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Spotlight: Where an MBA Meets Science & Technology

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Spotlight: Where an MBA Meets Science & Technology

Date Published:
Friday, January 13, 2012

The worlds of health care, computing technology and business are merging fast, and UNC Charlotte’s new Professional Science Master’s degree in health informatics is where they converge.

It’s another example of how UNC Charlotte strives to prepare students for future success.

In its continued effort to develop talent for the 21st Century needs of business and industry, UNC Charlotte will begin offering a Professional Science Master’s degree in Health Informatics.

The groundbreaking curriculum, developed by the College of Computing and Informatics and the College of Health and Human Services, was designed to meet the demand for innovative professionals, who are needed to address escalating challenges facing the healthcare industry.

"Electronic medical records are coming," said Larry Mays, chairman of the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics. "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 calls for $19 billion in expenditures to help with the computerization of health records by 2014."

The worlds of health care, computing technology and business are merging fast, and UNC Charlotte’s new Professional Science Master’s degree in health informatics is where they converge.

Mays said the latest projections call for 200,000 newly trained health informatics support specialists, 6,000 in North Carolina alone, to make this happen. UNC Charlotte has positioned itself as the leader in preparing students for what will be one of the most important and sought after positions in the healthcare community.

What sets this new degree apart from a traditional master’s program is that it is interdisciplinary in its approach and the equivalent of an M.B.A. for science and technology. Not only does it integrate the sciences of health and informatics, but also the business soft skills health care industry leaders are requesting, including project management, communications skills and teamwork.

This, combined with a "real-world" capstone project that puts students in the labs and in the workplace working directly with industry leaders, will result in a more well-rounded graduate and position him or her to step right in and improve the quality of health care, reduce medial errors, reduce costs, and transform healthcare as we know it in the Charlotte region and beyond.