Education for High-Tech Healthcare

The ECU Department of Health Services and Information Management received approval to establish the Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management program.   The MS degree will begin in Fall 2013, replacing the current BS degree in Health Information Management.

Why is it important for health information managers to be trained at the graduate level?

Since 1970, the BS in Health Information Management has been successfully training administrators.  For decades, these HIM professionals focused on paper-based medical records and processes, later transitioning to electronic health records (EHRs). These personnel usually managed records for one organization.

Today, the health care system is moving towards digitization and interconnectivity, with universal EHRs and reliable health information exchanges across the US as the goal.  A wealth of data will be collected, stored, distributed, used and analyzed.  Health care operations will be structured and automated electronically.   New specialists trained in the field of health informatics and health information management will be needed to lead such systematic changes.   

A workforce study by Hersh and Wright forecasts that approximately 40,000 informatics professionals are needed by 2016 in order to meet the predicted growth in the adoption of electronic health care information systems in the US.

Now it is time to train these new professionals.  We expect the ECU MS, Health Informatics and Information Management students will become leaders and experts in the field.

–Dr. Xiaoming Zeng, Chair
Department of Health Services and Information Management