Health Care Informatics, M.S.

Degree: Master of Science

It takes dedicated, talented and visionary people to integrate technology and health care. As technology progresses, federal mandates specify patient data and health care information be available digitally. There is a growing need for professionals who can play a vital role in planning, developing and maintaining health information systems for a variety of facilities.

With a Master of Science in Health Care Informatics from UCF, you will have the tools necessary to positively impact health care and patient outcomes in this new, cutting edge field. Expand your knowledge base, enhance your skillset and advance your career in this high need area. Graduates can work as practitioners, managers, analysts and researchers. Numerous openings have been announced in several environments, including health centers, hospital systems and insurance companies. Many graduates will find upper management positions depending on experience.

  • The program is offered completely online in convenient format with easy scheduling.
  • The GRE exam is not required.
  • Our cohort-based program allows for greater collaboration and networking among students.
  • We offer opportunities to participate in national conferences, conventions, and meetings.

Contact Information

Kendall Cortelyou-Ward, Ph.D.
Health Care Informatics Program Director

Hannah Nguyen
Academic Services Coordinator

The mission of the health care informatics program is to meet the community’s need for an informatics workforce by cultivating partnerships and providing high quality professionals with the requisite critical thinking skills and analytical knowledge to successfully use data to support organizational business and clinical decision-making and to enhance operational effectiveness for improving the overall health care system.

Program Overview

UCF's Department of Health Management and Informatics offers a fully online Professional Science Master’s degree program in health care informatics. This 38-credit hour, 20-month program is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of individuals and working professionals. Our asynchronous teaching technique allows to you log into your virtual classroom anytime throughout the day or night. All of your assignments, exams and projects are submitted through our online classroom portal.

The health care informatics program at UCF is unique because it provides you, the student, a thorough grounding in clinical, management and business aspects of the health informatics field, and is updated continually to reflect the changing demands of the industry.

In addition, the program will:

  • Develop your leadership and decision making skills
  • Teach you to work using an evidence-based, knowledge-management approach
  • Enable you to best serve your organization’s information needs

In addition to earning a master’s degree, you will be able to sit for several industry recognized credential exams with no additional charges or fees. These certifications include:

  • Certified Professional in Health Information and Management Systems
  • Certified Associate in Health Information and Management Systems
  • Project Management Professional
  • Certified Associate in Project Management
  • HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner
  • Certified Health Data Analyst
  • Certified Professional in Health Informatics

Note: Successful completion of the degree does not qualify you to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator or the Registered Heath Information Technician certifications.

Advising
Student Resources
Internships
Additional Credentials

Do you have questions about the health care informatics program? We encourage you to connect with the program’s academic advisor, Hannah Nguyen, who can advise you on the next steps of your academic career.

Tuyet "Hannah" Nguyen, M.S.,HSA

Coordinator of Academic Services

Health Management and Informatics

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Hannah Nguyen is the coordinator of academic support services for the health care informatics program. She received her master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Central Florida. Prior to attending UCF, she received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Stetson University.

 

Outside of her advising role, Nguyen’s passion lies in health care innovations — particularly leveraging technology to improve health care access and quality in a cost-effective approach. Nguyen’s experiences include working with a number of organizations, designing system strategies for cost reduction and increased efficiency.

 

KFORCE
Recruiting firm for Healthcare Informatics Majors

 

AHIMA
American Health Information Management Association

 

HIMSS
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

 

AMIA
American Medical Informatics Association

 

Health Information Management Resource

The health care informatics internship is a mandatory course within the HCI program. This course requires students to think critically about real-world informatics issues and apply acquired knowledge and competencies to these issues. The HCI internship program allows a student to work within the confines of a real health care organization (such as county health departments, hospitals, long term care facilities, medical groups, insurance companies, etc.) in order to gain valuable, hands-on experience working on real health care informatics projects and challenges. The HCI internship is intended to provide the student with hands-on experiences not readily available from classroom situations, such as:
  • Applying classroom learning to real world health informatics problems
  • Functioning as a professional member of a health care organization
  • Assuming responsibility for various informatics based projects and programs
  • Developing a relationship with a mentor who can provide personal and career guidance
  • Adding breadth and depth to one’s personal, professional, and academic experiences

