The healthcare industry is one area that will continue to grow and evolve in the coming years. The world’s population continues to increase, requiring more medical professionals, and the integration of electronic health records systems introduces more technological concerns than ever before. For those who are interested in a career that combines the medicine along with the use of technology, a Master’s degree in Healthcare Informatics may be the answer.
Here are 5 tips for applying to a Master’s in Healthcare Informatics program:
1. Demonstrate experience in medicine, technological data analysis or both
Most Master’s degrees in healthcare informatics programs focus on how to implement, utilize and analyze data through electronic health records systems. With the advent of these systems in order to maintain patient records, in coordination with the Affordable Care Act, this area of technology integration in the healthcare industry has exploded. Successful applicants to informatics programs typically have some background experience in either the medical field or in technology with data collection and analysis. Focusing on one of these areas, or both if applicable, will lend credence to an application.
2. Provide examples of self-initiated or individualized projects
Because data entry and analysis are often not group ventures, providing concrete examples of work projects that were either self-initiated or completed almost entirely individually demonstrates an ability to work efficiently and successfully. While college-level projects are certainly a possibility for inclusion, application selection committees for Master’s degree programs are more interested in career endeavors that demonstrate ability and accomplishment. In addition, selection committees also like to see projects that demonstrate accurate methods of data analysis and prediction as much of the current informatics field is focused on determining healthcare trends for faster and more accurate medical preparation and diagnosis.
3. Show evidence of leadership
While the ability to work individually on self-initiated projects is very important to application selection groups, demonstrating evidence of leadership skills is equally demanded. Healthcare informatics specialists may individually analyze patient and medical data for trends and information, but these professionals must also be able to present their findings and lead teams to utilize that data. Although many successful healthcare informatics applicants are charge nurses, office administrators and even doctors, there are many other leadership positions in other fields that will translate well.
4. Focus on the statement of intent and/or resume
Candidates’ academic and professional goals should be clearly identified in their statement of intent or resume. While some Master’s programs will ask for one or the other, and some will require both, these two documents are an opportunity to provide clear and appropriate goals that can be reached via the completion of this Master’s degree. Some programs would prefer to see several years of work or research experience in a related field, while others are willing to consider applicants from many different professional backgrounds as long as the qualifications are present. The statement of intent and resume are perfect opportunities to clarify goals and qualifications for the selection committee.
5. Select references carefully and thoughtfully
Whether the institution asks for contact information for references or for letters of recommendation, the people selected to provide an applicant’s commitment to the program are very important. Personal references should generally be avoided, as well as previous educators if possible, in favor of work-experience recommendations that can attest to the candidate’s commitment to healthcare, data or both.
Embarking on a career in healthcare informatics offers the possibility of being on the cutting edge of using technology in the medical industry. These programs provide graduates with the ability to collect, store and analyze data for a wide range of medical applications. Successfully accepted candidates are able to employ these helpful tips while applying to a Master’s in Healthcare Informatics program.