With the evolution of smartphones and consolidated, digital record-keeping, as well as a Federal mandate concerning electronic health records (EHRs), the necessity for specialists focused on the management of health-related data is booming.
IT-based improvements in healthcare provision management, delivery, and planning are more important than ever before, and healthcare informatics specialists are helping to protect and utilize patients’ most valuable asset: private medical data. By using information technology, specialists in medical informatics analyze and organize health records to improve healthcare outcomes for patients.
The essence of public healthcare informatics or medical informatics is simple: Provide electronic access to medical records, for patients, nurses, doctors, administrators, and insurance companies so that all parties might make more informed decisions. Students interested in getting a health informatics degree should be highly organized, tech-savvy, and interested in cross-disciplinary areas, such as information/data management, health and human services, communications systems, and computer technology.
With several specialized areas to study, such as Clinical Informatics Management, Clinical Analysis, Clinical Informatics Specialization, Nursing Informatics, and Health Informatics Specialization, students hoping to enter this growing medical field have several areas that might match their passions, interests, and skills. And not only are on-campus options the only path to a career – online learning has essentially caught up in terms of quality.
According to Payscale, people working with EHRs are in high demand and fill a growing distance between clinical delivery specialists—doctors and nurses—and healthcare assistance providers—like insurance companies—as well as help patients manage their own health information. Workers in healthcare informatics claim high levels of job satisfaction while making an average of $61,000 annually; though, with a Master’s degree in Health Informatics, salaries grow exponentially to mid $90,000s.
What are the best online bachelor’s degrees in health informatics?
Our College Choice rankings for the best online Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems Degrees are compiled with care using several significant pieces of data, including real freshman surveyed by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. In this survey, students rated academic value, monetary aid awards, and overall cost college. The survey also examined post-graduation job placement and career satisfaction. These aspects were weighed against gatherings of data including PayScale.com, U.S. News & World Report, and the National Center for Education Statistics.
College Choice Score: 100
Cost Per Credit Hour: $204.96
Montana Tech was the first institution in the country to provide working professionals with the ability to get an undergraduate HI degree. Now the school brings that same degree, the Bachelor of Science in HI, online for all of its students. This school is regionally accredited by NCACS THLC.
Working professionals find that an online education through Montana Tech is the easiest and most flexible way to get a degree in HI. Through the school’s virtual portal, students are taken to their courses, submit assignments and exams, talk to classmates and faculty, and even find answers to questions that inevitably arise during an online education.
The school also offers students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in HI while continuing on to their bachelor’s. This allows them to switch careers while finishing their degree, making the transition to their new jobs a little easier.
The BSHI program at Montana Tech requires a total of 120 credit hours, including a practicum and a capstone project. Students who have previous credits from another regionally accredited institution will find that the school has a generous transfer policy, making the timeline to getting their degree a little shorter. Sample courses include Health Care Facilities Procedures, HC Delivery Systems in the U.S., and Systems Design Processes.
College Choice Score: 98.80
Cost Per Credit Hour: $390.00
The University of Wisconsin is one of the only schools on this ranking to provide HI professionals with an online degree that gives them the chance to specialize. The school confers the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology with two tracks, HIM and HIT. It is one of the top five most popular degree the university grants online. This school is accredited by THLC and holds further accreditation by CAHIIM.
UW knows that HIM and HIT skills are now in demand more than ever. That’s why the BSHIMT has two tracks, preparing working professionals to advance their career in one of two areas that are sorely needed in the health care industry. And because the degree is conferred online, four University of Wisconsin campuses have come together in partnership to build one of the strongest HI programs in the country.
Students who have busy personal and professional lives will enjoy going to school at UW. Courses are taught asynchronously, meaning students attend class and submit assignments when it’s most convenient for them. And the faculty that teaches the courses are not only real-world HIM and HIT professionals, they’re also trained in the art of online teaching.
Courses at UW’s BSHIMT program focus on the professional, business, and technological aspects of the field. Students are given group assignments and lectures that speak to the nature of the field in its current state and innovations that have yet to come. Courses include Human Resources Management, Strategic Planning and Organizational Development, and Programming and Data Structures.
