The Health Informatics and Health Information Technology Certificate Program at UT Austin provides post-baccalaureate students with unique, hands-on training in health informatics and health information technology. Students learn the basics of healthcare policy, healthcare economics, workflow and process redesign, project management, database fundamentals, health information exchange, interoperability and health informatics. This is a nine-week intensive training program designed to prepare graduates for a variety of exciting careers in Health IT.
- gain hands-on experience with six electronic health record software systems
- study workflow redesign in a state-of-the-art mock clinic modeling the continuum of care
- explore the economics of health care delivery with expert faculty
- learn essential medical terminology and health care policies
- explore enabling technologies like telemedicine in the Health IT Learning Center
- learn the fundamentals of health information exchange (HIE) by interacting with a working HIE
- complete a 2 week off-site practicum experience with a healthcare provider, software vendor, or government organization
- receive career development assistance, and job search support including training in resume building, interview skills, professionalism, networking, and job search strategy
- carry out a research project and present findings to industry professionals at the research poster forum during the last week of the program
- have the opportunity to participate in on-campus interviews for both local and nationwide health IT employment positions upon graduation
Who Should Apply?
The growing health information technology workforce demands a diverse set of knowledge and skills. We encourage people to apply who:
- have a bachelor’s degree from any major
- have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75
- have good communication and social skills
- are highly motivated
- are seeking an exciting career in the Health IT field
The Health Informatics and Health Information Technology Certificate program is a nine-week, intensive program, Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. It is impossible to undertake this learning experience while holding down a full or part-time job or attending other classes. A 90% attendance rate and a score of 70% or better in each of the five courses is required in order to participate in the off-site practicum, participate in on-campus employer interviews, earn a certificate of completion.
Fundamentals of Health Information Technology
Overview of U.S. health care infrastructure, public health, current issues in health information technology (HIT) development and use, and federal policy pertaining to HIT.
Operational Models of Health Care Delivery
Business models used in medical practices and acute care facilities including revenue generation, risk management, overhead reduction, and other topics.
Workflow, Project Management, and Process Redesign
Management of medical practice workflow in physicians’ offices, acute care facilities, and health information exchanges.
Introduction to Health Informatics
Development of competencies in the use and management of electronic health record systems.
Research and Practicum in Health Informatics and Health IT
Experiential education in health information technology in varied medical settings, including office practices, hospitals, health centers, government organizations, health information exchanges, and healthcare start-ups. Under the guidance of a faculty member, students will create and present a research poster on a health informatics or health IT topic of interest.
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“Health information technology (HIT) is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the economy and an area markedly short of skilled labor. A small army of professionals is needed to help convert hundreds of thousands of physicians from antiquated paper records to electronic health records (EHRs). The following skills will be in particular demand: EHR software training, software support, technical support, technical implementation, programming, quality assurance, project management, medical terminology, database managers, software design, sales, marketing, education, clinical research, and HIT research, to name a few.”
– Michael Stearns, MD, President and CEO of e-MDs, Inc.
Graduates of our program enjoy an broad array of career options. Employment demands for Health IT jobs continue to grow rapidly according to the national Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Clinical informatics professionals and implementation experts will be in great demand as the medical profession transitions from paper-based records to electronic technology.
Examples of HIT positions offered to UT HIT certificate graduates:
- Implementation Specialist
- Project Manager / Project Coordinator
- EHR Software Trainer
- EHR Application Analyst
- Business Analyst
- EHR Sales
- Healthcare Policy Analyst
Graduate Employment Outcomes
96% of graduates seeking a job in health IT are employed within one year. Most are hired within a few months of graduation. In summer of 2014, 50% of graduates were hired within one month of graduation. Many health IT jobs require travel and / or relocation, so flexibility to accept a job outside of Austin or outside of Texas will optimize your career opportunities. We will continue to support you in your job search until you land your first Health IT job and launch your career!
Career development is an integral part of UT Austin’s Health IT certificate programs. To help graduates who successfully complete the program find immediate employment in the field of Health IT, students will be provided with career resources including workshops on resumes and cover letters, informational interviewing, job interview preparation, and networking events with employers.
Students can meet individually with a career advisor to develop their resumes and to practice interview skills. They will also have many opportunities to network with employers during the course. In addition, employers will have the opportunity to conduct on-campus interviews with certificate students during the final week of the program.
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The College of Natural Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with the Texas e-Health Alliance and other industry partners, created an innovative certificate program designed to “fast track” university graduates into this rapidly evolving field. Our first certificate program was offered to 55 students in the Summer of 2010. Over 600 students have now graduated in 13 cohorts.
In October of 2010, the program was personally commended as a “home run” by Dr. David Blumenthal, former National Coordinator for Health IT, as a model for HIT workforce development in the nation. Most recently, the program was recognized as the winner of a “Texas-based innovation in healthcare delivery enabled by HIT.”
Funding for this program was made possible on April 2, 2010, when the university received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded by the Office of the National Coordinator, Health Information Technology to the Professional University Resources and Education for Health Information Technology(PURE-HIT) Consortium, a collaboration of Texas State University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics. The consortium received 5.4 million dollars, the largest award in the nation among the nine programs funded for university-based education in Health IT. UT Austin received 2.77 million dollars in funding.