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Certificate Program in Health Informatics

As information technology becomes more integral to health care, the demand for health professionals who can fully utilize and add value to clinical and public health data is growing. Explore the emerging health informatics fields and how the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of health data plays a critical role in enhancing the quality of care, reducing the costs of delivery and addressing population health issues.

In this fully online, interactive program, you'll learn core concepts and technologies related to the design, integration, implementation and evaluation of clinical information systems. And, you'll engage with expert faculty and peers representing a variety of professional roles and settings—from physicians and nurses to CIOs and systems analysts.

A partnership between UC Davis Extension and the UC Davis Health Informatics Program, this 19-unit certificate complements the university's graduate program by providing a meaningful option for working professionals who desire an applied program of study and want to get up to speed quickly. Benefit from UC Davis faculty expertise in medicine, nursing, public health and computer engineering, while gaining practical knowledge you can put to work immediately.

Gain practical knowledge that matters

  • Develop your knowledge of clinical data standards, terminological systems, interoperability and data exchange, data security and privacy.
  • Understand clinical workflows, medical decision making, and the application of decision support as a supplement to clinical judgment.
  • Acquire hands-on practice conceptualizing data models, workflows and decision support tools through guided projects and assignments.
  • Gain insights into the change management principles necessary for successful technology adoption at the organizational and systems levels.
  • Learn best practices in project management and their application to health information technology initiatives.

Engage with professionals like you

A big part of your learning experience is the interaction with faculty and professional peers. This program is designed for professionals with prior experience in a health-related setting, such as nurses, physicians, pharmacists, laboratory directors, health program managers/analysts, chief information officers, clinical systems analysts and technical systems managers. Collaborate online with an interprofessional group of peers who bring rich experiences and a strong motivation to learn.

Program requirements

The Health Informatics certificate is earned upon the successful completion of six courses (four required and two elective) with at least a "B" average in program coursework. Applying coursework toward a certificate also requires a grade of "C" or better in each course. You must submit an application and pay the nonrefundable application fee. Applications are due prior to enrolling in the third course of the program.

Once you complete the last course in the program, please submit a Notice of Completion. This action prompts our offices to review your file and take the necessary steps to get your certificate mailed in a timely manner.

Learn when and where you want

Courses are offered online and utilize audio, visual and interactive technologies to create an engaging online learning experience. Move through weekly lessons as a cohort while retaining the option to log in at the time and place of your choosing.

Courses can be taken as part of the certificate program or individually. Please note that this schedule is tentative and subject to change. Classes are listed in the recommended sequence.

Quarterly schedule of courses
REQUIRED COURSES Introduction to Health Informatics 4 Online Learning Format Online Learning Format Online Learning Format Online Learning Format
Clinical Data and Electronic Health Records 3   Online Learning Format   Online Learning Format
Health Information Systems Analysis and Design 3 Online Learning Format   Online Learning Format  
Clinical Decision Support 3   Online Learning Format   Online Learning Format
ELECTIVE COURSES Public Health Informatics 3   Online Learning Format    
Consumer and Mobile Health Informatics 3 Online Learning Format      
Telemedicine 4     Online Learning Format  
Computer Security and Privacy in Healthcare 3       Online Learning Format
Interoperability and Health Information Exchange 3     Online Learning Format  
F=Fall W=Winter SP=Spring SU=Summer; Schedules subject to change
Online Learning Format Online Learning format

Required Courses

Introduction to Health Informatics

4 quarter units academic credit, X420.22. 40 BRN Hours

Health informatics is the intersection of information technology, computer science and health care. In this introductory course, gain broad exposure to the field of health informatics with an emphasis on its application to clinical settings. Explore the array of informatics sub-specialties, examples of different clinical applications (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory, public health), and the role of the health informaticist in bridging clinical care and information technology. Learn the core concepts and technologies, including terminologies, data standards, development approaches/strategies, data security and privacy. Finally, consider the policy context of health information technology, the potential benefits and perspectives on future directions.

Sections of this course open for enrollment:

Clinical Data and Electronic Health Records

3 quarter units academic credit, X420.12. 30 BRN Hours

Develop a comprehensive understanding of electronic health record systems, their use in various clinical settings, and their potential for improving efficiency and enhancing the quality of care. Learn about the components of an electronic health record (EHR) system, data standards and information representation, emerging and specialized terminological systems, and technical issues in data integration and interoperability. Understand clinical workflows and how these affect system design, and gain insights into clinical decision making and information needs at the point of care. Other topics include EHR implementation, common barriers to adoption, health information exchanges and the role of EHRs in public health.

Sections of this course open for enrollment:

Health Information Systems Analysis and Design

3 quarter units academic credit, X420.11.

With an emphasis on the role of the informaticist, apply systems analysis and design theory to the development of health information systems. Learn basic principles of object-oriented programming and relational databases; the processes for assessing and modeling user requirements and data structures; the role of data standards in systems design; and basic data warehousing strategies. Using a case study approach, learn to identify system strengths and weaknesses and gain hands-on practice in data modeling approaches to translate user requirements to system specifications.

