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Health Informatics Certificate Program

Advancing Health Care Through IT
As information technology becomes more integral to healthcare, the demand for trained professionals who can design, improve and utilize clinical information systems continues to grow. With its emphasis on clinical information infrastructure, UC Davis Extension’s online Health Informatics Certificate Program gives you the expertise and advanced skills to succeed in this emerging field. 

The program was developed in partnership with the nationally regarded UC Davis Health Informatics Program, giving you access to a UC-quality medical education and industry-leading instructors from the convenience of your computer.

Designed for working clinicians and IT professionals, the program features:

  • Online Convenience – Engaging online courses let you schedule your learning around your work and lifestyle
  • Industry-leading Instructors – Learn from working professionals and acknowledged experts, including UC Davis faculty, with significant personal experience incorporating technology into clinical practice
  • Immediate ROI – Career-based program offers practical knowledge you can immediately use in the workplace
  • World-Class Education – Developed in partnership with the nationally regarded UC Davis Health Informatics Program, these courses will put you on the cutting edge of the industry
  • Small Classes with Exceptional Networking Opportunities – Small class sizes allow you to connect with instructors and an interdisciplinary group of peers who can help advance your career

About the program:

This six-course certificate program provides an applied education for working professionals that will bring you quickly up-to-speed. You’ll 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. You’ll graduate from the program with a comprehensive understanding of health informatics and the industry’s potential, including:

  • Knowledge of clinical data standards, terminological systems, interoperability and data exchange, data security and privacy
  • Core concepts and technologies related to the design, integration, implementation and evaluation of clinical information systems
  • Understanding of clinical workflows, medical decision making and the application of decision support as a supplement to clinical judgment
  • Hands-on practice conceptualizing data models, workflows and decision support tools through guided projects and assignments
  • Principles of change management necessary for successful technology adoption at the organizational and systems levels
  • Best practices in project management and their application to health information technology initiatives

Advisory Board:

Mark Carroll, M.P.H., director, Health Informatics Program, UC Davis

Este Geraghty, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., chief medical officer and health solutions director, Esri

Michael Hogarth, M.D., professor and vice chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UC Davis 

Maninder Khalsa, M.B.B.S., MBA, M.S.,  medical director, Dignity Health

Pamela L. Lane, M.S., RHIA, PHIMS, deputy secretary, Health Information Exchange California Health and Human Services Agency, Office of Health Information Integrity

Michael Minear, chief information officer, UC Davis Health System

Sarah Molina, MBA, M.H.A., manager, Health Industries Advisory - PricewaterhouseCoopers 

Carol Robinson, R.N., M.P.A., CNAA, FAAN, patient care service administration, UC Davis Medical Center

Linette Scott, M.D., M.P.H., director, Health Information and Strategic Planning California Department of Public Health

How to Apply:

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.


This certificate program is ideally suited for those with a background in health care or IT. If you have questions, please consult a program representative.

Prior experience in health care and understanding of relational databases. IT professionals are encouraged to participate, but prior coursework in U.S. health care or basic medical terminology is recommended.

Recommended Prerequisite:
For students without a strong clinical and/or health background, we recommend some preparatory study.

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. 


"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, Calif.

"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.

"Each class I have completed in this certificate has helped me understand health care from so many different perspectives. The instructors are patient and engaging. The conversations among the class elicit a mix of experiences that you could find nowhere else—everyone has a chance to express options, questions and observations. Plus, the structure of the classes makes it accessible for a person who works full-time!"

T. Rezonable, Integration Consultant, Stockton, Calif.

"The Health Informatics Certificate Program was one of the best educational experiences I have ever had. I am grateful that you developed the certificate because it helps professionals like me continue on our lifelong learning paths. I especially liked that the lectures and the e-learning platform were student-centered and student-friendly. And, of course having the opportunity to learn from Dr. Yellowlees is a special gift for any student of health informatics!”

Ruthann Russo, Healthcare Consultant, New York City

Quarterly schedule of courses

Required Courses


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.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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:

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.

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


Gain an overview of informatics 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. This course will 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 be addressed.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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 and 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.

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.

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.

Sections of this course open for enrollment:

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.

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 will 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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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