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Graduate Certificate in Clinical Informatics

About The Program
The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Informatics will fulfill the needs of students and professionals in the workforce to manage health information to improve patient care. Clinical informatics professionals use their skills to improve knowledge and address the needs of healthcare providers; characterize and refine clinical processes; develop, implement, and refine clinical decision support systems; and lead or participate in procurement, customization, development, implementation, management, evaluation, and continuous improvement of clinical information for the benefit of patients. They collaborate with other healthcare and technology professionals to develop tools that promote patient care that is safe, efficient, effective, timely, patient-centered, and equitable.

A recent review of the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2010-2011 edition) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the field of Medical and Health Services Managers is a field that is expected to grow by 16% from 2008-2018, faster than the average in other fields. The American Health Informatics Management Association (AHIMA) estimates that the demand for skilled workers will increase by 20% (www.ahima.org). A report prepared by Batelle Technology (November 2011) for the Ohio Third Frontier, noted that high growth is expected in health care information technology that includes business process management and clinical healthcare.

Curriculum
The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Informatics consists of 5 courses and 16 semester credits. It will be offered in an online/ blended format to encourage interaction among the cohort and to make it attractive to persons currently employed who cannot attend traditional/residential offerings. The Certificate will enable persons who are considering a change in their careers (e.g. mathematicians, health care specialists, health communication majors, health managers) to have the tools that will enable them to progress within their career paths. In addition, many health care professionals, particularly physicians, may take the certificate courses in order to become better informed regarding evidence-based practice, data analysis, electronic health records, and leadership and change in health organizations.

If students do not have a health care background that includes knowledge of the health care system, they must take HLTH 6010: Introduction to the U.S. Health Care Delivery System (3 credits). Credits for this course will not count toward the certificate since it is only a prerequisite. The five required certificate courses include the following:

1) BME 5100: Medical Informatics (3 credits): This course provides an overview of medical information processing. Technical and non-technical issues surrounding the development and effective use of computer systems in the health care setting are discussed. Topics include public policy/regulation, electronic health records, health databases, clinical systems, medical knowledge/decision support systems, human/computer interaction, and privacy/security/ethics.

2) HLTH 6801: Health Information Systems and Applications (3 credits): Focus is on the development of skills required to participate in the development and/or selection of an information system for clinicians. Advantages and disadvantages of various technological approaches will be discussed.

3) HLTH 6802: Quantitative Methods in Health Research (4 credits): This course emphasizes evidenced-based practice and combines concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics to meet the unique needs of students in this program. It is the study of population health and the use of biostatistics in health measurement, risk assessment, assessment of health information, surveillance, and improvement of the health status of populations.

4) MPA 5590: Measuring Outcomes in Public and non-Profit Organizations (3 credits): This course focuses on the skills needed to develop and implement an outcomes system. Methods for determining information needs for the monitoring of service delivery and program outcomes will be explored. Evaluation issues will be considered in the context of ethical standards, program effectiveness, and efficiency.

5) MPA 6800: Seminar in Public Administration (3 credits): This course provides an overview and develops skill in the concepts and methods associated with public sector value and strategy. Topics include: strategic management, strategic performance, and strategic leadership for change.

Admission Requirements
The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Informatics program will accept students in two categories: 

1) Students who have already been admitted to an advanced degree program at Ohio University (degree-seeking graduate students) need to complete an Application for Update of Graduate Academic Program. This application can be obtained online or in-person from the Graduate College. The completed application, including the signature of an advisor and the certificate/program coordinator, should be submitted to the Graduate College office at Ohio University.

2) Students who have a bachelor’s or advanced degree but are not currently in a degree program at Ohio University (non-degree students, ND8165) must submit the following materials to the Graduate College office at Ohio University:
a) A completed online application
b)Undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher
c)Undergraduate and graduate transcripts (all earned degrees)
d) Current resume
e) A two page essay describing your career goals and how this certificate can enhance your attainment of such objectives. Also, please discuss any relevant health care experience in your essay.
f) Three (3) letters of recommendation

Contact
Dr. Doug Bolon
Interim Chair, Department of Social and Public Health
Ohio University
W324 Grover Center
Athens OH, 45701-2979
Ph: 740.593.4675
Fax: 740.593.0555