Master of Science in Health Informatics

Degree Plans for the Master of Science in Health Informatics

*Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information

UNE’s Master of Science in Health Informatics is a two-year program, provided a student takes one course per eight-week session (two courses per semester). Students may complete the program faster by taking more than one course each eight-week session upon approval from their support specialist. The following informatics courses comprise the Master’s program.

Required Courses

All Master of Science in Health Informatics students must complete the following 10 required courses, including a field practicum experience.

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HIN 601 – The Healthcare and Public Health Landscape

This course provides a framework for understanding the changing landscapes for healthcare and for public health, exploring the importance of health informatics for the success of both. Topics will include the ongoing transition from a pay-for-services model of healthcare delivery to accountable care networks, emerging public health and healthcare partnerships, and the need for analytics that can address the particular characteristics of big health data.

HIN 605 – Introduction to Health Informatics (prerequisite: 601)

This course introduces students to the central concepts in Health Informatics with a survey of the concepts needed to leverage the improvement of healthcare outcomes with the use of technology. Students will explore the various technology platforms used in healthcare, how healthcare data is used, and the law, rules, regulations that shape both the technology and the data. This course will offer students a framework for deeper understanding of the concepts in subsequent coursework.

HIN 610 – Healthcare Quality (prerequisite: 605)

This course explores the dynamic between healthcare and quality measures. Healthcare is in a state of change and much of that has to do with improving patient outcomes, which often are tied now to payor requirements. Students will complete this course with a solid understanding of healthcare quality standards, the regulations around those standards, and how they are affected by the use of technology and data management. Other topics covered will include process improvement, Meaningful Use, workflow redesign, and statistics.

HIN 615 – Computer Science for Health Informatics Professionals (prerequisite: 605)

The field of health informatics depends on advanced computing systems to collect health data and analytical sophistication to make sense of that data. This course provides students with a solid understanding of the computer science that undergirds the entire field, exploring the design and implementation of database systems and technology applications, data communications, and systems analysis. Students will learn to identify current and emerging information technologies that may have strategic value for enterprise solutions, assess where those technologies may have strategic value, and explore methods for implementing those technologies in their organizations.

HIN 620 – Database Design, Standards, Access, Modeling (prerequisite: 615)

This course explores in depth database basics such as the relational algebra and data model, schema normalization, query optimization, and transactions. The course addresses current needs in database design and use for optimized human-computer interaction, for rigorous security, and for robust modeling that can transform raw data into useful information. This course will also provide a deep exploration into data standards and what part that plays in the field of Informatics. Students will gain a solid understanding of, and extensive practice with, structured query language (SQL).

HIN 625 – Health Information Legislation, Compliance, Privacy and Security (prerequisite: 605)

This course explores legislation and regulation relating to health informatics. The course will examine the major laws and agency regulations governing healthcare technology, data collection, management, and privacy, as well as the security standards required for healthcare and health-related organizations. Students will explore the intent behind, and ethical dimensions of, health informatics regulatory frameworks, using case studies of recent health information uses, security breaches, and challenges to interoperability. This course will also look ahead to the impact of future Health IT regulations.

HIN 700 – Project Management (prerequisite 605)

The implementation or integration of any new technology into healthcare requires careful planning and organization. This course will provide students with widely-accepted concepts and skills that can be used and scaled to successfully complete projects of varying sizes. Through coursework, students will gain experience with the common language used by professionals involved in project management. Students will explore concepts of project charter, work breakdown structures, scheduling, risk planning, and project reporting.

HIN 715 – Information Analysis and Visualization: Turning Data into Insight (prerequisite:  620)

To be of any strategic use, large datasets must be analyzed and visualized by forming and asking key questions and then by organizing the data to answer those questions. Analytics provide meaningful patterns in the data, and data visualization communicates the information clearly through graphical means. This course is designed to familiarize students with core concepts in communicating information through effective data visualization. The course introduces students to the elements of data visualization and elementary graphics programming, beginning with two-dimensional vector graphics and the programming platforms for graphics, moving into the design and construction of visualizations incorporating animation and user interactivity. Students will gain experience with hierarchical layouts and networks, the visualization of database and data mining processes, methods specifically focused on visualization of unstructured information, such as text, and systems for visual analytics that provide strategic decision support.

