Health Informatics (M.S.H.I.)

Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

Degree Offered: M.S.H.I.
Program Director:Amanda Dorsey, MSHI
Phone:(205) 934-3509
E-mail:mshi@uab.edu
Web site:www.uab.edu/hi

Program Information

Program Admission

Admission to the program is in the fall semester. Application to the program may be made September  through April 30, preceding the expected date of enrollment for the next fall term. Applications received  after April 30 are considered on a space-available basis. Applications are evaluated against the Graduate School criteria and those criteria developed specifically for the HI program. The ideal size of each entering class is 20 to 25 students.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program requires acceptance to the Graduate School of The University of Alabama at  Birmingham. Applicants must have completed or anticipate completion of at least a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or from a recognized university abroad before entering the program. As a criterion for unconditional admission, applicants must have no less than a B GPA (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 semester hours of earned undergraduate credit or overall  undergraduate credit or overall undergraduate hours. Official transcripts of all previous academic work  beyond the secondary level should be submitted.  Before matriculation, entering students must have  received a final transcript for each degree received.

The applicant should include a carefully drafted statement about his or her personal interests, career  goals, and relevant background experience and a professional resume. Three confidential letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to write concerning your potential for success in both a graduate program and in the Health Informatics field must be submitted.

Prior to entering the program, applicants should have completed three hours of undergraduate or graduate course work in statistics and and three hours in programming or a relevant continuing education course in event-driven programming (e.g., Visual Basic, C++, Java, XML, .Net). 

Admission to the HI program is determined by an interview process and the consensus of the Admissions  Committee. The decision is based on previous academic record, professional recommendations as evidence of ability to perform graduate-level work, and an interview with two faculty members.  The program  director reserves the prerogative for final recommendation on admission status to the Graduate School.

Applicants accepted to the program must complete a criminal background check and drug screen at program admission and again prior to clinical placement as required by school policy.

Additional Information

Deadline for Entry Term(s):Fall
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:June 1
Number of Evaluation Forms Required:Three
Entrance Tests:(TOEFL and TWE also required for international applicants whose native language is not English.)
Comments:None

Program Overview

Based on the needs of health care CIOs, UAB’s MSHI curriculum integrates the domains of information and communication technology, the health care delivery process and leadership and management principles.  This collaborative approach to health care IT allows our graduates to understand the complexity of relationships that must be considered when making technology decisions in a healthcare setting.

Our students graduate with a solid understanding of how clinicians and administrators use information and technology in making decisions. With courses in the effective design and use of information systems, databases, software, hardware and networks, students also learn how to successfully manage the flow of information throughout a healthcare organization and the value of building a solid business case for the purchase, implementation and use of technology in a healthcare setting. Graduates are prepared to become senior and executive level leaders in the healthcare IT industry. Students are exposed to a variety of academic disciplines and gain a broad education that serves as a foundation for them throughout their careers as information and health service executives.

The program is comprised of a core curriculum plus one track of the student’s choosing.  The first year of the MSHI core curriculum includes HI 640-Introduction to Health Informatics and the US Healthcare Delivery System, HI 600-Anlsysis & Design of Information Systems in Healthcare, HI 601-Databases and Data Modeling, HI 602-Clinical & Administrative Systems, HI 630-Strategic Planning and Contracting, HI 620-Security and Privacy in Healthcare.  During the second year, students complete the MSHI core by taking HI 686-Leaderhip Theory, HI 687-Leadership Development and HI 688-Leadership Advocacy. 

Data Analytics Track

The proliferation of information technology to support workers in the healthcare industry has resulted in a massive amount of healthcare data being generated. While the data are seen as an organizational asset that can both help determine trends and patterns in patient care delivery and increase the organizational efficiency, there are very few individuals trained to extract, combine, manipulate, interpret, and display these data in meaningful ways.  This track produces graduates who help healthcare organizations institute data-driven decision-making processes. Beyond that, graduates of this track in the MSHI program are trained to assist organizations with developing data governance strategies, which help them define the way they think about quality, security, access to data, and policies surrounding data.   