Important Points

  • Graduation requirement 
    • The health care informatics internship is mandatory and must be successfully completed in order to graduate from the program. This is a non-negotiable requirement.
  • 3-credit course: HIM6947
    • The course is comprised of an online class (conducted in Canvas) and experiential learning components.
    • Canvas will be utilized to disseminate important information and updates, collect forms and documents from students, and to serve as a platform to engage in discussions regarding internships opportunities, challenges, insights and updates.
    • The experiential learning component is the internship experience itself and is the primary focus of the course. As such, academic requirements are kept to a minimum so that students can focus their efforts on individualized internship experiences.
    • At the conclusion of their internships, students are expected to have successfully completed a masters level informatics project that required the application of informatics competencies. Students projects are presented live to the HMI faculty and class using virtual conference technologies.
  • Minimum 240 internship service hours required 
  • Completed only in SPRING
    • Internship service hours provided in any other semester will not count towards the required 240 required hours.
    • Internship service hour provided for projects not approved by the internship director will not count towards the 240 required hours.
  • 0-credit pre-internship course in FALL
    • A 0-credit pre-internship course is led by the internship director to help students understand, prepare, identify and secure internships.
    • At the conclusion of the pre-internship course, students should be completely ready to begin their internships in the spring semester.
  • Student chooses and secures the internship
    • It is entirely the student’s responsibility to find and secure an appropriate master’s level informatics internship.
    • The internship director will provide oversight, guidance and final approval of internship sites, preceptors and projects.

Securing an Internship

It is the student’s responsibility to find and secure an internship. To assist, the Department of Health Management and Informatics has maintained over 100 existing affiliations with health organizations within the Central Florida area. The department does have affiliations beyond Central Florida and is continually cultivating new affiliations each semester. Registered students will be given access to the list of affiliated locations. Students are encouraged to explore the affiliations early and to have at least three potential sites identified by the time they are enrolled in the 0-credit hour pre-internship course. Securing an internship is a competitive process. Host sites will select the most qualified candidate through a formal interview and selection process. Therefore, students are highly encouraged to utilize UCF career services to develop and polish their resumes and gain interview experience early on to prepare themselves for competing for internship opportunities. These same skills and resources will prove invaluable for job seeking as well.

Internships with Current Employers

Although generally discouraged, internships with current employers are permitted but require approval and additional documentation. The internship director will make the final decision based upon qualifying the following:
  • The site has an established and documented history and involved with health data and health informatics.
  • The preceptor is qualified to serve as a supervisor, mentor and guide for student interns, has the resources necessary to devote to the student to ensure student success, and can afford time to work with the intern one-on-one to ensure the intern’s growth and professional development.
  • The intended project is appropriate for a master’s level health informatics intern. The project should not require the intern to conduct “busy work” (hereby defined as performing routine office tasks such as copies, performing data entry, sorting of files or other clerical tasks) for more than 30 percent of the student’s internship service hours.
Students who fail to comply with these requirements will receive an F the course.

Internships with Family

Students are not permitted to intern at a site where there is any family ownership. Similarly, students are not permitted to have preceptors who are family members. Both scenarios present conflicts of interest and are strictly prohibited. No exceptions. Violations will result in an F in the course.

Reporting Schedule and Remote Internships

The actual reporting schedule will be defined by the student’s preceptor and host site and must be defined before the start of the internship semester. Most internships can be completed during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Internship sites understand that our students are working professionals and have proven to be flexible and accommodating with respect to schedules. Remote and virtual internships do exist, however they are rare and often highly competitive. Additionally, some onsite internships with traditional projects may offer remote access opportunities or may allow work from home.

Financial Considerations

The majority of internships are unpaid. Paid internships are rare and competitive and the salaries are determined by the employer. There may be additional fees involved with completing your internship, to include but not limited to the following:
  • Background criminal checks
  • Drug screenings
  • Parking permits

Have Additional Questions?

A dedicated internship director is available to answer your internship related questions. Students are encouraged to reach out to Steven Ton via email or telephone at 407-823-5328 at any time. Email is his preferred method of contact. When contacting Steven Ton, please provide the following to expedite an effective response:  
  • Descriptive subject line
  • Full Name
  • UCF ID
  • Year of intended internship
  • Program (HIIM or HCI)
  • Concise yet comprehensive message

What makes the health care informatics program at UCF a better value is that students are able to earn more than just a master’s degree. With the appropriate amount of experience, you will be eligible to sit for up to seven credential exams at no additional cost. The program will cover the cost of the exams, and the necessary study materials, so that you can expand your knowledge base.

 

Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems

A professional certification program for experienced healthcare information and management systems professionals.

 

Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems

This certificate is designed for emerging professionals who may or may not have experience within the industry. CAHIMS is designed to be a pathway for careers in health IT.