HIN 740 – Emerging Opportunities in Health Informatics (prerequisite: 605)

This course begins the two-course capstone experience in Health Informatics by examining emerging trends, technologies, and opportunities facing the field. Examining cutting-edge developments in the science and practice of informatics will provide students with a broader understanding of where health informatics may be heading, as well as the challenges facing the field. As part of this course, students will complete a forecasting report detailing the state-of-the-art and extrapolating to new areas in which informatics may provide valuable strategic insight to healthcare organizations.

HIN 745 – Master’s Project in Health Informatics (Practicum) (prerequisite:  605)

The master’s project in health informatics is the culmination of the two-course capstone experience at the end of the master’s degree in health informatics. Students combine workplace-based field experience with their academic coursework, producing a substantial informatics-based project, and practical and academic reflection on the project, its strategic value to organizations, and ways to improve both the process and product for future use by organizations. At the successful conclusion of the capstone experience, students will be prepared to positively contribute to the strategic and operational life of their organization and to offer leadership to their organization in the field of health informatics.

FOCUS AREAS

Students can opt to pursue one of the following focus areas or customize their degree plan as a Generalist. Each focus area is comprised of two courses.

Focus Area: Healthcare Leadership

In this focus area students are prepared for careers in leadership positions in healthcare. Students will obtain the skills needed to be successful leaders including strategic thinking, development of initiatives, strategic planning, financial management, leadership skills and tactics, and healthcare supply chain.

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HIN 720 – Leadership and Strategic Management in Health Settings (prerequisite: 605)

This course explores the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare organizations and leaders in an age of accountable care and examines the critical role health informatics can and should play in the strategic management of healthcare organizations. Using case-based study techniques, students explore practice and system management, strategic planning, and change leadership. Students combine this insight into health leadership with the actionable insight offered through effective health informatics and business intelligence practices, to craft optimal solutions to internal organizational processes and to external business decisions.

HIN 760 – Healthcare Finance and Economics

This course explores the fundamentals of finance and economics in a health care system at both the local system and national levels. Students’ understanding regarding the need for fiscal responsibility by complex payor systems is essential. The foci of this course include market supply and demand, the economics of care and managed care, budgeting, accounting, and fiscal reporting.


Focus Area: Health Data Analytics

This focus area is a rigorous investigation of health data analytics which will prepare students for careers in data science and predictive analytics. Learners will obtain relevant skills including data mining and warehousing, statistical computing and visualization, predictive modeling, and machine learning.

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HIN 770 – Foundations of Data Analytics

This course will provide students with a foundation in data preparation and preliminary analytics using R which can be applicable for research, quality improvement and industry large-scale data analytics projects. This course will include the following skills: data analysis with publicly available data sets; cleansing and imputing data; descriptive statistics; and data visualization.

HIN 775 – Advanced Concepts in Data Analytics (prerequisite: 770)

Advanced topics in health informatics leverages the concepts introduced in the Foundation course. Students will be exposed to advanced statistics, vast and diverse data sets, and data interpretation and visualization. This course will prepare students for a deeper dive into forecasting, trends, and data modeling.


Focus Area: Training and Development

In this focus area, students are exposed to concepts which will prepare them for careers in training and educational programming for healthcare technology integration. Students explore adult learning theory as it pertains to training in IT settings and master communication techniques to inform their instructional programming.

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HIN 765 – Communication for Healthcare Leaders

Students in the course will examine concepts, theories, and best practices for communication in the professional workplace. The goal of this course is to refine they are written, oral and visual communication. Participants in this course will develop strategies to create meaningful communication for a vast audience. Students will enhance their skills in natural and scholarly writing, oral presentation, and visual demonstrations.

EDU 760 – Adult Learning Theory

Participants in this course will examine the major assumptions and tenets of adult learning theory including andragogy and self-directed learning, constructivism, experiential and situated learning, and transformative learning theory. The goal of this course is to familiarize participants with current research and its practical applications for use in settings such as workshops, classrooms, and training and development. Students will develop strategies to be more efficient and responsive to the needs of the learners they serve.


Generalist

In order to complete their degree, Generalist students choose two elective courses that meet their educational and professional goals.

