The University of South Carolina has been granted approval by the state Commission on Higher Education to launch a new degree program in health information technology.
The master’s in health information technology degree program launched this fall as a joint program between the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management’s Integrated Information Technology Program (iIT) and the Arnold School of Public Health’s Health Services Policy and Management Department.
The program’s courses will be scheduled in the evenings, Saturdays, and online.
Enrollment in the health information technology classes is open to graduate students in other health programs as well as unclassified graduate students.
“This advanced program takes an integrative approach to preparing graduates with both health care and information technology expertise,” said Brian J. Mihalik, HRSM dean. “It fills a globally expanding need for producing highly qualified candidates entering the health information technology field, and by delivering this program jointly with the Arnold School of Public Health, it instantly puts USC on the national map for health information technology education.”
The program was established after the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act in 2009. The legislation provides incentives to the medical community to fulfill the federal government’s goal to change patient’s paper records to electronic documents by 2014.
Betty Regan, director of USC’s Integrated Information Technology Program, said a large majority of the fastest growing jobs today involve information technology, especially in the health care field.
“South Carolina has been aggressive in promoting health information technology and health information exchanges with health sciences organizations throughout the state,” Regan said. “With this new master’s in health-information technology program we will be able to prepare top professionals to lead this growing industry in South Carolina and beyond.”
Twenty-two of South Carolina’s 50 largest employers are health care companies. National labor statistics indicate that jobs in information technology will grow 45 percent by 2018; health care jobs are projected to grow by 4 million.
M. Mahmud Khan, chair of the Health Services Policy and Management Department in the Arnold School of Public Health, said, “The collaboration between the integrated information technology program of the College of HSRM and the health services policy and management department will help train hundreds of health information technology experts who will be at the forefront of using the technology for health sector development.”
Details about the master’s of health information technology degree program are available online at http://www.hrsm.sc.edu/iIT/graduate/mhit.html.