College Choice Score: 96.98
Cost Per Credit Hour: $300.00
King University has a strong interdisciplinary online school that is nationally recognized as one of the best online undergraduate programs. It confers the Bachelor of Science in HI, an in-demand degree from both working professionals and healthcare employers. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
This is an accelerated B.S.-HI degree. Students who wish to apply for this online program must have at least 60 credit hours of general education from King University or another regionally accredited institution, including the pre-requisite math and science courses, prior to applying. It is advised that students contact an enrollment advisor about transfer credits for a better understanding of what their degree path may look like.
The BSHI program at King University requires a total of 124 credit hours for graduation, 48 of which come from the HI major. There are no capstone courses, projects, PPEs or practicums required to complete this degree, making it a great fit for working professionals. Sample courses include Introduction to Health Information Systems, Data Analysis and Research, and Legal and Ethical Aspects of EHRs in the American Health Care System.
College Choice Score: 94.65
Cost Per Credit Hour: $494.00
Franklin University is a leader in medical informatics and education. It has brought that education online, conferring the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management to busy working professionals. The school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC and is one of the most popular online schools for HI professionals.
This is a unique school on this ranking in that in addition to its 100 percent online coursework, the program requires a healthcare internship, known as a Professional Practice Experience. This is mandatory for all students, so any professional interested in this degree is encouraged to contact an enrollment advisor to see what the internship requires prior to applying. Students will also want to check to see what, if any, credits from another regionally accredited institution they can transfer into this program.
This school has four different areas of education. They are known as the General Core, the Professional Core, the Major Core, and Elective Core. Each core is required for this program, and most requirements can be met at other institutions. The only exception is that the Major Core must be completed at Franklin.
This degree requires a minimum of 124 credit hours in total, including general education requirements, and a PPE. These courses range from professional courses to major subjects. Sample courses include Health Care Outcomes and Quality management, Communication in Groups and Teams, and Applications in Health Information Systems.
Western Governors University
College Choice Score: 92.91
Cost Per Credit Hour: $217.00
Western Governors University has been named one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company, and it’s a great place to get an online education. The school confers the Bachelor of Science in HI, a popular degree that is in demand by employers all over the country. The school is regionally accredited by the NCACS and hold special accreditation by CAHIIM. Graduates from this degree also have a 100 percent first-time pass rate for the prestigious RHIA certification examination that is offered by the AHIMA.
This program was designed for healthcare and IT professionals who have previous work and educational experience in either field. It is an intensive program that is built on the idea that students undertaking the degree have some solid foundation on HI and HIM, and so it is not a great fit for students who have no previous HI education. This program is also incredibly competitive. It is advised that any professional interested in this degree talk with an enrollment advisor prior to applying.
The WGU B.S. in HI requires a total of 120 competency units, the school’s version of credit hours. About half of these credits will be cleared by students who hold an associate’s degree or two years of college-level education by another regionally accredited university. Sample courses include Financial Resource Management and Health Care Reimbursement, Introduction to Probability and Statistics, and Health Information Law and Regulations.
There is also a requirement for a professional practical experience and portfolio. This portfolio contains written reports and observations by students as they take on clinical experience and can serve as a useful addition to any professional resume.
College Choice Score: 91.10
Cost Per Credit Hour: $664.00
Davenport University is one of the most respected institutions when it comes to online learning. It confers the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, a degree that was designed with working professionals in mind. This school is regionally accredited by THLC and hold special accreditation by CAHIIM. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the RHIA certification exam that is administered by the AHIMA.
This online BSHIM is available through the virtual college and is a strong contender for one of the most comprehensive programs on this list. Not only are the core concepts of HI and HIM taught by a faculty with real-world experience, courses are given asynchronously, allowing students to attend class when it’s most convenient for them.
This program requires at least 120 credit hours and one practicum. There are no capstone, affiliations or externship requirements, but students do have a unique opportunity to take part in a study abroad experience. This experience is rare among online programs, but it is available for working professionals who would like the chance to study in a different country.
Davenport takes an innovative approach to the BSHIM curriculum. Courses are grouped together based on skill or subject and include the Foundations of Excellence Core, Foundations of Health Professions Core, and the Major Core. Taken in sequence, these cores build on each other, preparing students for life as professionals in the healthcare field. Courses include Information Governance, Applied Statistics for Health Information Management, and Procedural CPT/HCPCS Coding.