Courses in the Data Analytics Track include HI 632-Quantitative Methods for Health Informatics, HI 660-Advanced Requirements Analysis, HI 661-Advanced Database Design and SQL for Healthcare, HI 662-Healthcare Business Intelligence and HI 664-Directed Data Analytics Design Project.

Entry into this track requires admission to the MSHI Program and completion of the first year MSHI core curriculum.  Declaration for this track occurs in the first summer semester of the student’s first year in the program.  

Health Information Management Track

The HIM Advanced Practice Track is designed to offer leadership-focused education necessary to advance in the fields of HIM and Informatics.  New skills to be acquired by graduates of this track include providing education of the public on the personal health record (PHR), solving high stakes and complex information management problems, providing strategies for information and data governance, education and training strategies for clinical and administration systems, and research methods to promote the management of health information in the electronic health record and health information technology environment.

Courses in this track include HIM 615-Development of the Electronic Health Record, HIM 650-Research Methods for HIM Practice, HIM 665-Health Data Analytics for Performance Improvement, HIM 680-Applied Project I, HIM 681-Applied Project II, and HIM 682-Seminar: Implementation Strategies for the EHR. 

Entry into this track requires a minimum of 3 years relevant work experience, an RHIA or RHIT credential, admission to the MSHI Program and completion of the first year MSHI core curriculum.  Declaration for this track must be made while in the first year of the MSHI Program. 

User Experience Track

Information technology (IT) has facilitated many significant improvements to the way that we deliver patient care.  But, most IT solutions currently in use by healthcare organizations were not designed to enable new models of healthcare delivery and will require development of more intuitive interfaces that model the behaviors and needs of patients and clinical end users.  New products and software cannot be perceived as too difficult to use, nor can they compromise clinicians’ ability to interact meaningfully with their patients. Graduates of the Healthcare User Experience Track bring an in-depth understanding of a complex healthcare delivery system, the technologies that are required to support patient care delivery, and the understanding of best practices in designing safe, effective, and user-friendly products and software in a healthcare setting.

Courses in the User Experience Track include HI 650-Foundations of Healthcare User-Based Design, HI 651-Foundations of Healthcare User-Based Research, HI 652-Design Thinking for Healthcare, HI 653-Managing the User-Centered Development Process and HI 654-Directed User Experience Project.

Entry into this track requires admission to the MSHI Program and completion of the first year MSHI Core.  Declaration for this track occurs in the first summer semester of the student’s first year in the program. 

For detailed information, contact the Admissions Coordinator, Master of Science in Health Informatics Program, UAB School of Health Professions, SHPB 590A. Physical address: 1705 University Blvd.  Mailing address: 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294
Telephone 205-934-3509
Fax 205-975-6608
E-mail mshi@uab.edu

Courses

HI 600. Analysis and Design of Health Information Systems. 4 Hours.

Requirements, concepts, methods, and tools in analyzing, modeling, and designing health information systems with emphasis on clinical systems.

HI 601. Databases and Data Modeling. 4 Hours.

Concepts of data modeling, data architectures, and data administration. Study of various models with application to current health information projects. One hour required weekly in Health Informatics Computer Lab applying database skills.

HI 602. Clinical and Administrative Systems. 4 Hours.

Foundations of clinical information use starting with information collection, processing (e.g., decision making) and recording. All aspects of clinical information use in inpatient and outpatient facilities. Special emphasis on the clinician's work to support enterprise-wide health care delivery.
Prerequisites: HI 605 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 620. Security and Privacy in Health Care. 4 Hours.

Security and privacy issues, legislation, regulations, and accreditation standards unique to health care domain. Technical security of networks, databases, audit mechanisms and control.
Prerequisites: HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 605 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 630. Strategic Planning and Contracting for Health Information Systems. 4 Hours.

