Brandeis to offer master's degree in medical informatics

By Mike Miliard
11:00 AM

Brandeis University has announced that it will offer a new online master's degree in health and medical informatics – part of its effort to help create the 50,000 new IT jobs necessary to usher the healthcare system "fully into the digital age."

The Health and Medical Informatics program will address the growing need for professionals who possess both analytical skills and business acumen, with the goal of improving healthcare delivery systems through information technology.

"Graduates of the Health and Medical Informatics program will possess the knowledge and skills needed to integrate advanced digital technologies into the field of healthcare," said John Glaser, vice president and chief information officer of Partners HealthCare in Boston and an adviser to the program.

Brandeis graduates with a Master of Science degree in Health and Medical Informatics will:

  • Facilitate the development and advancement of emerging information technologies to improve healthcare delivery and cost efficiencies.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of new and existing health information management systems within the context of the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Become proficient in the "language" of healthcare, navigate the rules around using medical data, and obtain relevant information to assess changes to the healthcare system.
  • Participate in the development, implementation, evaluation and management of information technology solutions to improve patient care and the healthcare delivery process.
  • Utilize health information technology for decision support, knowledge management, strategic planning, and outcomes assessment to optimize cost efficiencies in the healthcare system.
  • Effectively interface between the data systems developers and the user community.

With evolving health care reform, the development, implementation, evaluation, and management of information technology solutions are critical, and core technologies and standards must be addressed.

With the federal government providing hospitals and health professionals with substantial financial incentives through Medicaid and Medicare to fully integrate digital technologies starting next year, students in the new program, which launches in September, will gain skills and knowledge in areas that address four main federal targets for improvement in healthcare: quality, safety, efficiency, and access.

"Brandeis has taken a leadership role in educating IT professionals since 1996 and adding this new master’s program will help the country achieve its objective," said program director Cynthia Phillips. "Our graduates will be engaged in this process at every level – from training and troubleshooting to configuring complex digital systems for individual hospitals and physician practices."