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Clinical and Health Informatics

Through the application of informatics and information technology solutions, our students are helping clinicians and healthcare providers improve the lives of patients around the globe. Topics include Clinical Decision Support, EHR Usability and Workflow, Human Factors Engineering, Visualization, Population and Public Health, Patient Safety, Telemedicine, Social Media, Mobile and Connected Health, and Health Service Research.

Students can pursue an education in Clinical and Health Informatics under the following academic programs: Graduate Certificate, Master of Science (MS), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and Doctorate of Health Informatics (DHI).


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SELECTED COURSES IN CLINICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATICS

In addition to a core set of foundational courses for all concentrations, the following are selected courses focusing on Clinical and Health Informatics.

Course Description:
This course will present a survey of the modern American health care system. The course will focus on the major pieces of legislation that serve as the foundation of the current U.S. health care structures. Topics in the course will include Medicare, Medicaid, and HIPAA, their impacts on financing, health care access and professional roles. The course will integrate current legislative actions, public concerns, implications, and discussions surrounding health care reform.

Course Description:
The course covers human factors topics with focus on healthcare. The topics include basics of human computer interactions, design and evaluation of healthcare interfaces, and role of usability in patient safety. The students will evaluate design of healthcare systems, including EHR modules, health information display (dashboards, health education material), social networks for health, mobile health (apps, sensors, wearables, and devices) and medical devices. The students will also develop functioning prototypes for healthcare design solutions.

Course Description:
This course will address security issues as they impact health information systems. Physical security of the hardware and software including redundancy, back up and restricted access will be discussed. Security and appropriateness of access will be addressed in terms of both hardware and software solutions. Data integrity, audit ability and system integrity will be considered along with the unique problems, such as the hacking of implantable devices, wired, wireless, and cellular networks, as well as the challenges of personally owned devices. Solutions to these concerns will be discussed in terms of industry standards, those that already exist, and those that are still evolving (i.e. Blockchain). Hands on experience with Splunk, a network security monitoring program. Features and functionality of Splunk include search, reporting, and analytics using machine data.

Course Description:
This course is designed to provide informatics students with an overview of the key concepts regarding implementation of a clinically-oriented information system (e.g., an electronic medical record, computer-based provider order entry). The course will examine how health data are collected, how they are used and the impact of electronic records on the health data. The course will review standards, standards development, languages used, usability and issues related to information processing in health care. The course will review the impact of electronic records and patient portals on health and health care including, legal, financial, and clinical design issues. Challenges encountered during training and go-live will be discussed. Students will receive hands-on experience with an electronic health record in the training environment.

Course Description:
Unlike much of the world, American health care standards are frequently developed by private organizations rather than the government. The Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) create an alphabet soup of organizations that are often not well known to people within health care, let alone those just entering the field. This course will explore the history of a variety of SDOs, examining their membership and focus domain. Students will examine the role of the major SDOs and their impact on the structure and function of health care delivery in the United States. The relationship between U.S. and international standards organizations will be reviewed.

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to both systems analysis and project management. The student will have the opportunity to learn more about the approaches and tools available for systems analysis. Additionally, the student will learn more about the roles, responsibilities, and duties of a project manager. Moreover, the student will learn project management methods and the core activities of a project manager as well as the tools and techniques required to ensure the success of a large health care information technology project such as the implementation of a system or the evaluation of an existing system. Specific emphasis will be on training and support during go-live, total costing of projects, and explicit change management techniques.

Course Description:
This course is designed to provide an overview of decision support systems in health care, with a particular emphasis on design, evaluation and application of clinical decision support systems (CDSS) across all health care settings – in-patient, ambulatory care, long-term care, pharmacy, etc. The course explores the background and features of CDSS. Students will understand the mathematical foundations of knowledge-based systems, learn to identify areas which might benefit from a decision support system, evaluate the challenges surrounding development and implementation and consider issues of CDSS appropriateness and usability. The course also includes a detailed discussion of issues in clinical vocabularies and other important issues in the development and use of CDSS, and provides guidance on the use of decision support tools for patients. Students will have hands-on experience with EHR CDSS modification.

Course Description:
This course provides foundational knowledge relevant to Public Health Informatics (PHI), and exposes students to emerging research and application areas in this field. Topics covered include: public health registries and databases, surveillance systems, data exchange and standards, interoperability issues, the role of informatics in health promotion, use of web 2.0 informatics tools to understand behavior change, public health communication and dissemination, public health policy, and project management.