Theory, practice, and processes needed for strategic planning of integrated health information systems. Assessing benefits of enterprise-wide information integration and tactics needed to realize these benefits. Steps needed for developing strategic plans that are aligned with goals of health care institutions using case studies and in team projects. Development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) based on strategic plans. Critique and practice of skills needed to negotiate contracts with vendors.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 605 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 632. Quantitative Methods for Health Informatics. 3 Hours.

Selected mathematical and statistical techniques and computer applications applied to decision making in hospitals and health care organizations. Introduction to selected analytic and visualization software and techniques used to measure and evaluate healthcare outcomes.

HI 640. Intro to Health Informatics and Health Care Delivery. 3-4 Hours.

History and current status of information systems in health care and health care information systems. Information architectures, administrative and clinical applications, strategic planning, security, and benefits realization.

HI 650. Foundations of Healthcare User-Based Design. 3 Hours.

Exploration of models of cognition and human performance and their application to healthcare information, patient safety, and technology.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 651. Foundations of Healthcare User-Based Research. 3 Hours.

Overview of interaction design research theories, implementation models and assessment of end-user mental models. Designing for healthcare teams, workflow considerations, contextual inquiry and distributed cognition models. Emphasis on analysis of modeling users, designing scenarios and requirements, and incorporating qualitative and quantitative research methods into the design of healthcare IT products and services; usability testing, heuristic evaluations, and web analytics.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 652. Design Thinking for Healthcare. 3 Hours.

Methodological approaches to principles of human-centered design, including quantifying end-user satisfaction with a healthcare-related device or interface, iterative prototyping, developing integrative thinking and empathy within a multi-disciplinary organization, contextual inquiry, brainstorming techniques and end-to-end walk-throughs.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C] and HI 650 [Min Grade: C] and HI 651 [Min Grade: C]

HI 653. Managing the User-Centered Development Process. 3 Hours.

Methodological approaches to principles of human-centered design, including quantifying end-user satisfaction with a healthcare-related device or interface, iterative prototyping, developing integrative thinking and empathy within a multi-disciplinary organization, contextual inquiry, brainstorming techniques and end-to-end walk-throughs.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C] and HI 650 [Min Grade: C] and HI 651 [Min Grade: C]

HI 654. Directed Healthcare User Experience Project. 6 Hours.

Rigorous project that provides opportunity for focused investigation of User Experience problem in real-world setting and for application of problem solving methodologies for development and execution of solutions. Investigation and application of theory through practical implementation project.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C] and HI 650 [Min Grade: C] and HI 651 [Min Grade: C] and HI 652 [Min Grade: C] and HI 653 [Min Grade: C] and HI 686 [Min Grade: C] and HI 687 [Min Grade: C]

HI 660. Healthcare Requirements Analysis. 3 Hours.

Approach to, identification, documentation and presentation of common health informatics problems. A focus on identifying root problems and unambiguous metrics for post-evaluation to ensure final deliverable meets intended need. Exposure to project management methodologies and six sigma processes to facilitate the logic needed for troubleshooting data problems in healthcare.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 661. Advanced Database Design and SQL for Healthcare. 3 Hours.

Study of common healthcare data structures and environments. Creation of database components; in-depth SQL coding; data warehouse designs; tools such as TOAD, SQL Explorer, Management Studio.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 632 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C] and HI 660 [Min Grade: C] and HI 686 [Min Grade: C]

HI 662. Healthcare Business Intelligence. 3 Hours.

Exposure to typical business intelligence (BI) tool sets and identification of business objects. Building of the metalayer involved in a business intelligence system and exposure to Business Objects, Crystal Reports, SSRS.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 632 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C] and HI 660 [Min Grade: C]

HI 664. Directed Data Analytics Design Project. 6 Hours.

Rigorous project that provides opportunity for focused investigation of healthcare data problems in real-world settings and for application of problem-solving methodologies for development and execution of solutions. Investigation and application of theory through practical implementation project.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 632 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C] and HI 660 [Min Grade: C] and HI 661 [Min Grade: C] and HI 662 [Min Grade: C]

HI 686. Leadership Theory. 1 Hour.

