Thursday, January 31, 2013

Health Informatics Program Opens Doors to Various Workplace Environments

Clinical, research and educational: These are the environments in which graduates of Centennial College’s Health Informatics program, officially known as Health Informatics Technology, can find careers upon graduation. Additionally, within these three areas there is a wide range of positions in which these Health Informatics program grads can excel. These positions include: software developer, health data analyst, database developer, systems implementation specialist and business/ systems analyst.

The Health Informatics field combines information, computer science and health. Specifically, it deals with analyzing and modeling data, developing healthcare databases and applying different computer medical-imaging techniques. Professionals also use tools, algorithms and health informatics methods for hospitals, schools, healthcare agencies and public health departments and, more specifically, nursing, clinical care, dentistry, pharmacy, public health and biomedical research.

So how does Centennial College’s Health Informatics program prepare its students for such an important career in just three years? First and foremost, it contains an application process that requires applicants to posses at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Students must also possess compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Math 11M or U, or 12C or U, or skills assessment, or equivalent. Please note that to graduate from the program, a Minimum C grade average is required.

Once accepted, students study from Centennial College’s Progress campus. As the school’s largest location, not only is it centrally located, it also boasts state-of-the-art computer labs to which students have access for practice in and out of the classroom. Health Informatics courses emphasize object-oriented software design methodologies, user-oriented interface design, structure of healthcare information systems, telehealth, data security and privacy in healthcare systems. Additionally there is a focus 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 healthcare systems and more. Among specific Health Informatics courses are: Software Engineering Fundamentals, Web Interface Design, Network Technologies, Software Testing and Quality Assurance, Linear Algebra and Statistics, Wireless Programming, Telehealth and more.

To ensure that students get to apply what they learn before they graduate, the Health Informatics program provides an opportunity to complete two software development projects in the field of health informatics. These real world business applications require students to utilize all the technical, systems and business skills gained during their studies.

The credentials earned in this Health Informatics program are respected across Canada thanks to the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists deeming the Health Informatics program as meeting the national technology accreditation requirements established by the organization and, as such, accrediting it with national status by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board. The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists also recognizes the Health Informatics program as having met all the academic requirements for certification in the Technologist category.

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