College Choice Score: 90.33
Cost Per Credit Hour: $641.00
Champlain College is aware of the critical shortage of HI and HIT professionals that is plaguing the country right now, and they have decided to create and online program that addresses this problem. Working professionals can now find the school’s Bachelor of Science in Health Information Technology available to them online. This school, which is regionally accredited by the NEASC, is also nationally recognized as a top online undergraduate school by U.S. News and World Report.
This BS-HIT program is an accelerated undergraduate degree that focuses only on the informatics major. Students must either have an associate’s degree in a healthcare related field or 60 credits from a regionally accredited institution in order to apply for the program.
Champlain has created an online school that works for busy students. Courses are taught in an asynchronous format, and each course can be completed in seven weeks, ensuring that ambitious students can finish the degree in as little as 18 months. The online school also provides support in various ways, including student advising, so students will always have a place to turn to when looking for answers.
This degree requires 60 credit hours and a capstone project in order to complete the degree. The capstone project is self-directed upon approval of the faculty and takes the form of a written report. Students will demonstrate mastery of the subjects taught in the curriculum and use their skills to identify a real-world issue as well as resolve it. Courses that help a student demonstrate this include Information Systems Analysis and Design, Health Data Systems and Technology, and Relational Database Design and SQL.
Oregon Institute Technology
College Choice Score: 89.18
Cost Per Credit Hour: $162.75
The Oregon Institute of Technology is an innovator in online education. The school has taken the time to ensure the excellence of all of its online offerings, including the BSHI. This school is regionally accredited by NWCCU.
Students will find that this is the first online HI undergraduate ever conferred at an Oregon public university. Since its inception, the school has endeavored to ensure that experiential learning, which is part of its core teaching method, is also found online. This is a great degree for working professionals who enjoy hands-on learning and have a busy schedule.
The most interesting feature of learning at Oregon Tech is the school’s Health Care IT Simulation Lab, called SIM Lab. This online lab offers real-life case studies and research projects to online students, giving them all the information they need in order to complete their studies within the HI field. As SIM Lab grows to become a facet of learning at OIT, students will spend more and more time putting their newfound skills into practice.
Students who study for their BSHI at Oregon Tech will find that courses are taught in sequential order, with a total of 16 courses required for graduation. This sequencing method prepares students to move on to advanced studies once they have mastered the core concepts of each subject. Course topics include EHR Use and Configuration, Business Intelligence, Clinical Workflows, and EHR implementation.
University of Mississippi Medical Center
College Choice Score: 86.45
Cost Per Credit Hour: $913.00
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is one of the best medical schools in the South. It is also a pioneer in online education, providing working professionals with the ability to get a BSHIIM, right in the comfort of their own home. The school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC and has independent accreditation by CAHIIM. Graduates from this program are eligible to sit for the RHIA certification exam, which is administered by the American Health Information Management Association.
Students who wish to enroll in this 100 percent online degree must have a minimum of 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution in order to apply to the program. Students also must have the pre-requisite math and science subjects. All working professionals are welcome to apply to the program.
UMMC requires a total of 60 credit hours of curriculum work and a professional practicum in order to receive the BSHIIM. The practicums are completed at an approved healthcare facility under the supervision of a preceptor, and it is the online offline requirement a student must meet. Sample courses include Revenue Cycle and Reimbursement Management, Coding and Classification Systems for Procedures, and Health Care Compliance and Documentation Improvement.
Colorado Technical University
College Choice Score: 85.97
Cost Per Credit Hour: $325.00
Colorado Technical University holds a national distinction as being one of the best online programs for HI and HIM professionals in the country. The school confers the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management – Health Informatics for busy professionals. The school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
This online undergraduate degree was created for healthcare professionals who wish to learn more about health care informatics and how it applies to health care administration and patient care. Nurses, healthcare administrators, and HI professionals will find this degree to be a great addition to their professional resumes because courses are taught online and in short terms, making it easy to fit education into a busy schedule.
