Master’s Degree in Health Informatics
What is a Masters in Health Informatics?
The Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Health Informatics is designed for BSN-prepared nurses who want to better understand and apply the data involved in healthcare to make better decisions through evidenced-based practices.
Earn an Online MSN Health Informatics Degree at GCU
The MSN informatics program from the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions culminates in a capstone course and a 16-week practicum. This provides an opportunity for you to develop an evidence-based practice project in which you:
- Identify a problem amenable to research-based intervention
- Search literature
- Propose a solution
- Develop a plan to implement the solution, evaluate its outcomes and disseminate the findings
The final practicum integrates nursing knowledge, leadership and advanced critical thinking in the development of a comprehensive and professional project plan. In addition to a masters in nursing informatics capstone and practicum project, you will take courses that help you develop the skills necessary to improve patient care through the use of technology and data analysis.
The BSN and MSN at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Select states may have additional requirements to meet their standards; reference your enrollment agreement or contact GCU for more information.
Why Study Health Informatics?
A masters degree in health informatics teaches you how to optimize the use of patient and health data to achieve better patient outcomes, reduce costs and augment operational efficiency. You are equipped to help organizations adapt to the integration of technology and the continuous changes in patient-care systems.
You also have the opportunity to learn how to automate clinical care, build new operational data systems, train healthcare workers in the use of computer systems and analyze data to improve patient care.
In the MSN informatics online degree program, course study includes:
- Healthcare research analysis
- Ethics, policy and finance
- Healthcare information systems
- Project evaluation and development
- Healthcare innovation
- Healthcare data management
- Electronic health records
- Research and population health management
- Leadership and informatics
What is a Job in Health Informatics?
As a graduate of the masters in nursing informatics program, various roles are available, including:
- Project manager
- System analyst
- Data analyst
These roles may include automating clinical care, building new operational data systems, training healthcare workers in the use of computer systems or collecting and analyzing data to improve patient care.
You may choose to work in a variety of settings, including:
- Primary care facility
- Doctor's office
- Insurance company
- Technology supplier
- Consulting firm
- Government agency
Program Core Courses
This course examines nursing theory and the role of ethics for advanced registered nurses within the Christian worldview and through a leadership perspective focused on improving health care outcomes. Students explore the moral/ethical responsibilities and legal and regulatory obligations of advanced registered nurses in health promotion and disease prevention. Students also review evidence-based practice (EBP) literature and the research process with application to their program of study and learn to navigate scholarly EBP literature, resources, and guidelines.
This course examines the role of leadership, organizational science, policy, and informatics in supporting safe, high quality, cost-effective patient care within interprofessional, dynamic health care environments. Students explore various organizational relationships within health care systems and prepare to participate in the design of cost-effective, innovative models of care delivery and practice change proposals. Professional leadership theories and how they shape the nurse leader in such things as collaboration, conflict resolution, decision making, and negotiation are introduced. Students discuss change management theories and evaluate the ethical, social, legal, economic, and political implications of practice change and health care informatics along with strategies for managing human, fiscal, and health care resources in a variety of organizational systems. Students also examine the uses of patient care, information system, and communication technologies and discuss the design, implementation, and evaluation of electronic health record systems and clinical decision support systems.
In this course, students examine the process of scientific inquiry, knowledge generation, utilization, and dissemination of evidence into advanced nursing practice in order to propose quality improvement initiatives that advance the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patient populations. Students critically evaluate evidence, including scientific findings from the biopsychosocial fields, epidemiology, biostatistics, genetics, and genomics, and apply levels of evidence and theoretical frameworks to design culturally appropriate clinical prevention interventions and population-based care that reduce risks, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being. Students also consider strategies to evaluate health policy and advocacy issues, the state of health care delivery, patient-centered care, and ethical principles related to health beliefs, health promotion, and risk reduction for diverse populations. Students apply these strategies to work towards recognizing gaps in nursing and health care knowledge, identifying potential solutions or innovations for those gaps, planning and implementing practice changes, and evaluating the outcomes in order to improve practice. Prerequisite: NUR-513.
This course provides an opportunity for students to complete their evidence-based practice (EBP) project proposal addressing a problem, issue, or concern in their specialty area of professional practice. Students previously identified a problem amenable to a research-based intervention and searched the literature. In this course, students propose a solution, explore implementation considerations and various evaluation methodologies, complete the project proposal by developing a plan to implement the solution into the intended practice area, and design an evaluation plan that assesses the EBP project proposal’s intended outcome(s). Prerequisite: NUR-550.
This course examines the application of information systems in health care settings, beginning with an analysis of the broad meaning and nature of information and systems. The focus narrows to utilization of computer technologies, configurations, and applications as tools to benefit health care environments. Emphasis is placed on the challenges related to the development and implementation of effective information systems in light of a rapidly and continuously changing health care model, evolution of technology team member roles and responsibilities, and advancement of technological requirements within the health care system.
This course examines health care information resources and their impact on administrative functions, interfaces, data security and integrity, and business processes. Topics include use of relational database management software to construct tables, develop forms, create and execute queries, design and deploy reports, and advance database concepts to automate contemporary business processes. Students are able to distinguish between various network hardware technologies and associated data communications protocols in order to direct how organizations design and implement data networks. Prerequisites: HIM-515, HCI-600, or NUR-514; and HIM-615.
This course prepares students to evaluate, implement, and optimize electronic health record (EHR) technology to support the management and use of clinical data. Students examine the architecture of EHRs and analyze the challenges of their design and use, including system integration requirements, distributed user bases, storage of complex data, high security requirements, and the diverse information needs of various end users. Students also apply project management techniques to the planning and implementation of EHRs. Prerequisite: HIM-650.
This course introduces techniques for extracting data and creating knowledge from health care data sets. Students examine methods for describing, summarizing, and presenting data. There is specific focus on understanding the needs of information users, identifying organizational objectives, and ensuring that the analytical methodology chosen meets those needs. Prerequisite: HIM-650.
In this course, students apply principles of human factors engineering to the design of optimal user interfaces that improve clinical processes. Students examine clinical decision support and clinical workflow analysis, modeling, reducing data entry errors, and usability testing in efforts to improve the experience of end users while prioritizing patient safety and the delivery of quality health care.
This course provides students the opportunity to integrate what they have learned in the program in a practicum experience related to nursing informatics. Students are expected to integrate nursing knowledge, leadership, and advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in the development of a comprehensive and professional project plan and solution that are grounded in current health care informatics research and methods. Practicum/field experience hours: 200. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all courses in the program of study.