I am learning the business side of health care and how it intersects with other sectors,” Rita Jezrawi said. “I want to use the tools, technology, and information systems to deliver better quality health care.”
Fresh out of McMaster with a degree in Health Studies and Gerontology, Rita Jezrawi wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the business side of health care. She attended a networking event for health and aging and met someone at the event who was in the eHealth program. It was at this event that Rita learned more about the program and decided to pursue her MSc in eHealth.
McMaster’s eHealth MSc program is a unique health care graduate program that immerses students in digital health informatics. Offered through a collaboration between the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Engineering, and the DeGroote School of Business, the eHealth MSc builds on theoretical foundations in health care, information technology, and business.
Rita felt that her undergraduate experience helped her build her research and writing skills skill set. Still, she thought she would have a more significant impact in her community if she went to graduate school to explore the concepts related to digital health. She wanted to learn more about the administrative side of health care and how business analytics improves the quality of health care.
Rita believes that health professionals cannot be the best they can be without using technology to optimize patient quality of life. “It is important to invest in technology to be competitive and not fall behind in providing quality health care,” Rita said. Health care professionals need current information and communication technology to meet the needs of health care stakeholders. The eHealth program allows students like Rita to view challenges and opportunities in the sector through multiple disciplines.
McMaster’s eHealth program facilitates and encourages interdisciplinary teamwork. Faculty and students collaborate to create and evaluate digital health solutions from health, business, and engineering perspectives.
Matching this learning framework with the three-faculty interdisciplinary approach led Rita to pursue her MSc in eHealth. She initially thought that the program was only for students in the health care field, but she discovered that she didn’t need a degree in health science or information technology to enroll. With Rita’s undergraduate background in social sciences, she focused on the scientific study of human society and social relationships related to health and aging. She can connect her undergraduate work to her graduate studies in emerging technology and person-centred care.
Rita is currently working as an Educational Research Assistant with the Health Information Research Unit at the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact – Faculty of Health Sciences. Her work is part of her eight-month internship, which offers a firsthand perspective on health care delivery, governance, and policy. Rita is also a participant in the MacPherson Institute Student Partners Program, where she is developing open resources on time management and stress management skills for students transitioning to university.