Health Informatics #HITedu Twitter Chat

Health Informatics Twitter Chat #HITeduUNE Online launched a #HITedu Twitter Chat to connect students, educators, employers, employees, policy makers, patients, and others with a vested interest in health informatics education, training and jobs.

We held our chat on January 10, 2017 at 12pm EST using the hashtag #HITedu on Twitter.

Big data, machine learning, predictive analytics, quality measurement, MACRA, population health, telemedicine – these are just a handful of the terms used in health informatics related course and job descriptions.

The field of Health Informatics is moving so fast, that keeping pace with the demand for skilled workers requires constant communication between the education and employment sectors. And what’s more real-time than Twitter?

Twitter Chat topics:

Q: Many employers say there are more health informatics jobs than there are candidates. Who will fill these roles now and in the future?

Q: With so many programming languages and technology platforms for healthcare data storage, management, delivery, and analysis, what technical skills are most in demand and important in the current and emerging market?

Q: Since it’s not all about the hard technical skills, what soft skills (communications, project management etc…) should be included in health informatics educational programs and why?

Q: Where are the skill gaps in healthcare informatics? Which necessary skills are students and job candidates lacking the most?

Q: Since many of people seeking a degree or training in Health Informatics are older students and are often currently employed, what considerations should organizations take into account when designing their programs to accommodate these learners?

Meet our first Twitter Chat Host – Megan Landry, RN, MHA

Our host was Megan Landry, B.S.N., M.H.A.-Informatics, former Program Manager of the Health Informatics Programs at the University of New England. The early years of Megan’s career were spent in both direct care of patients and information management and analysis. It was during these years that she became intensely passionate about the use of health information technology to improve quality of care.

“I quickly saw how technology could both improve safety and health outcomes for patients,” said Landry. But in the same breath she added, “I also saw how poorly designed and implemented technology could cause safety and quality challenges.”

And so Landry has dedicated much of her career in both provider and academic settings to seeing that health IT is developed, implemented and managed in a way that elicits high quality information and interventions. “Like in any industry, you can’t just slap a piece of technology on top of a problem and hope it works. You have to be thoughtful and ensure that technology will be effective and is of high quality.”

As an educator, Landry wants UNE’s students to gain necessary skills like programming and critical thinking. But she also pays keen attention to integrating the topics of consumer informatics, patient engagement, health disruption, and innovation into student curriculum.

“First off, we’re all healthcare consumers and have a vested interest in providing high quality education to those building and managing our health information and care. And secondly,” she said, “we need to be disruptive if we’re going to move an industry known for being a technological laggard.”

Landry believes that having a vested interest in providing high quality education means looking to other industries for inspiration – posing the question “Why can’t we ‘Uberize’ patient wait-times and access to care?”

Landry feels strongly that the next generation of health informatics professionals need to be skilled in data analysis and machine learning, but more importantly they need to be able to apply futuristic and out-of-the-box thinking to solving healthcare problems.

The #HITedu Twitter Chat

For more information on the graduate programs in Health Informatics at UNE, go to

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