 

Project Management Professional

The PMP is the gold standard of project management certification. Recognized and demanded by organizations worldwide, the PMP validates your competence to perform in the role of a project manager, leading and directing projects and teams.

 

Certified Associate in Project Management

The CAPM demonstrates your understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terminology and processes of effective project management.

 

Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner

The HCISPP certification helps both employers and job candidates demonstrate their capabilities and commitment to health care privacy and security.

 

Certified Health Data Analyst

Individuals who earn the CHDA designation will achieve recognition of their expertise in health data analysis and validation of their mastery of this domain. This prestigious certification provides practitioners with the knowledge to acquire, manage, analyze, interpret, and transform data into accurate, consistent, and timely information, while balancing the “big picture” strategic vision with day-to-day details.

 

Certified Professional in Health Informatics

This credential will enable an individual to further advance their career. It also demonstrates a competent workforce and professional group for system support, subsequent organizational support, prestige, and the opportunity to belong to a prestigious premier professional association.

 

Faculty

Kendall Cortelyou-Ward, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Health Management and Informatics

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Meghan Gabriel

Assistant Professor

Health Management and Informatics

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Varadraj Gurupur, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Health Management and Informatics

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Alice Noblin, Ph.D., RHIA, CCS

Associate Professor and Health Informatics and Information Management Program Director

Health Management and Informatics

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Steven Ton, M.S.

Instructor

Health Management and Informatics

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Lawrence West, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Associate Professor

Health Management and Informatics

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Advisory Board

Layla Archer
Assistant Director
UCF COHPA Student Support Office

Marisol Bridgemohan
Southeast Administrative Manager
BACTES Imaging Solutions, LLC

James Caplinger
Health Information Management
Parrish Medical Center

Juana Colon
Corporate Director
Orlando Health

Nicole Copemann
Professor and HIT Program Manager
Seminole State College

Becky Dicus
Systems Director, Health Information Services
Central Florida Health Alliance

Thomas Falen
HIIM Instructor
UCF HMI Program

Varadraj Gurupur
HIIM Assistant Professor
UCF HMI Program

Jacquie Jones
HIM Director
Nemours Children’s Hospital

Jerry Jorgensen
Vice President of Operations
GeBBS Healthcare Solutions

Kimberly Kapes
Administrative Director of Physician Strategic Development
Florida Hospital

Tanya Kuehnast
Director, HIM Cheif Privacy Officer
Health First Corporation

DeWanda Lee
HIM Manager
Hospice of the Comforter

Cynthia Leonhard
HIM Corporate Manager
Health First

Michael May
Release of Information Manager
Community Health System

Kelly McLendon
CompliancePro Solutions

Robin Muhammad
Health Information Manager
Orange County Health Department

Julie Nasternak
Health Information Manager
Florida Hospital

Alice Noblin
HIIM Program Director
UCF HMI Department

Reid Oetjen
Chair
UCF HMI Department

Cindy Powell
Manager, Medical Informatics
Halifax Health

Annette Riley
HIM Compliance Analyst
Health First Inc.

Dean Ritchey
Service Line Manager
Orlando Health

Pablo Romero
Stat Imaging Solutions, LLC

Christina Martinez Rupinta
Corporate Service Line Manager
Orlando Health

Janitza Sanchez
Corporate HIM Service Line Manager
Orlando Health

Jennifer Vinson Schunke
Manager, eHIM Systems
Health First Corporation

Gretchen Simmons
Vice President of Operations, Gulf Coast
CIOX Health

Rich Simonetti
National Manager, Business Development
Eclat Health Solutions

Nicole Stanton
Forms and Education Coordinator
Florida Hospital

Steven Ton
HIIM Internship Director
UCF HMI Department

Margaret Verity
Administrative Director, Revenue Cycle, Clinical Operations
Florida Hospital

Amanda Walden
HIIM Program Instructor
UCF HMI Department

Kendall Cortelyou-Ward
HCI Program Director
UCF HMI Department

Sonya Waters
YES HIM Consulting

Erin White
HIM Operations Manager, Transcription
Orlando Health

Donovan Williams
Coordinator of Administrative Services
UCF Health Services

Kelly Wilson
Parallon Business Performance Group

Holly Woemmel
Senior Manager, Privacy and Compliance
Nuance Hosted Infrastructure Division

Molly Yanni
Coordinator of Health Care Programs
Seminole State College

Student Representative
Caitlyn Aument
SHIMA President