University of Texas at Austin
UT Health Info Technology Certificate

HIHIT Professional Certificate Program

McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

Our Program

Health Informatics and Information Technology (HIHIT) is a national priority and among the fastest growing occupations within healthcare. The HIHIT Professional Education Program is a nationally-recognized program that offers certification in this quickly expanding field. Since 2010, this certificate program has educated more than 1,300 students with greater than 90 percent of program graduates seeking health IT jobs now working with 143 employers nationwide. New educational programming in healthcare cybersecurity and privacy is actively under development.

The Health Informatics & Health Information Technology Certificate is a 9-week classroom-based program.  The certification program is designed to prepare post-baccalaureate students for a variety of careers in Health IT.  Students will gain knowledge in four didactic courses and receive hands-on training with five electronic health record software systems.  More detailed information about the courses can be found below. 

You will have the opportunity for hands-on learning with current electronic health record software systems, utilize a working health information exchange (HIE), and learn to analyze and visualize healthcare data using SQL and Tableau in a technology-rich facility that includes a classroom and mock clinic modeling the healthcare continuum of care.

You will carry out a research project and gain real-world experience through a two-week practicum, and receive professional development assistance and job search support. 

As part of this program, you will study: 

  • health informatics and healthcare analytics
  • health IT
  • project management
  • process redesign and quality improvement
  • healthcare policy
  • revenue cycle management
  • population health
  • value-based care
  • interoperability

This program is a full-time commitment and is not available part-time or online. Students are prohibited from working during the nine-week period, which takes place Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 4:30pm in the McCombs School of Business (GSB 5.142) and at two, real-time distance education sites: UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) and at The Army Garrison at Ft. Hood (for transitioning soldiers).

Graduates of this program will receive a certificate in Health Informatics and Health IT from the McCombs School of Business. They are eligible for and prepared to sit for four external certifications upon graduation:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Institute 
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), National Association of Healthcare Quality
  • Six Sigma Yellow or Green Belt, International Association of Six Sigma Certification
  • Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR), Healthcare Financial Management Association

Apply now

Who should apply:

  • You have a bachelor's degree in any discipline from any 4-year university.
  • You have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 or greater
  • You have good communication and social skills
  • You are highly motivated
  • You are seeking an exciting career in the Health Informatics and Health IT field

The Spring 2019 Application is now open.

  • The certificate program is 9 weeks long and starts on January 14, 2019
  • Classes meet, generally, from 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday
  • Tuition for the program is $7,900;  UT Austin graduates receive a $500 discount
  • Check out our FAQs below for more detailed information 

Apply Now

Join us at our upcoming information sessions in room GSB 5.139!

  • Wednesday, November 14 from 12:00-1:00pm
  • Thursday, November 15 from 2:00-3:00pm

If you have questions, please email hihit@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Testimonials

David Kolacny Headshot

The Perfect Place

David Kolacny, Summer 2015

Systems Analyst, Texas Children's Hospital

Femi Image

A Change of Plans

Femi Komolafe, Summer 2015

Associate, The Advisory Board Company

Khan Mohammad Headshot

Open Your Options

Khan Mohammad, Summer 2016

IT Project Manager, Caravan Health

Health Informatics & Health IT Program Details and FAQs

Courses

Courses

Introduction to Health Informatics and Healthcare Analytics

This course consists of didactic lectures about the theoretical foundations of health informatics, database theory and management, healthcare standards, medical decision making, and healthcare analytics. In addition, pairs of students will carry out a research project over a 6-8 week period under the guidance of a faculty member. Poster teams summarize their findings in a professional poster, which is presented in the HIHIT Poster Forum. 

Fundamentals of Health Information Technology

Topics in this course include healthcare policy (e.g. ARRA, Meaningful Use, HIPAA privacy and security), current technologies (telemedicine, hospital information systems, and computer and networking technologies), and health information exchange. 

Project Management, Process Redesign, and Quality Improvement

This course explores the tools and techniques used to perform an analysis of workflow processes and to evaluate the impact of technology to improve these processes. Also discussed are the basics of project management (including RFPs, scope, project planning, budgets, and deliverables), and quality improvement, including tools to improve quality.

