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Focus Areas Overview

The Master of Science in Health Informatics degree will prepare you for a variety of careers. Beyond core coursework, you will be choosing a focus area to specialize in.

Choose a focus area to learn more

Clinical Focus

The clinical focus area is a great fit for students with a strong health care background in patient care or rehabilitation therapy settings. Be prepared for a variety of jobs in health care settings.

Below are a few possible job titles:

  • Clinical Informatics Specialist
  • Perioperative Application Manager
  • Principal Radiology Informatician
  • Senior Clinical Informatics Consultant
  • Director of Clinical Informatics
  • Nursing Informatics Specialist

Students who choose this focus area can earn the master's degree entirely online. Below is more information about courses in the clinical focus area. Click a course title below to learn more.

Theory development and analysis techniques provide the framework for the study of concepts and theories from nursing and related disciplines. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship of theory and research in the development of nursing knowledge to support evidence-based practice. This course will enhance the decision-making skills for choosing and using concepts and theories that guide practice. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

An analysis of economic, political, legal, ethical, professional, societal and cultural issues is conducted within the context of advanced nursing practice. Application of concepts essential to understanding, influencing and leading change in health care delivery specific to advanced nursing practice is emphasized. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

This course introduces complexity science principles with the aim of improving the quality and effectiveness of health care organizations. Traditional approaches to quality improvement will be contrasted with tools and metrics that can be applied in complex organizations. Principles that relate to embeddedness, diversity, distributed control, co-existence of order and disorder, nonlinearity, inability to predict, emergence, and functioning at the edge of chaos will be introduced. PREREQUISITE(S): NRSG 880, or consent of instructor.

The focus of this course is to understand the leadership functions of human resource management in organizations to create a competitive edge through employee empowerment. Core human resource concepts are introduced and applied to optimize human capital within a variety of health care settings, including compensation and benefits, employee recognition, and employee/labor relations. National, regional and local strategies and workforce trends are discussed related to best practices for the selection, retention, and management as a health care employer of choice. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

Health Policy & Management Focus

The health policy and management focus area allows students to prepare for careers in information systems management and leadership positions in health care clinics and hospitals.

Below are a few possible job titles:

  • Health System Business Analyst
  • Health Care Consultant
  • Technical Director
  • Supply Chain Finance Program Manager
  • Health Care Learning and Usability Program Manager
  • Health IT Operations Manager
  • Health Data and Information Resource Manager

Students who choose this focus area will take a combination of courses offered online and in-person on the University of Kansas Medical Center Campus in Kansas City, Kansas.

Below is more information about coursework related to the health policy and management focus area. Click a course title below to learn more.

The structure and function of the components of the U.S. health care system are introduced in the context of the history, values and social forces that influenced its development and evolution. Students gain exposure to the concepts and vocabulary associated with aspects of the system, including delivery (providers, institutions, services), resources (finance, payment, insurance), population and public health, and outcomes (cost, access, quality). Health care outcomes from consumer, clinical, and societal perspectives are explored. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

This course introduces the core concepts from economics to health care with a focus on helping health care managers use economic tools in making sound decisions. The demand for health care products, the structure of insurance, and the supply of health care products are examined. Students will apply a variety of economic analyses to health policy and health system issues. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

Introduces the financial and managerial accounting concepts used in health care. This includes financial statement analysis; cost accounting; budgeting; and capital project analysis. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

Examines performance of health care organizations, sources of variation, methods of measurement, and strategies for improving performance. Considers several approaches to performance improvement and examines tools widely used in operations management. Incorporates lecture, discussion, and fieldwork. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

This course covers fundamental concepts of health information technologies including information management, health care delivery and remote monitoring systems of interest to administrators in health services organizations. Types of systems, alignment with organizational strategy, selection and adoption, return on investment, security and privacy, and uses of health care information for clinical and strategic analysis and decision support will be covered. The course will also cover current U.S. health technology infrastructure, policy, organizations and issues regarding the latest technology applications. An introduction to health care analytics is also provided. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

The focus of this course is to understand the leadership functions of human resource management in organizations to create a competitive edge through employee empowerment. Core human resource concepts are introduced and applied to optimize human capital within a variety of health care settings, including compensation and benefits, employee recognition, and employee/labor relations. National, regional, and local strategies and workforce trends are discussed related to best practices for the selection, retention, and management as a health care employer of choice. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

Public Health Focus

The public health focus area is a great fit for students interested in epidemiology, public health data management, health communications and the application of these methods to reduce health disparities and improve the health of communities.