This course is not currently scheduled.


Clinical Decision Support

3 quarter units academic credit, X420.20. 30 BRN Hours

Explore the principles of evidence-based medicine and the role of decision support tools in bringing informatics to the bedside. Learn about clinical decision support systems, common data sources and medical algorithms, and the applications and limitations of decision support as a supplement to clinical judgment. Apply your learning with a final hands-on project developing a CDS tool under instructor guidance.

Sections of this course open for enrollment:

Elective Courses

Public Health Informatics

3 quarter units academic credit, X420.33. 30 BRN Hours

Gain an overview of information technology applications in the public health domain, focusing on the collection, verification, exchange and utilization of data related to populations as well as the infrastructure, functions and tools used to generate public health knowledge. Explore data mining techniques and the use of geographical information systems in mapping public health data. Disease surveillance, web-based public health education, policy and the future of public health informatics will also be addressed.

Sections of this course open for enrollment:

Consumer and Mobile Health Informatics

3 quarter units academic credit, X420.35. 30 BRN Hours

The transition from doctor-centered to patient-centered care depends upon informed and empowered health care consumers.  Explore how consumer health informatics promotes consumer empowerment by making health information more accessible and usable.  Examine the use of health websites, blogs and social media tools for patient education, as well as the emerging use of mobile applications and consumer electronic devices for information as well as chronic disease management.  Topics include current trends; common sources of information; disparities in access and health literacy; usability factors; ethics and privacy.  Consider the changing nature of the doctor-patient relationship; the coming era of personalized and participatory medicine; and the role of consumer health informatics in systematizing and codifying consumers’ needs, values and preferences in medical information systems.

This course is not currently scheduled.



4 quarter units academic credit, X420.1.

Learn to develop a comprehensive and strategic business plan for a telemedicine program. Discuss key legal and policy issues, including HIPAA and JCAHO rules on risk management, standards, regulations, compliance and ethics. Compare and contrast various telemedicine programs with the UC Davis program model to determine best practices for implementing and evaluating programs and emerging technologies. This course is designed for resident physicians, junior and senior specialists, nursing and paramedical professionals, telemedicine coordinators, hospital administrators and graduating medical students who wish to attain the knowledge, understanding and practical preparation for planning, implementing and practicing telemedicine.

Preview a sample of this course

This course is not currently scheduled.


Computer Security and Privacy in Healthcare

3 quarter units academic credit, X421.1.

Examine how computer security and privacy impact electronic health information and exchange-ranging from EHRs and telemedicine to mobile devices and robotic surgical instruments. Review basic security concepts; analyze securing systems, data sanitization and revelation; examine privacy, identity and attribution; and learn about incident response, auditing and forensics.

This course is not currently scheduled.


Interoperability and Health Information Exchange

3 quarter units academic credit, X421.2.

Gain an understanding of basic and advanced principles in healthcare system interoperability and infrastructure as well as architectural, business, and operational models required to implement and manage a health information exchange (HIE). 

Topics include: 

  • Basic and advanced principles in healthcare system interoperability
  • Data exchange standards
  • Architectural models
  • Use cases
  • Fair information practices 
  • Data security
  • Data governance 
  • Sustainability

Participants also gain practical experience in the exchange of sample clinical data in a cloud-based environment.

Guest lectures will be presented by the following:

  • Michael Hogarth, M.D., professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Department of Internal Medicine, UC Davis
  • Aaron Seib, president, 2311, LLC
  • David Minch, FHIMSS, president and COO, HealthShare Bay Area

This course is not currently scheduled.


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Get answers to Health Informatics Certificate Program frequently asked questions.

Free Sample Lesson

Explore Health Informatics course content and our engaging online learning format. Sign up for a free sample lesson on "The Components of an Electronic Health Record."

Master's Program

Learn more about the UC Davis Health Informatics Master's Degree Program.

Meet our faculty

Videos from our faculty.

Dr. Peter Yellowlees
Recovery Act Implications

Dr. Este Geraghty
Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing

Mark Carroll
Social Media in Healthcare

Dr. Michael Hogarth
What is HIE?

Meet our Program Advisors


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Health Informatics Certificate Program Factsheet
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"Outstanding material and presentation! I am right in the middle of making a big switch in my career focus. My new role will be in supporting EHR implementations. Clinical Data and Electronic Records and Introduction to Health Informatics, were key to my getting an interview with the EHR team, and crucial in helping me understand the world I was getting into. I honestly believe I would not have gotten my new job (promotion!) without these courses. Thank you!"

EHR Team Manager, Sacramento

"Thank you for a great program. The courses were spot on and the instructors were phenomenal. I learned so much that applied to my every day work! I would recommend this program to anyone!"

Karie Ryan, R.N., M.H.S.A., chief clinical informatics officer, Melbourne, Fla.