Operational Models of Healthcare Systems

The lectures presented in this course describe the complex U.S. health care system and explain the way in which healthcare is delivered along a continuum of care.  The course integrates new health policy as related to current and impending changes to health care delivery along the continuum.  A special emphasis is placed on the operational delivery of ambulatory care and the manner in which acute care facilitates are evolving. Topics include a comparison of the US health care system to health care delivery in other countries, population health and health care finance/insurance - including discussion on public (Medicare and Medicaid) and private (Managed Care) coverage. Descriptions of current and emerging payment mechanisms, revenue cycle management, risk management, overhead reduction and practice management are covered in detail to allow students a robust understanding of business issues associated with health care delivery. 

Technology Competencies in Health Informatics and Health IT

This hands-on course, team-taught by program faculty and staff with support from vendor partners, gives students exposure to multiple Health Informatics and Health IT systems as well as key analytics tools. Live vendor demonstrations of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems will be presented on most Fridays, followed by hands-on exercises based on fictitious clinical scenarios using fictitious test patients. Over the course of the first six weeks, students will be exposed to four ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) systems and one inpatient EHR system, including interoperability exercises involving sending and receiving electronic laboratory results, sending immunization data to a mock state immunization registry, and sending continuity of care documents to a health information exchange (HIE) system. In addition, students will perform a public health-rated exercise using a disease surveillance registry.

Introduction to Health Informatics

Development of competencies in the use and management of electronic health record systems.

Practicum and Professional Development in Health Informatics and Health IT

This course consists of 1) a 10-day practicum that allows students to gain experience working in a variety of organizational settings, including large healthcare organizations, vendors, government, and others, and 2) professional development activities and assignments.  

Program Schedule

Here's a break-down of the Health Informatics and Health IT certificate program.

Program Schedule graphic weeks 1-9

 

FAQ

FAQ

You may find the answer to your question here! If you still have questions about the program, email hihit@austin.utexas.edu.

What are the requirements for admission/acceptance into the program?

You will need to:

  • Have a bachelor's degree from a 4-year university 
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher

What if I hold a degree from outside of the U.S.?
Individuals who have completed university coursework at an institution outside of the United States or who received a degree from a university outside the United States, must have their transcript evaluated for U.S. degree and GPA equivalence. (This is not required for study abroad or other short-term study abroad courses.) To have your foreign transcript evaluated, we recommend that you utilize a company within the National Association of Transcript Evaluators (NACES): http://www.naces.org/members.html. Please have the evaluation mailed to Health Informatics and Health IT Program, McCombs School of Business, 2110 Speedway, GSB Building, Room 5.136, Mail Stop B6000, Austin TX 78712.

Do I have to apply to the program?
Yes. Apply using the online form. Applications for Spring 2019 are now open. Selected applicants will move on to the second part of the application process, either in-person or via Skype.

How do I apply?
You can apply online via the button on our home page.

What are the admissions procedures for the program?
All program applicants must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree in any major. Applicants must provide a resume and official transcript at the time they submit the online application. Once they have submitted the application, applicants will be required to complete a brief writing prompt via "ClassMarker" following the interview.

Do I need to be eligible to work in the U.S. to participate in this program?
No, this is not a requirement. However, the main goal of the program is to rapidly train and place graduates into Health IT jobs. For more information about employment for non-US citizens, please contact the UT International Office at (512) 471-1211 or visit https://world.utexas.edu/.

How long is the program?
The certificate program is 9 weeks long. It includes six courses and approximately 225 hours of didactic and hands-on learning along with 80 hours of practicum experience.

When and where do classes meet?
Classes meet from 8:00am - 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Classes will be held at the McCombs School of Business (GSB 5.142) on the UT campus. The facility includes classrooms, a mock physician clinic to simulate the flow of information along the continuum of care (ambulance, emergency room, hospital, physician clinic, and home health) and a computer learning lab where students have access to multiple electronic health record products. We have a partnership with UT Southwestern Medical Center campus in Dallas, Texas, where a small number of students (8) take the program via real-time distance education technology.

