This article provides an overview of the masters of management clinical informatics degree, some of the subjects and courses to be taken, and why obtaining this degree could be a wise career move. It will also present a masters of management clinical informatics program that you may want to consider.
What Is a Masters of Management Clinical Informatics?
The field of clinical informatics focuses on how IT can be used in the field of health care. It examines the information relating to health care delivery, structuring data in such a way that it can be retrieved effectively and so that it can be used for evaluation and report writing. These skills can be used in a variety of health care settings, including the military, physician’s practices, and hospitals. The field of health care is becoming increasingly reliant on technology and data, and this in turn, requires specialists who understand it and can manage it.
Data in the field of health care comes from medical professionals. To make their jobs more manageable, they use various technological tools, such as tablets, computers, apps, and more. This collective information is huge and must be managed in such a way that it can be used to improve patient outcomes. As a result of this variety, someone with a masters in management clinical informatics may work in a variety of different roles.
Graduates will usually start by reviewing the existing data systems that are in place, and then set about improving them. They will look at all the different data entry systems that exist and determine how records are accessed and shared. This is in line with regulatory laws and compliance as well. Overall, as in all elements of the health care industry, their work is about reducing costs, while improving patient outcomes at the same time.
Management clinical informatics has actually been around since the 1970s. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that Congress mandated that all medical providers had to convert all their paper records into electronic form by 2014, or they would no longer receive Medicare and Medicaid payments. One of the goals of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) was achieved in 2011, when clinical informatics was recognized as a sub-specialization by the American Board of Medical Specialties. In 2013, the first board certification was awarded.
Why Earn a Masters of Management Clinical Informatics?
According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the average salary for those who work in clinical informatics is around $85,000 per year. Managers, however, can have salaries of around $200,000 per year, which is far more likely to happen to people who hold a master’s degree. Naturally, other factors, such as the employer, position requirements, and geographical location are also important.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical informatics specialists are classified as medical and health services managers. They earned a median salary of $96,540 per year at bachelor’s degree level as of May 2016. Meanwhile, those with a master’s degree are more likely to be in the top 10% of earners, who can expect earnings of $172,240 per year or more.
Obtaining a masters of management clinical informatics ensures that more career doors are opened for you. While the salary is lucrative, the fact that you can take on a position of leadership and have greater job security and personal job satisfaction is perhaps even more important.
Online Option for Masters of Management Clinical Informatics
One of the most respected Masters of Management Clinical Informatics (MMCi) degree is offered by the Department of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics at the Duke University School of Medicine. It is the only one of its kind in the country, as it is an interdisciplinary degree. Additionally, the university itself is known the world over as being one of the best in health informatics, business, and medicine. Students will have access to state of the art resources and highly experienced faculty across IT, health care, and management education so that they are able to get the skills and knowledge that enable them to merge research, technology, and patient care. Ultimately, this will enable them to improve human health.
The curriculum is being developed constantly, based on market trends and career opportunities. The skills and knowledge that students acquired can therefore be applied straight away, regardless of which field of health care they work in. Students are also provided with an individualized plan to complete their degree, so that it fits in with their personal career requirements.
The degree is very intensive and requires completion of a number of core courses. In terms of business courses, these include:
- Principles of Strategy
- Foundations of Corporate Finance
- Spreadsheet Modeling and Decision Analysis
- Introduction to Marketing Analysis
- Introduction to Operations and Supply Chain Management
- Principles of Cost and Managerial Accounting
- Foundations of Management and Organizations
Students must also complete core courses relating to clinical informatics. These include:
- Clinical Informatics Strategy
- Health IT Business Solutions
- Data, Information and Knowledge Representation
- Managerial Analysis
- Clinical Informatics Practicum
Lastly, students must take part in an ethics seminar. This is developed once per term, in which some of the most pressing ethical issues relating to the technology of health information are discussed. What those topics are will vary depending on what has happened in the industry over that period of time. In the past, they have included access to electronic medical records, health literacy, organizational responses to data security breaches, ownership of personal health records, and the sale of prescription drug information, to name but a few.
Interestingly, the MMCi degree offered by Duke University was not developed to be delivered online. Rather, it was developed as a 12 month program in which classes are taken on weekends only. However, the university is committed to providing its students with the flexibility to complete a degree in a way that is more suitable to their particular needs. Hence, the 2017-2018 cohort will be the first to be able to take part in a remote and on-site participation option. This means that students will continue to take part in the weekend classes as before, but they will do so remotely through various forms of video conferencing technologies.
Some of the careers that could become available to you after completion of a masters of management clinical informatics are:
- Medical informatics specialist
- Nursing informatics specialist
- Pharmacy informatics specialist
- Nutritional informatics specialist
As you can see, earning a masters of management clinical informatics degree gives you the opportunity to greatly advance your career in either health care or informatics. There is a huge demand for people with this particular skill set. You will be respected for your leadership skills and your ability to manage and organize data so that budget constraints can be met, without compromising, or even improve on, health care outcomes for patients.
- Medical and Health Services Managers. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- Masters of Management in Clinical Informatics (MMCI). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://biostat.duke.edu/education/masters-management-clinical-informatics-mmci