Pharm.D./MS in Health Informatics Concurrent Degree
This concurrent degree program is intended to provide students enrolled in the Pharm.D. program with the expertise needed to integrate knowledge and skills in the delivery of pharmaceutical care with health informatics principles. The Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) degree, offered by the College of Health Professions, emphasizes training for those who seek to lead the design, implementation, and management of health informatics and health information systems such as electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine, and computerized physician order entry (CPOE). Students will also build expertise in health analytics.
Each degree program is completed independently. Pharm.D. students entering their second year are eligible to enroll in the part-time MSHI program. If students enrolled in the Pharm.D./MSHI program successfully complete 8 credit hours of MSHI coursework prior to their fourth-year rotations, they may have 8 Pharm.D. elective credit hours waived. To earn a MSHI, students will complete 36 credit hours over six semesters.
Why Health Informatics?
Health informatics is “the interdisciplinary field that studies and pursues the effective use of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem solving, and decision making, motivated by efforts to improve health.” Individuals trained in this field study the collection, organization, and application of information in health care and medical research.
There has been a natural progression in the field of pharmacy to include the use of health informatics. Using data and research garnered through health informatics practice has the potential to improve patient outcomes, make the use of pharmaceuticals safer, prevent drug interactions, and prevent handwriting errors. Health informatics provides additional tools and applications that can prepare those working in the field of pharmacy to lead change and develop best clinical practices.
MSHI Program Overview
The MSHI program is designed to ensure graduates are prepared to:
- Select, implement, use, and evaluate health care information systems such as electronic health records (EHRs), and data management and analytics systems;
- Lead organizational efforts in health informatics and IT;
- Apply data analytical skills to transform patient care and the care delivery process.
MUSC is equipped to provide students with firsthand experience in working with our clinical data warehouse and in conducting health informatics research. Our program is also closely aligned with MUSC medical center complex, where clinical and administrative information systems are widely deployed. Students may gain experience with EHR systems, telemedicine/telehealth, patient portals, mobile technologies, and health information exchange, while collaborating with expert clinicians and researchers in the field.
The 36-credit hour, six-semester program is offered in an executive format. Students complete majority of their coursework online and attend an on-campus session once each semester. Each semester, some of the courses will require face-to-face time, while others will be entirely web-based.
The program curriculum has an emphasis on data analytics and preparing graduates to mine large clinical databases and warehouses, and analyze clinical data for decision-making and research purposes. Students will take courses in database management, health care information systems, health care management, data mining and analytics, and complete a capstone or thesis project.
The Pharm.D./MSHI degree program is available to students who are currently enrolled in the Pharm.D. program at the MUSC College of Pharmacy. Admission requirements are as follows:
- Must be in good academic standing (GPA ³ 2.5) upon entry into the MSHI program (letter of support from the College of Pharmacy Associate Dean of Student Affairs). Letter is based on Fall P1 GPA. Acceptance is contingent on final P1 year grades (fall and spring).
- Currently enrolled in the Pharm.D. program at MUSC College of Pharmacy.
- Submit transcripts from undergraduate and completed Pharm.D. courses.
- Submit a brief personal statement (250-500 words).
- Applicants should have working knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, and databases.
- Pharmacy students must apply to the MSHI program by May 1 of their P1 year to ensure proper planning and advising.
- Complete online application.
Students interested in completing the MSHI program should apply for admission during the spring semester of the P1 year of the Pharm.D. course of study. To ensure proper planning and advising, seek assistance from the College of Pharmacy Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Assessment.
The MSHI program accepts new students each fall. Applications must be completed prior to May 1 to start in the fall semester. In addition to submission of the application, students will be required to submit transcripts from undergraduate and completed Pharm.D. courses.
Eligibility for admission is based on the applicant’s GPA, personal statement, interviews, and resume. One or more years of healthcare or IT work experience is preferred but not essential. Qualified candidates may be interviewed by the Admissions Committee and/or program director; the interviews will be held in person or via distance.
For more information about the MSHI program, contact Abby Swanson Kazley, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-792-0012.