In January 2018, we opened a second distance learning site at the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Participation at Ft. Hood is limited to transitioning soldiers who have been accepted into the program via the usual application process, and who have permission from their unit commander to participate in the HIHIT program, an official Army Career Skills Development program. We welcome the participation by veterans from all branches of the service at our Austin location.

Will I get college credit for this program?
All graduates of the HIHIT program will receive a certificate in Health Informatics and Health Information Technology from the McCombs School of Business. Beginning in Summer 2019, students will have the option to receive college credit from The University of Texas at Austin for the courses completed in the HIHIT program, but there will be an extra charge for generating an official university transcript. Those admitted into the program will receive additional information about this opportunity from the admissions team.

How much does the program cost?
The cost of the 9-week program is $7,900, and UT Austin graduates receive a $500 discount.  Students are also responsible for the completion of a third-party criminal background check, drug screen, and immunization certification. Immunizations and a current TB skin test are required in order for students to visit clinical sites during the program. If you are not up-to-date on the required immunizations, there may be an expense associated with bringing them up-to-date. The books in the program are an optional expense. Together, incidental costs should not exceed $65-$300.

Can I participate in the program if I'm unable to pass a background check?
No. Passing a third-party background check is a requirement for participation in our program and will also be a requirement for employers who might want to interview and hire you for a job.  

When do I have to pay for the program?
The tuition is due the Friday before classes start, unless you have already established a payment plan with us.

What is the program's refund policy?
The $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place in the program once you have been admitted. After the first day the program begins, there are no refunds should a student withdraw for any reason.

Does this program provide tax forms?
We are not able to provide tax forms. Most students use their tuition payment receipt to file with their taxes.

When is the program offered?
The program is offered three times a year with start dates in early January, June, and September.

How was the HIHIT curriculum developed?
The HIHIT program was developed with the guidance of industry and healthcare experts. The director and the faculty who teach in the program are in constant contact with the organizations who hire our graduates to make sure that the curriculum is kept current and reflects the skills and competencies our students need to be job-ready when they graduate. 

What is the practicum?
The practicum is a 10-day mini internship (full time Monday - Friday for two weeks) that provides students with an opportunity to work beside professionals who are currently employing Health IT in their work. Our practicum host partners include EHR vendors, policy development organizations, health information exchanges, regional extension centers, hospitals, and physician clinics. Our practicum hosts are located in Austin, across Texas, as well as out of state. We match students with practicum experiences based on their interests, geographical preference, and academic performance. While students do not choose their practicum hosts, we will work with you to ensure you have a practicum experience that suits your interests and abilities. Our graduates report that the practicum was one of the most meaningful components of the entire program.

Can I work evenings or take evening courses while enrolled?
No. The Health Informatics and Health IT Professional Education Program is an intensive learning experience with group projects outside readings, exams, and presentations. We strongly discourage participants from trying to work or take other college-level courses while completing this program.

What is the average salary of your graduates that have taken a job in Health IT?
The average starting salary for our program graduates is approximately $52,000. Those with advanced degrees or other credentials (i.e. M.D., R.N.) can expect to be offered higher salaries.

How can I learn more?
If you have additional questions about the application process or other program details, please contact us by email or phone. For admissions questions, please contact Ms. Nina Duong, Admissions Coordinator at hihit@austin.utexas.edu. For other questions, contact Dr. Leanne Field, Director, at field@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Career Services

Career Services

Greater than 90% of our certificate graduates seeking a job in Health IT are employed within one year, most within a few months of graduation.

We provide students with career resources including:

  • Workshops on resumes and cover letters
  • Informational interviewing
  • Job interview prep
  • Networking events with employers
  • Employers offer on-campus interviews during the final week

Many Health IT jobs require travel and/or relocation, so flexibility to accept a job outside of Austin or outside of Texas will optimize your career opportunities. We will continue to support you in your job search until you land your first Health IT job and launch your career. 

Examples of positions offered to HIHIT certificate graduates:

  • Consultant 
  • Implementation Specialist
  • Project Manager / Project Coordinator
  • EHR Software Trainer
  • EHR Application Analyst
  • EHR Sales
  • Healthcare Policy Analyst

Learn More