • Work in healthcare but need the IT skills to advance in this integrated field
  • Work in IT and need to acquire the requisite medical knowledge
  • Already know the basics and want to position themselves for a managerial position in a particular HI niche
  • Have the time and resources to devote to the coursework

Getting an Online Certificate in Health Informatics

Kent State’s Online Health Informatics Graduate Certificate is designed to teach students basic information about health informatics systems and management, which are the two foundational courses of the degree program. If you already have an advanced degree in business, IT, or healthcare, the additional coursework in this program gives you the opportunity to round out your skillset. IT professionals learn more about public health, including the opportunity to complete an internship in a clinical setting. Healthcare professionals can broaden their understanding of research procedures and data analytics.

You can use the certificate coursework as the foundation of a master's in health informatics if you want to pursue that option in the future. Kent State’s program, for instance, will let you transfer your credits into a master's degree program.

You may be better served by a certificate program in health informatics if the following is true:

  • You are unsure whether you want to commit to a career in health informatics and would like to learn more
  • You are looking to pivot into healthcare management with an MBA in hand but need to learn more about the healthcare field
  • You are already working in an HI position and want to boost your resume
  • You are seeking a job in health informatics but not looking for a managerial position

Kent State University’s Online Master of Science in Health Informatics

Kent State’s Online Master of Health Informatics is designed to fit your busy schedule. As part of our program, you’ll have the opportunity to delve into an innovative, technology-driven field that’s reshaping the healthcare industry. Much of the work in health informatics is focused on using the advancements of modern technology to find new solutions for existing problems in areas like biomedical science, public health, and patient care.

Our practitioner faculty integrate real-world experiences and case studies from the field, blending theory and practice within the program’s curriculum. In this program, you’ll also be able to intern at a healthcare facility of your choice and network with health informatics experts, forming relationships that can help you in your job search after graduation.

For more information on Kent State’s Online Master of Health Informatics, visit

Kent State University’s Online Master of Health Informatics

Kent State’s Online Health Informatics Graduate Certificate is designed to increase your professional knowledge while helping you enter the field quickly. In as little as one year, you’ll be ready to manage healthcare records, support clinical decisions and carry out clinical analytics.

For more information on Kent State’s Online Health Informatics Graduate Certificate, visit

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