Medical school’s Program in Biomedical Informatics welcomes its first students

Program in Biomedical Informatics New Students
From left to right are: Drs. Jay Ronquillo and Jon Walsh, Elmon Oliver, Jefton Knight, Tracie Kraushaar, and Drs. Jayne Barr and Robert Brown.

In September, the medical school’s Program in Biomedical Informatics welcomed its inaugural class of students.

“This is a new program for us, it’s a new program for you too,” Dr. Hal Jenson, WMed’s founding dean, told the four students during an orientation session on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, at the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus. “We’re excited about this program. We think it’s a really important part of medicine and a really important part of healthcare and the future.”

WMed’s Program in Biomedical Informatics is made up of two interdisciplinary graduate-level programs focused on clinical informatics. The first is a two-semester, 15-credit program leading to a Certificate in Applied Clinical Informatics and the second is a four-semester, 30-credit program leading to a Master of Science degree in Clinical Informatics.

Among those who enrolled in the program is Dr. Jayne Barr, program director of the medical school’s Medicine-Pediatrics residency program. Dr. Barr is enrolled in the certificate program. Additionally, three Bronson Healthcare employees – Jefton Knight, Tracie Kraushaar and Elmon Oliver – are enrolled in the master’s program.

The program leading to a Certificate in Applied Clinical Informatics is designed for students with a healthcare background and focuses on the challenges that exist in developing and applying healthcare technology in clinical settings. The program seeks to give working clinicians the knowledge and applicable skills to make a positive impact on the delivery of healthcare through the use of technology.

Meanwhile, the master’s degree program is for students who are interested in gaining a more in-depth understanding of clinical informatics, including advanced data analytics, security, technology, project planning and implementation, and the program culminating in a capstone project in a healthcare setting.

Dr. Robert Brown, who is leading WMed’s Program in Biomedical Informatics along with Drs. Jay Ronquillo and Jon Walsh, has said previously that the certificate and master’s programs are designed to accommodate working professionals by offering a mix of online instruction and classroom instruction at the medical school’s W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus that occurs during an eight-hour block every other Saturday.

The new program at WMed comes at a time when clinical informaticists are in demand as the use of technology in healthcare grows rapidly, from the use of electronic health records to new mobile and smartphone technology that are giving patients the ability to monitor and take a more active role in managing their healthcare along with their physician.

In his remarks to Drs. Barr and Oliver, and Knight and Kraushaar during the orientation on September 6, Dr. Jenson called the group “pioneers.”

“We’re excited that you’re here,” Dr. Jenson said. “You’re part of the WMed family now and we look forward to seeing your success.”