Course Description:
The course will provide an overview of telehealth in the context of the general health care system. It will survey the application of telehealth in various medical specialties and different settings, e.g., rural, military/aerospace and corrections. The course will identify key issues in implementing and operating a telehealth program, including technology, economics, law/ethics, training, protocol development, and evaluation.


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FACULTY


Elmer Bernstam, MD, MSE
Elmer Bernstam, MD, MSE

Professor

Research Areas: Information Retrieval, Consumer Informatics, Clinical Decision Support

Juliana Brixey, PhD, MPH, RN
Juliana Brixey, PhD, MPH, RN

Associate Professor

Research Areas: Patient safety, Interruptions in workflow, Social media in distance education

Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, PhD
Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Healthcare management, Health policy, Health information exchange

Susan Fenton, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA
Susan Fenton, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA

Associate Professor

Research Areas: Workforce development, Data management, ICD-10 implementation

Amy Franklin, PhD
Amy Franklin, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Areas: Psycho-linguistics, Conversational negotiation, Reduction of medical errors

Lex Frieden, MA, LLD (hon)
Lex Frieden, MA, LLD (hon)

Professor

Research Areas: Disability informatics, Health care access and costs, Rehabilitation technology and robotics

Yang Gong, MD, PhD
Yang Gong, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Areas: Clinical informatics, Medical incident reporting, Patient safety

Jonathan Ishee, JD, MPH, MS, LLM
Jonathan Ishee, JD, MPH, MS, LLM

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Health policy, Patient safety, Health information exchange

Constance Johnson, PhD, MS, RN, FAAN
Constance Johnson, PhD, MS, RN, FAAN

Professor

Research Areas: Human-computer interaction, Consumer Health Informatics, Games for Health

Todd Johnson, PhD
Todd Johnson, PhD

Professor

Research Areas: Medical device usability and safety, Patient safety & quality, Human factors engineering

Peter Killoran, MS, MD
Peter Killoran, MS, MD

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Health IT and clinical decision making, Integrating techniques into EMRS, Anesthesia emergency room data

James Langabeer, II, PhD, MBA
James Langabeer, II, PhD, MBA

Professor

Research Areas: Clinical systems of care, Cardiovascular quality and analytics, Health information exchange

Robert E. Murphy, MD
Robert E. Murphy, MD

Associate Professor

Research Areas: Clinical decision support, Physician health IT adoption, Clinical system implementations

Sahiti Myneni, PhD, MSE
Sahiti Myneni, PhD, MSE

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Consumer informatics, Health-related social media analytics, Data-driven digital health technologies

Deevakar Rogith, MBBS, PhD
Deevakar Rogith, MBBS, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Healthcare Interface Design, Patient Safety, Clinical Informatics

Angela Ross, DNP, MPH, PMP, PHCNS-BC
Angela Ross, DNP, MPH, PMP, PHCNS-BC

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Performance improvement, Project management and evaluation, System implementation

Debora Simmons, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN
Debora Simmons, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Safety, Quality, Clinical Effectiveness

Dean Sittig, PhD
Dean Sittig, PhD

Professor

Research Areas: Clinical information systems, Design of new features and functions, Evaluations and monitoring

Kimberly A. Smith, PhD, MT(ASCP)
Kimberly A. Smith, PhD, MT(ASCP)

Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Veterinary informatics, Workforce development, Laboratory and pathology informatics

Jiajie Zhang, PhD
Jiajie Zhang, PhD

Professor

Research Areas: Biomedical informatics, Human-centered computing, Medical errors

Career Outlook

We crunched the numbers and they don't lie.

Career Outcomes for Clinical Informatics and Health Informatics
  Average Salary   Average Salary Range
Houston $121,910 $73,855 - $200,729
Texas $123,721 $51,204 - $196,641
Nationwide $127,427 $70,315 - $200,000
Positions
  • Chief Medical Information Officer
  • Electronic Medical Record Keeper
  • Health Informatics Consultant
  • Health Informatics Director
  • Healthcare IT Project Manager
  • Nursing Informatics Specialist
  • Clinical Analyst
  • Clinical Informaticist
  • Clinical informatics Manager
  • Clinical Informatics Nurse