Called to Provide Patient Care Through Informatics and Analytics
Health systems are data rich entities, and they need professionals with health care knowledge and skills to analyze this data to improve business decisions and health outcomes. When data interoperability is coupled with predictive analytics, health outcomes are improved. In addition to equipping students with a foundational knowledge, this major explores the impact of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence analytics, which can be used to assist in the creation of clinical interventions—even at the individual level.
Health informatics and analytics have emerged as a priority in health care due to technology and a reliance on electronic data for decision-making. This degree will equip you with the knowledge and critical thinking skills to be effective wherever health care data is being collected, stored and retrieved.Lakesha Kinnerson, assistant professor, Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics
At Samford, you will learn to utilize the latest health information technologies while focusing on the evolving role of health analytics and data science—a discipline whose ultimate purpose is to improve patient outcomes while reducing health care costs. The knowledge students gain in the classroom will be paired with hands-on experience that prepares them for lasting careers.
Objectives and Curriculum
In response to the increasing demand for health informatics and analytics professionals, Samford’s School of Public Health launched the health informatics and analytics major with the goal of preparing graduates to be the critical link among health care providers, payers and patients by analyzing health data for decision-making.
Students will graduate with the knowledge, skills and experience to:
- Utilize informatics and health analytics for decision support, knowledge management, strategic planning, and outcomes assessment and improvement.
- Identify and apply the technology used in health informatics, such as computing devices, networks, databases, software, security protocols, document analysis and sharing, image capture and analysis, and all other uses of informatics technologies.
- Recognize and evaluate applicable legal, social, regulatory, ethical factors and data sources involved in health informatics.
- Collaborate and communicate effectively with interprofessional disciplines, within a team and as an individual using verbal, written, and information systems.
Sports Injury Prevention Analytics Concentration
As a part of the health informatics and analytics major, students can pursue a concentration in sports injury prevention analytics. The use of predictive analysis and tracking metrics to prevent injuries in athletes has a growing demand. Organizations can aggregate and use data to predict injury and modify training. Students who choose to pursue this concentration take additional courses taught by faculty in Samford’s nutrition and kinesiology departments.
Fast-track M.S. in Health Informatics and Analytics
Students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in health informatics and analytics can take advantage of our fast-track program, enabling you to earn two degrees in just five years.
Is this Program for Me?
Health informatics and analytics is a good fit for students who are detail oriented, embrace technology, and are highly motivated to think outside the box to solve the challenge in front of them. Careers in health informatics and analytics combine the world of data science and informatics with the booming health care industry, paving a pathway for graduates to use their knowledge and skills to care for patients beyond the bedside.
What Makes Us Different?
Samford’s health informatics and analytics major utilizes the expertise of all disciplines within the School of Public Health, including healthcare administration, public health and nutrition, as well as other programs at Samford, including geography and exercise science. This collaborative nature provides diversity in discussion, faculty expertise, and resources.
In addition, the School of Public Health is one of four schools that comprise Samford’s College of Health Sciences, and through interprofessional education, students are empowered to learn alongside their peers in a variety of programs. This commitment reflects today's team-based approach to patient care, and ensures that students learn about, from and with the individuals who will one day be their colleagues.
Samford’s Christian mission encourages students to consider the needs of the whole person—mind, body and spirit—in the work they do and accomplish. In the field of health informatics, this mindset elevates the need for professionals with strong ethical principles who value integrity, quality and security.
Students who pursue a health informatics and analytics major will earn a Geographic Information System (GIS) certificate from Samford upon completion of the program. In addition, the major prepares students to sit for certification as a Health Data Analyst (CHDA) through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
In the final year of the program, students are required to complete an internship with an organization relating to the field of health informatics and analytics. Sites will include hospitals, private practices, long-term care facilities, public health departments and more. Students who choose to complete the Sports Injury Prevention Analytics concentration will be eligible to apply for internship through Samford’s Center for Sports Analytics.
Graduates are prepared for diverse career opportunities that exist in multiple settings throughout the health care industry, including hospitals, long-term care, multispecialty clinics, mental health, government agencies, consulting services, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and other ambulatory care settings. These roles include titles like:
- Healthcare data analyst
- Quality improvement analyst
- Data quality manager
- Health systems analyst
- Revenue cycle coordinator
- Sports injury prevention data analyst