MS in Health Informatics Student Spotlight: Aishwarya Achan

CHP Web Team
July 01, 2022
Aishwarya Achan

Meet Aishwarya "Ash" Achan, MSHI Class of 2022

Current Position:

Clinical Informatics Analyst for Intermountain Healthcare
Full-Time MSHI Student

Why did you decide to earn your MSHI?

Throughout my various clinical roles, I have seen how much of an impact technology has on the cost and quality of health care we provide for patients. For instance, as a health care provider, employing electronic health systems that involved clear, efficient workflow processes greatly improved my ability to focus on my patients and deliver high-quality care. In contrast, I have also had experiences involving issues with electronic systems that have impeded my ability to fully focus on the patients themselves. I often found myself thinking about ways in which improvements could be made to these systems. I decided to earn an MSHI as I felt this formal education could help me achieve my goal of improving clinical workflow processes.

Were you working in health informatics prior to starting the program?

Prior to starting this program, I had clinical experience working in the nursing field. I started my career working as a nurse assistant while pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Once I earned my bachelor’s, I worked for a couple of years as a registered nurse in pediatrics and behavioral health. I then decided to further my education by earning a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, after which I practiced as a psychiatric nurse practitioner for a short time before deciding to transition away from direct patient care. I chose to pursue health informatics, where I felt I could have more of a system-wide impact while positively impacting the health care field.

Has your position changed since starting the program? If so, how has participating in the MSHI helped you in your new position?

During my second semester of the program, I started a new role as a clinical informatics analyst working for Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. I serve as a liaison between health care providers and information technology services in order to optimize clinical workflows while also getting opportunities to practice project management skills. It has been an enriching, valuable experience to utilize my clinical experience while also applying concepts I am currently learning about in this program.

What has been the most valuable part of the MSHI program so far?

I appreciate the curriculum offered as part of this program. I believe it provides a solid foundation for me to integrate my clinical knowledge into the IT side of things. Connecting with different classmates and professors as part of the MSHI program has also been invaluable. I have been able to meet people of diverse backgrounds who have contributed different perspectives to my learning experience. I also appreciate the flexibility of this program which has allowed me to balance school, work, and family commitments while being an out-of-state student.

What advice would you give to someone considering the MUSC MSHI program?

Know your “why” and what you hope to achieve by earning an MSHI. Reflecting on this has helped give me a sense of purpose and motivation during this program. MUSC’s program provides a solid foundation and sets you up for various potential roles within the health informatics field, so it is important to consider what direction you want to take. I would also take into account how school will fit into your life because it is an additional commitment to balance. I have found MUSC’s program to be a good option for me due to the primarily online format and the faculty’s availability/responsiveness to students.