MBA in Healthcare Informatics
A master of business administration (MBA) concentrated in healthcare informatics or healthcare management prepares students for leadership roles in the healthcare industry, while also training them in innovative technology and data-driven research and analysis on topics ranging from appropriate patient treatments to public health statistics.
According to Alliant International University, the healthcare informatics industry experienced an unprecedented boom, growing from $973 million in 2009 to $6.5 billion in 2013—which is a six-fold increase. Additionally, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job openings for medical and health service managers to swell 20 percent between 2016 and 2026—much higher than the national average of 7 percent. With technology constantly advancing and legislation requiring many healthcare institutions to digitize their records and systems, the demand for professionals in the healthcare informatics field will only continue to grow.
Graduates of healthcare informatics or management MBA programs may find employment as technology operatives and executive-level administrators in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, care facilities, research organizations, policy think tanks, and insurance companies. Graduates from healthcare informatics and management programs can expect to immediately begin making salaries just shy of the six-figure mark, according to most universities offering these programs. Additionally, because of the high demand for professionals with healthcare informatics knowledge, many of these programs encourage applicants to discuss tuition reimbursement with their employers.
Most healthcare informatics MBA programs require that applicants have some professional experience in the healthcare industry. Entrance exams such as the GRE or GMAT are often not necessary. The programs listed below are offered almost exclusively online, without on-campus weekends or travel requirements that are occasionally required of online hybrid MBAs in other concentrations. The curricula are also provided in a flexible format so that students can determine their pace of learning and continue working while enrolled in school.
Featured Online MBA Programs in Healthcare Informatics
SNHU includes healthcare informatics in its MBA curriculum for budding healthcare administrators. The 80-year-old university offers an MBA in healthcare management that provides students with the skills they need to excel in the field, and incorporate informatics into daily decision-making and delivery of care. The online program is presented on a flexible schedule determined by students on an individual basis.
No GMAT or GRE scores are required for admission, and the university provides career counselors to help students navigate the program and find employment upon graduation. Coursework includes both case studies and specialized classes including social and organizational issues in healthcare and the management of information technology.
|Location: Manchester, New Hampshire|
|Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)|
|Tuition: $627 per credit|
|Program length: As little as 15 months|
Northeastern’s online MBA is ranked in the top ten online MBA programs in the country by The Financial Times. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business provides education for seasoned business professionals who have already reached an executive level in the field and are looking to further their career prospects. Applicants may choose from eight concentrations, including healthcare management, and should be prepared for a rigorous curriculum. Among the courses offered for healthcare management MBA candidates are strategic decision making for healthcare professionals and healthcare finance.
Students also have the option to participate in a domestic or international residency where they will learn about national and international business, economic influences, and cultural considerations. The school strongly weighs professional experience in the admissions process, and GMAT or GRE scores are not required.
|Location: Boston, Massachusetts|
|Accreditation: AACSB International, NEASC|
|Format: Online with optional residencies|
|Tuition: $1,560 per credit|
|Program length: Two years|
The University of Scranton offers an interdisciplinary online master’s in health informatics which was designed by three different schools—the Panuska School of Professional Studies, the Kania School of Management, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The 36-credit-hour degree is flexible, with no on-campus requirements, and students may take courses in eight-week terms offered six times a year, working at their own individualized pace. Course options include public policy for health informatics, hospital administration, and computer information technology for health professionals.
The GMAT is not required for students in this program, though the school does consider submitted scores as a possible boost to a candidate’s application. Even if a student does not have a business or healthcare background, the university offers onboarding modules so that students can be prepared to thrive in the master’s program.
|Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania|
|Accreditation: AACSB International|
|Tuition: $965 per credit|
|Program length: Two years|
This school offers an online MBA degree in health informatics, requiring seven four-credit core courses and three four-credit specialty healthcare-focused courses. The latter classes cover the principles of healthcare informatics, healthcare technology and systems, and knowledge management in healthcare. NEC’s program was created with part-time and full-time professionals in mind and is designed for students at various points in their career who are looking to develop leadership skills. GMAT and GRE test scores are not required for admission, though applicants must have maintained at least a 2.75 grade point average (GPA) during their undergraduate career.
|Location: Henniker, New Hampshire|
|Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), NEASC|
|Time to complete: Online|
|Tuition: $595 per credit|
|Program length: 20 months|
The online healthcare management MBA program at Western Governors University emphasizes employability after graduation as the school has close ties with alumni and employers as well as a Business Program Council led by experts and business leaders. WGU describes its program as a stepping stone for experienced healthcare professionals as they pursue executive-level leadership roles, at an affordable price. This online curriculum includes 11 courses total in a competency-based learning model so that students can set the pace that works best for them. Class topics cover accounting for decision makers and managing organizations and leading people.
|Location: Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)|
|Tuition: $3,190 per six-month term|
|Program length: Two to four years|
This school also touts the benefits of its online MBA in healthcare management in the growing need for health industry leaders. In addition to strong academics, Widener provides its students with workplace-readiness skills through professional workshops and guidance from leadership coaches. In addition to the core MBA courses, students in the healthcare management concentration will take health care policy, community health management, and developing management skills, for a total of 33 credits. MBA applicants should have maintained at least a 2.7 undergraduate GPA, and the GMAT is required, though waivers are available to candidates with relevant work experience. Additionally, students who do not have a business background may be required to take up to five foundational courses before beginning the program.
|Location: Chester, Pennsylvania|
|Accreditation: AACSB International|
|Tuition: $1,004 per credit|
|Program length: 18 to 24 months|
Professors to Know in Online MBA Programs in Healthcare Informatics
Christine Hudak, PhD Kent State University
Dr. Christine Hudak is director of the health informatics program at the Kent State School of Information. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Dr. Hudak is an active member of many international health informatics organizations and a regular speaker at industry conferences and workshops. She also peer-reviews several professional journals, such as the Journal of Professional Nursing, and her research interests include emerging technologies in the delivery of healthcare and consumer informatics. Dr. Hudak received her bachelor's from Case Western Reserve University and completed her master's in postsecondary education and her doctorate in urban education administration at Cleveland State University.
Jose Proenca, PhD Widener University
Dr. Jose Proenca is a professor and the associate dean at the Widener School of Business Administration. He previously worked in the pharmaceutical and hospital industries and teaches on a variety of topics, including courses called managing community health and developing management skills. Dr. Proenca’s research interests include human capital management and services issues in healthcare. His work has been published in numerous academic journals, and he has won Widener’s Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award several times over the course of his tenure. Dr. Proenca completed his doctoral degree in business and healthcare management at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Margarete Zalon, PhD The University of Scranton
Dr. Margarete Zalon is director of the graduate program of health informatics and a professor of nursing. Her areas of expertise include elderly care, and she has published her research in more than 65 scholarly and professional journals, including the Journal of Gerontological Nursing and the Journal of Nursing Scholarship. Dr. Zalon is co-editor of the book, Nurses Making Policy from Bedside to Boardroom, and is the recipient of the Duke University School of Nursing Distinguished Alumna Award. She has served on many distinguished boards, including those of the American Nurses Association and the American Nurses Federation Board of Trustees. Dr. Zalon earned her bachelor's degree at Duke University and her master's and doctorate from New York University.