5 Popular Electives in a Master’s in Health Informatics Program

Electives in a Master's in Health Informatics Program

  • Computer and Network Security
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Health
  • Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases
  • Chronic Illness Interventions: Infancy to Young Adulthood
  • Families and Health

Students interested in careers in health informatics can choose from various popular electives in a Master's in Health Informatics program. Health informatics, a field that combines healthcare and information technology, is a growing field that teaches individuals how to utilize information to provide patients with high-quality healthcare. Although the program requires various healthcare core courses, internships and capstone projects, it also allows the students to choose courses that interest them and fit into their career goals. Here are some of the the most popular electives.

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1. Computer and Network Security

Health informatics involves not just healthcare but an extensive amount of information and information technology, and when you have information technology, you also have the need for good computer and network security. This class is often chosen by students more interested in the IT part of health informatics than the health and patient care part. Students learn about risk factors, new bugs, spyware, rootkits and viruses, as well as ways to detect them before they have the chance to do damage. This course teaches about computer security and network security.

2. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Health

Cost is a huge factor in healthcare for both the patient and the healthcare provider. This course focuses on the best ways to use cost-effectiveness analysis to help providers make informed decisions on how to improve a patient's health. It teaches students about various analytical tools, including sensitivity analysis, decision analysis and cost-benefit analysis. Students learn when it's justifiable to use these tools, which of the tools should be used and what limitations each of them has. The main focus is to teach students when it's appropriate to use cost-effectiveness analysis and how to apply it to various health issues.

3. Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases

This course teaches students to use data to analyze the health status of different populations, with students collecting health-related data from various demographics and health jurisdictions. Students learn the epidemiology of certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and musculoskeletal diseases. As part of the course, students work with public health practitioners in trying to create grant applications to help with chronic diseases that have been identified as important through the data analysis.

4. Chronic Illness Interventions: Infancy to Young Adulthood

This course helps the student learn different intervention methods used to manage chronic illness from a lifespan that goes from infancy into young adulthood. They learn conceptual and theoretical ideas for viewing chronic illness and how they affect family development at different age groups. Students also learn about different types of health education interventions for certain chronic illnesses. Other topics covered include self-management of chronic illness, school-based approaches to illness risk reduction and making informed decisions regarding chronic illness in the family unit.

5. Families and Health

Students interested in learning about chronic illnesses and how they affect the family unit often find this course very interesting and beneficial. The course covers various topics, including the impact of demographic trends on family function and structure; past and current status of family-based practices; theories and models of the family; and family diversity in regards to ethnicity, social status and culture, and their abilities to understand health phenomena. Students learn to understand health and health-related behavior.

A Master's in Health Informatics program offers students a broad education covering healthcare, information technology and management, according to the U.S. News & World Report. This results in qualification for various jobs and career choices. One of the things that makes a health informatics degree so unique is that the electives in a Master's in Health Informatics program allow students to focus their studies on the areas of specialization that most interests them.

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