University of Texas at Austin
McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

McCombs School Expands Healthcare Portfolio with Innovative Health Informatics and Health IT Program

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin is expanding its healthcare portfolio with the addition of the Health Informatics and Health IT (HIHIT) Program. Focused on education, innovation, and research, this new program brings strong public-private partnerships with more than 75 industry, healthcare, and government organizations.

“I am very happy to welcome this multidimensional program that integrates education, innovation, and research in health informatics and health IT,” said Jay Hartzell, dean of the McCombs School. “The professional education program complements and extends our existing health certificate programs with a business focus.”

A hallmark of the HIHIT program is a nationally recognized Professional Education Program designed to serve a rapidly growing segment of the healthcare community by providing post-baccalaureate students with unique, hands-on training in health informatics and health information technology. To date, this certificate program has educated more than 1,200 students. More importantly, however, 96 precent of program graduates seeking Health IT jobs have secured positions and are now working among 143 employers nationwide. 

Students learn the basics of healthcare policy, healthcare economics, value-based care, workflow and process redesign, project management, database fundamentals, interoperability and healthcare analytics. They also carry out research projects and gain real-world experience through a two-week practicum.

Graduates of the HIHIT Professional Education Program receive a certificate in “Health Informatics and Health IT” from UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business and are eligible to sit for exams offered by four external credentialing organizations, including the Certified Associate in Project Management from the Project Management Institute.

“Participants in this certificate program find themselves at the intersection of two very high demand areas: healthcare and IT,” said Gaylen Paulson, associate dean and executive director, Texas Executive Education Programs. “This unique curriculum uses hands-on training with current technologies to equip students with the tools and knowledge they need to make immediate and significant contributions in the healthcare industry.” 

In addition to the professional education program, faculty in the HIHIT Program engage in innovation and research in a state-of-the-art clinic that models the healthcare continuum of care and allows for analysis of workflow processes and prototyping of new technologies.  Research and innovation projects have included a recent partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to analyze their healthcare data to understand the causal factors of opioid addiction in Texas, the development of a simulated, teaching electronic health record for the Dell Medical School curriculum in collaboration with Dell Med faculty and the creation of innovative healthcare apps using the latest Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards. 

The HIHIT Professional Education Program is offered in three locations:  UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and the newest addition, the U.S. Army Garrison at Ft. Hood.  The program recently became a Ft. Hood Army Career Skills Development Program to deliver health informatics and health IT education to college-educated soldiers via distance education, with the goal of preparing them for civilian careers in Health IT. 
 
More information about the HIHIT Program is available here.