The BSHM-HI requires a total of 180 credit hours and a capstone project for completion, with 114 credit hours going towards the major core curriculum. Students will find a variety of courses that focus on both technology and business and how they relate to health care systems. Sample courses include Fundamentals of Reimbursement in Healthcare, Fiscal Management in Healthcare Services, and Health Analytics and Business Intelligence in Healthcare.
University of Cincinnati
College Choice Score: 85.92
Cost Per Credit Hour: $481.00
The University of Cincinnati is nationally recognized for its online school and the faculty that teaches within it, making a great educational destination for working professionals. The school confers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Information that is 100 percent online with no on-campus requirements. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC and holds special accreditation by the CAHIIM. Graduates are eligible to sit for the RHIA certification exam.
The UC HIM online program is nationally recognized by the Carnegie Commission for its commitment to excellence. The school’s HIM program, in particular, is well-respected for its focus on public health informatics, preparing working RHITs to become RHIAs in public health settings.
This program was designed for working HIT professionals, so students interested in this particular program should seek the advisement of an enrollment counselor to ensure they meet the requirements to apply. Previous work and educational experience are required from all applicants.
The B.S. in Health Information Management at UC requires a total of 60 credit hours from the major and 120 credit hours total for graduation. There is also a requirement for a project practicum, in the form of a written report, that will demonstrate a student’s comprehension of the curriculum. Sample classes include Human Resources in Healthcare, Project Management in Health Information management, and Issues in Legal Aspects and Healthcare Delivery.
College Choice Score: 85.42
Cost Per Credit Hour: $470.00
Regis University offers working professionals the chance to earn a degree while continuing with their busy lives. The university provides an online Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. This university is regionally accredited by THLC. It holds special accreditation by CAHIIM.
The Regis HIM program focuses on how technology and business impact the healthcare industry, with a special emphasis on electronic health records and their implementation in the profession. Courses revolve around interpersonal, communication and technology skills needed to create, develop and innovate new and existing HI technologies.
The online program was designed to be as flexible as possible for students. Courses are taught in eight weeks terms in an asynchronous format, meaning students can log in and complete assignments at their leisure, and there is never any requirement to spend time on campus.
The B.S. in Health Information Management requires 120 credit hours, a directed practice and a management practicum for graduation. The majority of credit hours come from the informatics major, and students are encouraged to take electives in technology or business to fully round out their degree. Course samples include Organizational Management, HIM Systems and Data Structures, and the Fundamentals of Law for HI and IM.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 83.81
Cost Per Credit Hour: $320.00
Southern New Hampshire University has a comprehensive online school that caters to working professionals in the allied health workforce. This is where HIM and HI professionals can find the online Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, which is 100 percent online. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC. The program is based on the curriculum principles established by CAHIIM.
This online degree focuses a student on the business of medical informatics and how it relates to patient care. Courses are taught from a professional standpoint, and students will also gain exposure to real-world clinical settings. And because all courses are taught asynchronously in nine-week terms throughout the year, students can choose when to begin their degree.
SNHU requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, a capstone project, and a practical experience for the completion of this degree. The school has a generous transfer credit policy, allowing for up to 90 credits to be used towards the completion of the BSHIM. Courses include Computer Platform Technologies, Ethical and Legal Considerations in Health Information, and Foundation of Data Analytics.
College Choice Score: 79.71
Cost Per Credit Hour: $340.00
Capella University understands that there is currently a huge drive in the healthcare field to produce more HI professionals who excel in the field. That is why this school confers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Health Information Technology Specialization. This school is accredited by THLC.
Working professionals enjoy the flexibility and accessibility that comes with a Capella education. Students never have to show up to campus, finishing their coursework and lab work entirely online and through the secure Virtual College. Additionally, students have access to Pluralsight, an IT online library with over 4,500 online courses that will help guide a student in whatever question they may have about their education.
Capella requires 180 credit hours for graduation, but the school is generous with a number of credits a student can transfer in. A total of 135 credits may be transferred in, including work experience and industry certifications. It is also possible to test out of some courses, but students are encouraged to talk with an enrollment counselor to see if they qualify.
This university has one of the most diverse selections of HIM and HIT subjects. Sample courses include Managing Data in Multiple System Environments, Electronic Health Records/Clinical Systems, and Statistical Analysis for Health Care.
