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Graduate Admissions Department introduces certificate program in health informatics
09-13-13

The Misericordia University Graduate Admissions Department has introduced an 18-credit graduate certificate program in health informatics in order to meet the growing demand for expertise in the application of information technology in health care.

Misericordia University’s graduate certificate program in health informatics enables students to develop the appropriate skills and behaviors that are necessary to succeed in senior management and leadership roles in the emerging specialty field. By utilizing information technology in the health care landscape, it will improve the quality of care provided to patients, patient outcomes, accessibility of health care services, and the efficiency of health care delivery.
 
“Increasing federal interest in improving health care quality and efficiency has placed even greater demands on our health informatics workforce,’’ said Joseph J. Grilli, M.P.A., D.P.A., a former health care executive and director of Corporate and Institutional Recruitment in the Center for Adult and Continuing Education at Misericordia University. “The net effect is there is a growing gap in northeastern Pennsylvania between the need for a workforce having the requisite skills and behaviors and the numbers of trained personnel available to perform these tasks.’’
 
Overall, the 18-credit graduate certificate program prepares future health informatics leaders who understand the complexities among health informatics stakeholders in the community, while also enhancing their abilities to use inter-relationships among health information technology, health care delivery and regulatory processes, and information management. It also instills leadership behaviors into graduates that emphasize professional competence, as well as moral and ethical performance. 
 
Working professionals can conveniently complete the certificate program in as little as one year by taking six credits per semester beginning with the fall semester and concluding with the summer session.
 
The new 18-credit, online graduate certificate program in health informatics has been designed to complement the Health Informatics Executive Master’s Degree Program. The Master of Science degree program was introduced by Misericordia in 2012.
 
Misericordia’s health informatics program is designed to provide professional and continuing education in health informatics along with research and community outreach services. It teaches how to best use information, information management, and information technology to improve patient care and support the health care business and clinical communities.
 
The executive master’s degree is geared toward mid-career working professionals that want to advance their careers by preparing for senior management roles in health care informatics. Applicants in fields such as nursing, occupational therapy, business administration, information technology and health care management with a bachelor’s degree and significant job experience can complete the new program in as little as two years. Upon completion of the graduate program, students will be prepared to enter roles such as chief information officer, chief medical information officer, chief nursing information officer, chief enterprise architect, and more in valued health care organizations.
 
Health care informatics addresses the information management and technology aspects of clinical and business applications, public health, and biomedical sciences. It includes information support for clinical and patient care areas like telehealth, teleradiology, online prescribing and electronic health records. It also extends into financial transactions, privacy issues, health care research, and Internet-based consumer research.
 
Both the master’s degree and the graduate certificate program feature courses in information management and information technology, as well as courses in medical-legal issues and technology leadership. Various courses in the programs also address ethical issues and project management.
 
Early estimates by the federal government showed that about 212,000 jobs could be created in e-health programs, according to a CNN Money.com article. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates job growth in this area will be 16 percent annually through 2018 — greater than the average for all other occupations.
 
For more information about the Misericordia University Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics Program, please log on to www.misericordia.edu/hci or contact David Pasquini, assistant director, Admission Part-Time and Graduate Programs at (570) 674-8183 or e-mail him at dpasquin@misericordia.edu. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full and part-time formats.