The University of San Francisco: School of Nursing

Earn Your Master's Degree

Health Informatics

Program Available Online or San Francisco Campus

With a Masters in Health Informatics from USF, you'll be empowered to:

  • Lead the development and advancement of emerging information technologies to improve healthcare delivery, access, and cost.
  • Build or join innovative start-ups using information technology to create new health applications.
  • Contribute technology expertise to help global health organizations meet critical world needs.
  • Participate in the development, implementation, evaluation and management of information technology solutions to improve patient care and the healthcare delivery process.
  • Enable healthcare providers and policy makers to employ data analytics to  continuously improve the quality and safety of programs
  • Gain real-world experience while working on projects with leading healthcare organizations locally and globally

New Scholarship
Fall 2015 students, please contact us for specifics.

What is Health Informatics?

Health Informatics Graphic

Health Informatics is a dynamic field that seeks to harness the latest information technologies, including mobile devices, social media and data analytics and bring them to bear on all aspects of local and global healthcare systems.

Increasing costs, concerns about quality and safety, and the need for improved access by under served populations are critical concerns in healthcare today. Many clinical medical record and billing systems were designed decades ago and have not kept pace with rapidly advancing technology.

The Health Informatics program at the University of San Francisco leverages its enviable location in the heart of the computer revolution to remain at the cutting edge. Students with technical backgrounds will gain thorough knowledge of clinical culture and needs, such as health data security and policy issues. Healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs and managers will receive focused training in information technologies, including analytic and designing mobile apps, to lead technical teams in this fast moving field. Through projects, all students will gain real world experience with leading digital health companies, innovative healthcare providers or global health organizations and ministries of health. Graduates are prepared to become world class innovators and leaders for the 21st century digital health revolution.

Sample Courses

Health Data Analysis and Outcomes

Orientation to qualitative and quantitative research design with an emphasis on evidence-based practice. Exploration of quantitative data analysis techniques for small, medium and large data sets and contextual interpretation of results.

Healthcare Information Project Management

Principles and concepts of project management with a focus on the knowledge areas and process groups defined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Concepts covered include process groups from initiation through closure; techniques for estimating and reporting; management of risk, quality, resources, and communications; earned value analysis; agile and extreme methods.

Healthcare Informatics Organization, Management & Leadership
  • Establish and promote health information as a key strategic resource and mission tool.
  • Analyze how human resources (such as retention and recruitment planning, skills assessment, mentoring, team management, organizational structure) impact healthcare informatics.
  • Evaluate how physical assets including technology, hardware, and space for information systems planning affect outcomes.
  • Critique contingency plans for information management functions including decentralized, across disciplines, across delivery systems.
  • Apply concepts of change management theories, techniques and leadership.
  • Enable decision-makers to use data.
  • Master effective negotiation and influence skills.
  • Develop and exercise a personal leadership style using contemporary theory and principles.
  • Perform cost/benefit analysis for resource planning and allocation (such as outsourcing, acquisition).
  • Assess systems capabilities to meet regulatory requirements (such as electronic signatures, data correction, audit logs).

Industry Trends

  • Digital Health startups raised over $1.4B in venture funding in 2012, up 46% from 2011 (Rock Health, 2013)
  • McKinsey project opportunities in global Health to be $60 billion
  • The number of health IT jobs in the US is expected to increase by 20 percent from 2008 to 2018 (HHS, 2012)
  • The U.S. health IT market is forecast to grow at around 24% from 2012 to 2014 (RNCOS, 2011)
  • Mobile Healthcare and medical App downloads will reach 44 million in 2012, rising to 142 Million in 2016 (-Juniper 2012)
  • The number of hospitals using health information technology has more than doubled in the last two years (-HHS, 2012)

“The impact technology can have in healthcare is profound and transformative. More open access to quality data increases our understanding of how diseases develop and spread. Linking data – to industry and research as well as to patients, service users and the public – gives us insight into the whole patient journey, not just isolated episodes of care. Sharing experiences through social channels equips people with information to help them to get the right support or care.”
- UK Department of Health, Digital Strategy, December 2012

“We need to find a way to use every clinical visit to advance medical science. That will require better use of health data”.
- Dr. Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School, in his TEDMED talk in Washington, D.C., April 2013

Nurse and patient interacting
San Francisco downtown panorama
Doctor checking an x-ray
Nurse with a tablet
Nursing students writing
Sister Angela and preNurse intern treat sick child
Nurse pointing at chart on computer

USF is not currently accepting applications from online students who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Additionally, USF is not currently accepting applications for online students for the MSN and DNP online programs who reside in Rhode Island and Tennessee. Note, however, that residents in these states may apply for enrollment in any USF courses or programs offered at any campus location.