The University of Illinois Chicago
College Choice Score: 77.45
Cost Per Credit Hour: $990.00
The University of Illinois at Chicago is home to the nation’s largest medical school. It is also home to a top five ranked Best Online Bachelor’s Programs as published by the U.S. News and World Report. It is here where working HI professionals can receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. It is independently accredited by CAHIIM and graduates from this program will be eligible to sit for the RHIA certification exam.
This degree was designed first and foremost to prepare students to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator exam. With its 100 percent online format and a world-class faculty teaching the courses, students are set up for success through this online program. It is one of the most highly rated online schools by students who say the school met or exceeded their expectations of the education they would receive.
UIC prides itself on its comprehensive curriculum. The entire degree requires a minimum of 123 credit hours for completion, including a clinical practicum and a technical affiliation. Courses include Public Health Informatics, Legal Aspects of Health Information Management, and Coding and Classification Systems.
College Choice Score: 75.30
Cost Per Credit Hour: $325.00
Walden University confers a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies with a Health Informatics specialization. This degree is found entirely online and was designed for working professionals who are in need of a way to educate themselves while continuing in their current career. This university is accredited by THLC.
The online experience at Walden is formidable. Not only are courses delivered asynchronously, the school has also endeavored to make their classes available on MobileLearn®, an app that brings a student’s coursework with them wherever they go. Courses can be viewed and downloaded on any smartphone or device, giving students the freedom to study when and how they choose.
While it is not required, students are encouraged to apply to this program if they currently hold an associate’s degree or have a high number of transferable credits from another accredited university. This ensures that the degree takes as little time as possible, with most students completing the degree in less than two years with part-time study. Up to 135 credits can be transferred with only 45 credits required to be completed at Walden.
This degree requires a total of 181 credits for completion, with 85 credits coming from the Core and Concentration Curriculums. A capstone project is also required. Students will take a wide variety of courses, including Public and Global Health, Structure of the Healthcare Industry, and Healthcare Information Systems Applications.
College Choice Score: 73.50
Cost Per Credit Hour: $531.90
Kaplan University is a pioneer in online education, providing a broad scope of healthcare-related degrees, and all at a student’s fingertips. The school confers the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, a degree that is designed specifically for those working professionals who need to broaden their education in the realm of health informatics. This school is accredited by THLC with independent accreditation by the CAHIIM.
The university is known for being flexible when it comes to online education. Students can choose from a multitude of start dates, so they can choose the best time to start the road to getting their undergraduate degree. Classes are also 100 percent online and delivered in an asynchronous format, making it easier for students to learn and submit assignment when they have free time.
This degree requires 180 credit hours for graduation, with 113 credit hours coming straight from the HIM core alone. Sample courses include Information Technology and Systems for Health Care, Quality Assurance and Statistics in Health Information, and Reimbursement Methodologies.
Students will also be required to participate in a capstone project and an externship. The capstone project is a written report that demonstrates the student’s comprehension of the coursework they have completed and showcases their ability to analyze and draw up solutions for real-world HI issues. The externship is supervised by faculty and takes place in a student’s area of residence. This experience prepares new graduates for the workforce and allows them the opportunity to gain real-world experience while continuing to learn at Kaplan.
College Choice Score: 69.75
Cost Per Credit Hour: $550.00
Herzing University provides working professionals the opportunity to continue their education while keeping up with their busy schedules. The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management is a great way to move into entry level RHIA positions and because most of the courses are completed online, students can continue with their current schedule. This school is accredited by THLC and holds further accreditation by CAHIIM.
This university does not offer all courses online, so on-campus visits are required for this degree. To this end, students who do not live in Wisconsin will need to look elsewhere. For students who can attend classes on-campus, this degree does cover the necessary pre-requisites needed in order to sit for the AHIMA’s RHIA certification exam.
This is a four-year degree that requires 124 credits, a management affiliation, and an internship for graduation. Of course, the four-year program length pertains to graduating in normal time. Students are welcome to transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution for general education requirements, making the path towards getting the degree quicker and more affordable. Course topics include Healthcare Information Management Systems, Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Methodology, and Principles of Health Information Management.
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