Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Improve Healthcare as a Health Informatics Technology Professional

In order to understand the information, computer science and health care aspects of a career in health informatics technology, you need a post-secondary education. Centennial College’s co-op program prepares you for the resources, devices, and methods that optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine.

If this career sounds like one in which you are interested, you can apply to Centennial College with the following prerequisites: Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older, compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent, and Math 11M or U, or 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent.

The Health Informatics Technology co-op program can be completed in three years/ nine semesters. It contains a balance of healthcare systems and information technology that is great for engineer trained individuals who have an interest in the healthcare industry. Through coursework that emphasizes object-oriented software design methodologies, user-oriented interface design, structure of healthcare information systems, telehealth, data security and privacy in health care systems, students learn all they need to know about the industry. Health Informatics Technology also focuses on technologies such as C#, Java, J2EE, Oracle, MS-SQL Server, Unix/ Linux, Microsoft’s .NET, HTML/ XML, Rational/ WebSphere, Data warehousing and Data mining, and BI tools in health care systems and more. In addition to the classroom training that occurs in leading-edge facilities, students of this program participate in a paid co-op. This puts academically qualified students into the field to work alongside professionals, network and get their foot in the door. Co-op requirements are as follows: minimum of 80 per cent of year 1 courses, minimum C grade in COMM-170/171, GPA of 2.5 or greater for COOP-221. Lastly, to graduate from the Health Informatics Technology co-op program, a minimum C grade average is required. Students earn an Ontario College Advanced Diploma.

As a graduate of Centennial College, you will be able to work as: an applications developer, health data analyst, database developer, systems implementation specialist, records assistant and business/systems analyst. One popular option is to become a health data analyst, who takes health data and transforms it into information that can be used by workers and supervisors to make decisions. The data analyst also explains to staff members how to access health information in databases or how to use new health information technology, when it is released. However, that is just one option, as you will have many skills, including: developing healthcare databases, analyzing and modeling data and applying different computer medical-imaging techniques. You will also use tools, algorithms and health informatics methods for hospitals, schools, health care agencies, and public health departments.

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