Beginning in Fall 2010, Catholic University of America began offering a Master of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Health Information Technology (MSIT-HIT) to prepare working adults for leadership in this growing field. The degree is offered by Library and Information Science, as a result of a partnership with the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies and the School of Nursing. This degree provides those who earn it with the skills necessary to develop and manage the information systems that support patient care and research and thereby play an important role in a number of healthcare settings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment growth in the health information technology area is projected to increase by 20 percent through 2018 (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition). As the population continues to age, health-related problems are likely to increase, more tests and procedures will be performed, and more data and records will need to be managed. In addition, the need to reduce rising healthcare costs and provide affordable and better health care to Americans has intensified interest in using information technology to support physicians, nurses, allied health care professionals, and patients.
HIT professionals play an important role in a number of healthcare settings. Their responsibilities include:
implementing and managing systems for the management of electronic medical records and patient health records,
designing and developing collaborative tools and systems to support clinical decision making and research,
safeguarding the security of patient records in compliance with privacy laws and addressing ethical issues related to the sharing of medical data and patient data,
developing standards for the exchange and interoperability of medical data,
promoting meaningful use of medical records and data,
selecting and implementing health information systems to provide affordable quality healthcare
The program requires 12 three-credit graduate courses (36 credits), including a 3-credit Capstone Research Project. The degree requirements can be completed in two years of part-time study, following the approved course sequence. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 both overall and on the final project completed as part of the capstone research project.
Students typically progress through the program as a cohort, in the following sequence:
HIT 573 Information Systems in Health Care (3 cr.) HIT 871 Health Informatics(3 cr.) HIT 577 E-Health (3 cr.) HIT 673 Health Information Technology: Security and Data Exchange (3 cr.) HIT 771 Health Care Policy, Organization, and Financing (3 cr.) HIT 677 Electronic Medical Records (3 cr.)
HIT 675 Health Project Management (3 cr.) HIT 772 Database Management (3 cr.) HIT 873 Human Computer Interaction (3 cr.) HIT 679 Enterprise Architecture (3 cr.) HIT 773 System Analysis & Design (3 cr.) HIT 878 Capstone Research Project (3 cr.)
Since much of the course content will be delivered online, it will be expected that students have daily access to computer and high speed Internet connection.
Courses will be offered in a mix of evening face-to-face meetings and online learning. Students will advance through the program as a “cohort” – meaning each group accepted into the program will progress through it as a group taking all their classes together.