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HIN 720 – Leadership and Strategic Management in Health Settings (prerequisite: 605)

This course explores the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare organizations and leaders in an age of accountable care and examines the critical role health informatics can and should play in the strategic management of healthcare organizations. Using case-based study techniques, students explore practice and system management, strategic planning, and change leadership. Students combine this insight into health leadership with the actionable insight offered through effective health informatics and business intelligence practices, to craft optimal solutions to internal organizational processes and to external business decisions.

HIN 725 – Organizational Behavior, Work Flow Design, and Change Management (prerequisite: 605)

This course is about people in health and technology-related organizations: how they think and why they behave in the ways they do. Students will learn contemporary theory, research, and practice in the organizational behavior discipline, connecting this to the ways health informatics can inform and improve workflows both within and outside of the organization. Students will focus on theories and case studies of change management and how leadership and management, especially as they are informed by informatics, affect individuals and teams in the healthcare workplace for better or worse. Students will explore ways to incorporate informatics principles and data into the design and implementation of key aspects of organizational life and operation to ameliorate the stresses of operational and industry change.

HIN 730 – Human Factors for System Development (prerequisite: 605)

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the most intricate and sophisticated computer system is only as useful as its users. This course examines computer and non-computer systems from the perspective of their users, exploring ways to improve user interfaces to facilitate effective interactions between human and system, and examining ways of helping to train and educate systems users to ease the stress of learning and adapting to new systems. Students will gain practice combining ergonomics, psychology, sociology, and educational theory with interface design and systems thinking to design human-friendly interfaces and information systems.

HIN 735 – Measuring the User Experience (prerequisite: 605)

User experience (UX) metrics are key to designing and improving mission-critical information systems used by many people within the organization. In this course, students will learn techniques for measuring user experience both quantitatively and qualitatively, and for analyzing that data to reveal deep understandings about user behavior with particular systems. Students will move beyond merely understanding user behavior by learning and practicing techniques for influencing user behavior toward desirable interactions and outcomes. Students will learn how measuring and influencing the user experience can significantly improve mission-critical data quantity and quality. 

HIN 750 – Consumer Informatics (prerequisite: 605)

This course introduces students to the concept of Healthcare Consumerism, including the relationships between consumer, technology, and healthcare information. Topics covered in this course include consumer applications, mHealth, innovative wearable, consumable, peer engagement, and behavior management systems. We explore how consumers receive and engage with their healthcare data, such as PHRs, patient portals and Exchange systems.

HIN 755 – Global and Public Health Informatics (prerequisite: 605)

Course description currently in development.

HIN 760 – Healthcare Finance and Economics

This course explores the fundamentals of finance and economics in a health care system at both the local system and national levels. Students’ understanding regarding the need for fiscal responsibility by complex payor systems is essential. The foci of this course include market supply and demand, the economics of care and managed care, budgeting, accounting, and fiscal reporting.

HIN 765 – Communication for Healthcare Leaders

Students in the course will examine concepts, theories, and best practices for communication in the professional workplace. The goal of this course is to refine they are written, oral and visual communication. Participants in this course will develop strategies to create meaningful communication for a vast audience. Students will enhance their skills in natural and scholarly writing, oral presentation, and visual demonstrations.

HIN 770 – Foundations of Data Analytics

This course will provide students with a foundation in data preparation and preliminary analytics using R which can be applicable for research, quality improvement and industry large-scale data analytics projects. This course will include the following skills: data analysis with publicly available data sets; cleansing and imputing data; descriptive statistics; and data visualization.

HIN 775 – Advanced Concepts in Data Analytics (prerequisite: 770)

Advanced topics in health informatics leverages the concepts introduced in the Foundation course. Students will be exposed to advanced statistics, vast and diverse data sets, and data interpretation and visualization. This course will prepare students for a deeper dive into forecasting, trends, and data modeling.

EDU 760 – Adult Learning Theory

Participants in this course will examine the major assumptions and tenets of adult learning theory including andragogy and self-directed learning, constructivism, experiential and situated learning, and transformative learning theory. The goal of this course is to familiarize participants with current research and its practical applications for use in settings such as workshops, classrooms, and training and development. Students will develop strategies to be more efficient and responsive to the needs of the learners they serve.


Questions?

If you have any questions about the coursework or the program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors.

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