Below are a few possible job titles:

  • Health System Business Intelligence Specialist
  • Interface Informatics Support
  • Team Lead at EHR software vendor
  • Telehealth Informatics Specialist
  • Public Health Informatics Epidemiologist
  • Clinical Data Analyst

Students who choose this focus area will take a combination of courses offered online and in-person on the University of Kansas Medical Center Campus in Kansas City, Kansas. Below is more information about coursework related to the public health focus area. Click on a course title to learn more.

Basic concepts of epidemiology and methods for identification of factors influencing health and disease in human populations. Considerations are centered on physical, biological, psychosocial and cultural factors in relation to infectious and non-infectious diseases; interactions between agent, host, and environmental factors as determinants of health and disease; application of the epidemiologic approach to health services; retrospective and prospective analysis of morbidity and mortality data. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

This course emphasizes the underlying concepts of the epidemiologic approach as it relates to infectious diseases. Students will be introduced to principles and methods of disease surveillance and outbreak investigations using case studies. Essential concepts relating to vaccine efficacy and effectiveness in preventing infectious diseases, barriers to achieving adequate vaccine coverage, and how ongoing vaccine controversies relate to the scientific literature base will be covered. The evolving public health concerns of bioterrorism and antibiotic resistance will also be addressed. Characteristics of the agent, host, and environment that influence disease transmission will be examined in the context of control strategy identification. Instruction is primarily by online learning tools, with limited short lectures. PREREQUISITE(S): PRVM 800 Principles of Epidemiology.

This three-credit graduate course will help prepare students to work effectively with diverse population, enhance-cross cultural competence, and identify and use social and culturally-competent strategies in public health research and practice. Students in this course will become competent and versed in how culture intersects with health, social determinants of health, patient education and communication, and society. Key models for understanding how health, society, and culture relate will be discussed and linked to health communication and public health practice. In addition social issues that include racism, classism, gender discrimination, and poverty will be an integral part of the course.

A 3 credit hour graduate level course concerning basic computing skills necessary for any advanced epidemiologic or administrative quantitative methods. This course covers basics of variable and dataset creation, building, maintenance and basic descriptive (not interpretive) analysis. The course is designed to be of use to students entering a variety of research, administrative and public health settings in public health, clinical and other fields. Software covered will include SAS, SPSS, Epi Info, KIPHS, Microsoft-EXCEL and ACCESS. The course can stand alone, or prepare students for Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses. Public data presentations will be stressed to prepare students to communicate about data with the lay public. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

Project Management

The project management focus area provides a broadly applicable skill set for leading cross-functional teams in the delivery of successful projects. Students in this focus area will be prepared for careers in health care and consulting companies.

Below are a few possible job titles:

  • Informatics Project Manager
  • Data Analyst
  • Health Informatics Consultant
  • Information Technology Consultant
  • Health Information System Application Designer
  • Consultant

Students choosing this focus area may take courses online or on the University of Kansas Edwards campus in Overland Park, Kansas. After completing this track and the Knowledge Management course (IPHI 854), students earn the Graduate Certificate in Project Management from KU. Below is more information about coursework related to the Project Management Focus Area. Click on a course title to learn more.

Managerial concepts and skills development in relation to the project-oriented business environment, project lifecycle, integrated project management, project selection, and project initiation. Focus is on management of a single project. PREREQUISITE(S): None.

Planning concepts and skills development in relation to developing needed information on project scope, time, cost, and risk, and making direct use of such information to develop key documentation such as the project schedule and budget. Examples of specific topics considered include project work content and change, documentation, and resource requirements. Planning content is complementary to that of PMGT 818. PREREQUISITE(S): PMGT 816.

Concepts and skills development in relation to planning for management of communications, human resource aspects of project team formation and development, procurement, and quality. Examples of specific topics considered include information handling, reporting, and stakeholder relationships. Planning content is complementary to that of PMGT 817. PREREQUISITE(S): PMGT 817.


All course descriptions and details information provided here for reference only. Please visit the Academic Catalog for complete and current degree information.

Last modified: Mar 05, 2021
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