Health Informatics program - T402
The evolution of information technology (IT) is transforming the health-care system by creating new ways of accessing and managing information that will impact how our health-care needs are met. By offering the one-year Health Informatics (HI) Postgraduate program, George Brown College gives professionals in the health and IT sectors the opportunity to blend their skills and become the collaborative specialists required by this rapidly expanding field.
As a practicing Dental Surgeon in India for eight years, Dr. Dinesh Shettigar recognized IT's potential for making quality health care more accessible - particularly telemedicine in rural areas where patients would otherwise have to travel long distances to get an opinion of a specialist.
Now, as a graduate of the Health Informatics program, Dr. Shettigar has combined his health background with his expanded knowledge and understanding of IT to focus on improving the delivery of dental services as an account executive with a leading dental products company.
"Health practitioners can treat patients more efficiently by adopting and properly implementing IT," says Dr. Shettigar. "For instance, working with a classmate during our practicum, we produced a feasibility study on converting a client's dental practice into a 'paperless office.' In the very near future, this will become a necessity in the dental profession."
And since the importance of HI applies to all health professions, the demand for HI professionals is forecasted to grow tremendously in the near future. For instance, one estimate puts the investment required to digitize all health records in Canada - a critical project that will improve the accuracy and timeliness of information to literally save lives - at $7 to $10 billion, which equates to 9,000 additional full-time positions for six years.
Discovering the broad range of professional options available in his chosen field was actually one of the greatest benefits of George Brown College's HI program for Dr. Shettigar.
"I gained a great deal of industry exposure while working with various software and hardware vendors during the practicum. But what really struck me were the avenues of interest that I never knew about before the program," says Dr. Shettigar. "No matter what your background, you have to keep your mind and eyes open for all possibilities - and the George Brown College program really helped to widen my horizons in that way."