Integrated Health Systems certificate prepares graduates for roles in health IT

Integrated Health Systems certificate addresses local need for professionals in health care technology.

As the health care industry transitions to models of care that emphasize coordination across hospitals, insurance providers and the community, the need for professionals with competencies in both health care and information technology is on the rise.

It is predicted that there will be an increasing need at the local, state and national level for people trained to use technology to solve the growing communication issues the industry is currently facing.

The American Hospital Association Workforce 2015 report states health care jobs will increasingly move to non-hospital settings and that the demand for health care jobs will continue to escalate.

SUNY Oswego’s Integrated Health Systems (IHS) Post- Baccalaureate Advanced Certificate aims to train students and current professionals to design, implement and use integrated information technology (IT) systems in health care institutions.

“For those already working in health institutions, getting this graduate certificate gives students the opportunity for advancement in their workplace.”
Isabelle Bichindaritz, Professor
Health Information Systems

The certificate

The 15 credit post-baccalaureate advanced certificate offers courses online, on campus and at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in downtown Syracuse to accommodate students already working in the field.

The IHS certificate program is comprised of a curriculum of web design, data visualization, communication, social networks and user interface design.

The program offers flexibility by allowing students to choose elective courses based on their interests. Depending on course selection, students can study a variety of fields such as information systems, human computer interaction and communication methods.

“All of the different aspects are important right now,” Isabelle Bichindaritz, assistant professor and program director for the IHS program states. “It’s all about the sharing of information, but it does take advanced skills and knowledge.”

Students are prepared for the market that needs professionals who understand the psychological, cultural and social changes that come along with adopting new technology.

“For those already working in health institutions, getting this graduate certificate gives students the opportunity for advancement in their workplace,” Bichindaritz said.

Student success

The IHS program allows students to take their learning outside of the classroom through professional internship opportunities. SUNY Oswego’s strong relationships with leading medical agencies such as Welch Allyn, MedTech and Upstate Medical Center can also provide networking opportunities to students.

IHS student, Alison McGrath, took three years off between graduating with her bachelor’s in Business Administration from SUNY Oswego before returning to pursue the IHS graduate certificate.

“I found that it was hard for me to find a position with a focus and a career path.” McGrath said. “I wanted to get involved in health care, but not necessarily directly with patients everyday.”

Once enrolled in the IHS program, McGrath worked at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center and partnered with the Institute at Menorah Park for Applied Research on Aging (IMPARA) to examine the elderly population throughout Oswego and Onondaga counties. McGrath’s research focused on the large need to help elders with depression and anxiety, an area that is not studied often.

“The program expanded my knowledge within the healthcare market,” McGrath said. “It allowed me to narrow my focus from my business degree to a more specific field.”

The IHS program

Credits from the IHS program can potentially be applied to a Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction. SUNY Oswego also plans to offer a Master of Science in Biomedical Health Informatics in the near future.

The Integrated Health Systems Post-Baccalaureate Advanced Certificate accepts students on a rolling basis. Request more information on the program or contact the graduate office at gradstudies@oswego.edu.

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