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Health care professionals who hold at least a bachelor's degree in a health-related field can benefit greatly from a health informatics certificate. Health informatics courses help prepare health care professionals to manage information systems and work in administrative positions in the health care field. This certification involves a great deal of knowledge about technology and communication, as well as health issues.
Informatics certificates are usually offered at the graduate level. A bachelor's degree in a health-related field is preferred by most universities and schools; however, some allow for a bachelor's in a different discipline as long as the student has proven work experience in health care.
Because there are constantly shortages of health care workers, technology has become increasingly important to ensure cost effectiveness as well as efficiency. Therefore informatics is a growing field that deals specifically with the technological aspects of health care. Certification involves courses in mathematics, statistics, informatics, and data management. Other courses involved in an informatics certificate program should include project management strategies, database development, team building, and evaluating information systems.
Another type of informatics certificate can be found in the field of nursing. Nurses who are enrolled in a graduate studies program, or who already hold a master's degree, can complete a nursing informatics program to obtain certification. Some doctoral students also complete a program such as this in addition to their regular training. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing or your state nursing board can provide information about accredited nursing informatics certificate programs.
Certification programs are found at recognized universities throughout the United States. Oftentimes these programs are part of the computer science department of a university. Courses are also available online and offered by large universities and some non-traditional, for-profit universities. Reputable programs offer certification only to those who have at least a bachelor's degree and experience working in health care.
Informatics certifications are available to health care professionals around the world. In Austria the University for Health Informatics and Technology Tyrol (UMIT) is a good starting point for learning more about this field. The Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil offers graduate studies in health informatics.
The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) provides a comprehensive list of reputable and formal training programs, including those for health care and nursing informatics certification. The AMIA has program information for many countries, and is a reliable source for those seeking training outside of the U.S. Other leading authorities that can provide information about obtaining an informatics certificate include the American Health Information Management Association and the Healthcare Information Management System Association.
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