Exploration of the theoretical nature of leadership. Emphasis is on the application of theories of leadership in healthcare settings.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 687. Leadership Development. 1 Hour.

Completion of a guided leadership inventory, guest lecturers from industry leaders across multiple disciplines in healthcare to provide context-specific insight on leadership topics.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 688. Leadership Advocacy. 1 Hour.

Understanding internal and external advocacy relationships, practices and resources in the field of health informatics and information management.
Prerequisites: HI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HI 601 [Min Grade: C] and HI 602 [Min Grade: C] and HI 620 [Min Grade: C] and HI 630 [Min Grade: C] and HI 640 [Min Grade: C]

HI 690. Administrative Internship. 4-8 Hours.

Structured field experiences in health care or other enterprises associated with health care industry. Includes a mentoring relationship with a preceptor and an opportunity for application of information resource management theory and strategies. Foundation for professional development and assists in refining skills and behaviors necessary for successful practice in a complex professional, social, political, and technological environment.

HI 694. Special Topics in Health Informatics. 1-4 Hour.

Study of selected topics in health informatics. May be repeated for credit.

HI 695. Independent Study in Health Informatics. 1-4 Hour.

Opportunity to investigate, perform activities and/or conduct a project related to a narrow topic in Health Informatics that corresponds with the current research of HI faculty, including medical informatics, nursing informatics, computer and communication sciences, library science, etc. May be repeated for credit.

HI 698. Master s Level Non-Thesis Research. 2-8 Hours.

Focused investigation of informatics problem in real-world setting and for application of problem solving methodologies for development and execution of solutions.

HI 699. Master's Level Thesis Research. 4-8 Hours.

Original research in health informatics and interpretation of results. Demonstrates student's acquaintance with literature of field and competency in proper selection and execution of research methodology. Recommended for students planning to pursue a doctoral degree. May be repeated for credit (8 hours maximum credit allowed).
Prerequisites: GAC M

Faculty

Berner, Eta, Professor, 1986, EdD (Harvard), Evaluation of Clinical Decision Support Systems and Other Health Information Technologies
Burke, Darrell, Associate Professor, 2008, PhD (Virginia Commonwealth), Operations Management, Health Informatics; Quality Improvement; IT Management
Carpenter, Randy, M.S.H.I., Adjunct Professor (Health Services Administration)
Chen, Dongquan, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor (Health Services Administration)
Clements, Kay, Associate Professor, 2004, M.A. (UAB)
Dorsey, Amanda D., M.S.H.I., Instructor & Assistant Program Director (Health Services Administration)
Flammini, Steve, Credit Course Instructor (Health Services Administration)
Friday, R. David, M.S.H.I., Adjunct Instructor (Health Services Administration)
Garrie, Robert L., Associate Professor, Health Information Management Program, 2008, MPA (Roosevelt)
Golightly, Beverly, M.S.H.A., Credit Course Instructor (Health Services Administration)
Grimes, Gary J., Ph.D., Professor (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Grostick, Sara S., M.A., Associate Professor (Health Services Administration)
Hammack, Glenn G., O.D., M.S.H.I., Assistant Professor (Health Services Administration)
Hardin, J. Michael, Ph.D., Credit Course Instructor (Health Services Administration)
Herzig, Terrell W., M.S.H.I., Credit Course Instructor (Health Services Administration)
Hicks, Joan C., M.S.H.I., Assistant Professor (Health Services Administration)
Houser, Shannon, Associate Professor of Health Information Management Program, 1995, Ph.D. (UAB)
Kinnerson, Lakesha, Program Manager, MPH
Ray, Midge N., Associate Professor, 1983, R.N, M.S.N. PhD (UAB)
Terndrup, Thomas E., M.D., Professor (Emergency Medicine)