This program is no longer accepting new student applications.
Medical informatics, also known as health information technology or health IT, is experiencing a period of rapid growth fueled by the federal government’s push for universal adoption of electronic health records. The health IT minor teaches students with a computing background how to develop and maintain software systems in the health care field. One year of object-oriented programming and an introductory database course are required prerequisites. Five required courses give students the skills they need to design and develop computing systems for the health care environment.
Notes about this minor:
Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Notations may appear in the curriculum chart below outlining pre-requisites, co-requisites, and other curriculum requirements (see footnotes).
Computer Problem Solving: Information Domain I*
A first course in using the object-oriented approach to solve problems in the information domain. Students will learn to design software solutions using the object-oriented approach, to visually model systems using UML, to implement software solutions using a contemporary programming language, and to test these software solutions. Additional topics include thinking in object-oriented terms, and problem definition. Programming projects will be required.
Computer Problem Solving: Information Domain II*
A second course in using the object-oriented approach to solving problems in the information domain. Students will learn: basic design principles and guidelines for developing graphical user interfaces, and use of the Event Model to implement graphical interfaces; algorithms for processing data structures; multithreading concepts and use of the Multithreading Model to design and implement advanced processing methods. Additional topics include the relational model of information organization, and the Client-Server model. Individual implementation projects are required. A team implementation exercise is used to provide students an opportunity to apply basic software development and project management practices in the context of a medium-scale project.
Introduction to Database and Data Modeling
A presentation of the fundamental concepts and theories used in organizing and structuring data. Coverage includes the data modeling process, basic relational model, normalization theory, relational algebra, and mapping a data model into a database schema. Structured Query Language is used to illustrate the translation of a data model to physical data organization. Modeling and programming assignments will be required. Note: students should have one course in object-oriented programming.
Database Connectivity and Access
In this course, students will build applications that interact with databases. Through programming exercises, students will work with multiple databases and programmatically invoke the advanced database processing operations that are integral to contemporary computing applications. Topics include the database drivers, the data layer, connectivity operations, security and integrity, and controlling database access.
Computers in Medicine
This course begins with a historical perspective on computing in medicine. It reviews software and hardware from supercomputers to mobile devices, and surveys their use in medical practice, research, and education. Next it studies the nature of medical data, its collection, organization and use. This sets the stage for the major part of the course which studies important applications of computing to medicine, including Hospital Information Systems (HIS), medical imaging, surgery, telemedicine, and pharmacy.
Medical Database Architectures
This course, designed for BS students with a major or concentration in medical informatics, will provide an in-depth exposure to the design, development, and use of medical databases. Topics may include existing medical databases, flat-file and relational databases, medical data formats, database design and implementation, both relational and object-relational databases, database applications, JDBC, ODBC, SQL, ad hoc queries, desktop and web-based user interfaces, and database administration topics.
The Electronic Health Record
This course provides an introduction and hands-on practice in both the use and development of electronic health records. Students address issues related to the acquisition, storage, and use of information in computer-based health records including the various types of information used in clinical care: text, structured data, images, audio, video, etc. Other topics covered include: clinical vocabularies (existing schemes and their limitations); how clinical information is generated and utilized; methods of information storage and retrieval; and the legal, social and regulatory problems associated with electronic health records such as security and confidentiality. Programming assignments will be required.
Medical Application Integration
This course will provide students with an understanding of application integration in healthcare. Java programming assignments will be required. Students will also learn medical business processes and how they impact data integration within a hospital. Middleware message brokers will be examined along with the use of the HL7 messaging standard. Web services and other forms of data integration will be studied.
* Students may fulfill this prerequisite with one year of computer programming in an object-oriented programming language.