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Idaho State University College of Business offers new Master of Science in Health Informatics

Kelsey West

March, 8, 2016

POCATELLO — The Idaho State University College of Business is proud to announce a new Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) graduate program offered on the Pocatello and Meridian campuses in fall of 2016.

The College of Business’ newest health-related program will be consistent with the statewide initiative for education in the health professions and with Idaho’s first four-year medical school, the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) opening at ISU’s Meridian Health Science Center in August 2018.

Health Informatics revolves around developing the most efficient application software and methods for medical professionals’ use of information technologies within their fields while still maintaining and overseeing the challenges of maintaining patent confidentiality.

The new MSHI program will require a total of 36 credit hours, equivalent to two years to completion and is available to all undergraduate fields of study after the fulfillment of a set of prerequisite courses. Courses in the two locations will consist of a mixture of on-site classroom learning and distance-learning courses broadcast across campuses. All courses will be available in the evening, providing a more convenient learning experience for the non-traditional, working students.

In addition, a degree from the MSHI program will provide additional knowledge and skill with regard to the technological side of the health professions for medical graduates and those awaiting acceptance into the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is scheduled to open in 2018. The program can also benefit international medical graduates awaiting acceptance into medical residency programs.

As part of the initiative in building this new program, the College of Business has brought on three new faculty members. Assistant Professor Sankara Srinivasan comes to the college specializing in mobile health care applications and the use and impact of health informatics systems on the performance of individuals, teams and organizations in the health profession. Assistant Professor Karoly Bozan is a specialist in electronic medical records with over a decade of experience working as a consultant with Accenture PLC implementing a large-scale ERP system. Assistant Professor Nima Kordzadeh is a specialist of consumer health informatics and privacy issues helping to improve patient care through health data analytics and bettering patient-centered online health applications.    

The new MSHI program will provide the two regions with more opportunities within the technological aspects of the healthcare professions. The program will also help address a critical shortage of graduates with skills spanning both informatics and health care. This demand for more health informaticists can be attributed to both the Health Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and a Department of Defense initiative. The HITECH Act was established in 2009 to help promote the use of health information technology to address concerns such as the privacy and security issues facing health records. The $11 billion Department of Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization effort is intended to help establish a more current and efficient method of maintaining electronic health records.

Due to this expanding demand for graduates in the health IT professionals, the average annual salary for graduates in the field reached over $110,000 in 2013 with the median salary starting at $95,000 according to the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS). For those in administrative positions, salaries range from $109,000 to $190,000 annually. In the Boise area, average salaries across all levels of the health informatics fields are just over $91,000.

As a graduate in health informatics, students will have the opportunity to work in a variety of positions such as health informatics application designer, electronic health records specialist, health care IT project manager or as a medical database administrator.

“As a health informaticist, you would have the opportunity to handle a variety of projects within the realm of information technology as it applies to the medical field. For example, this could include developing the most effective application for doctors and nurses to fill out patients’ medical information during visits while still maintaining a high level of security. Or, as a research analyst, you may develop an application that would determine possible future medical conditions of a patient based on his or her past medical history,” said Dr. Bob Houghton, acting chair of the Department of Informatics and Computer Science in the College of Business.

The admission requirements for the MSHI program consist of sending an official transcript and submitting a $55 application to the Idaho State University Graduate School at isu.edu/graduate. The program also requires that two letters of recommendation, a resume and a Statement of Purpose be submitted to the College of Business Graduate Office at mshi@isu.edu. Applicants are also required to take either the GMAT or GRE and send scores to ISU for evaluation.

For more information about the program, contact the Director of graduate studies, Heidi Wadsworth at mshi@isu.edu or 208.282.2966 or visit http://goo.gl/zuzlTn.    

About the Idaho State University College of Business

At the ISU College of Business, we pride ourselves in providing top quality education to our students focusing primarily on opportunities in real-world applications of our programs through internships, class projects, student organizations and Professional Development events. As part of this initiative, the College of Business was the first college in Idaho to receive AACSB International accreditation in 1978 and maintains that great merit today. In addition to our commitment to our students’ education, the College is also proud to offer our expertise to the business community through our various Economic Development business resources such as the Small Business Development Center, the Eastern Idaho Development Corporation, TechHelp and Bengal Solutions: to learn more visit isu.edu/cob or call us at 208.282.3585.

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