HIT - The New Career Path on the Technology Highway
“Health informatics is the balance between health information, information technology and patient care. It involves use of health data management, healthcare and information policies, workflow and process modeling.” - Dr. Victoria Wangia, University of Cincinnati
If you are looking to satisfy your varied interests in research, health and the technology field, then you are probably interested in a Health Information Technology (HIT) degree and want to move towards acquiring a bachelor’s degree. If you are considering a path that includes conducting your own independent research you will more than likely need to entertain the idea of a PhD. You could always meet in the middle by considering a master’s degree.
Some of the best candidates include those who may have already been in the healthcare field and are looking to expand the knowledge and expand into this particular field.
What to Do
Once you obtain your degree, the opportunities are lucrative. Graduates of the online Health Informatics Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago were polled and the numbers are impressive. 68% of those polled shared that their earning were over $75,000 a year while 46% are earning over $100,000 per year.
There are a variety of careers spread across the informatics path, to choose from.
Nursing Informatics Specialist - Nurses have a deep rooted sense of importance and understanding when is comes to creating and carrying out care plans for patients. Health care setting are now actively seeking nurses who have an interest in technology. These specialists will regularly handle the training of other staff on record-keeping protocol and how to work towards the reduction of redundancy and inaccuracy with the patient care plans.
Chief Medical Information Officer - Responsibilities and the role of this position can vary between organizations. Duties typically include overseeing the flow of information and the construction of IT systems. They will likely conduct data analytics to help improve IT infrastructure and may be required to participate on IT governance boards. Depending on their background, they be required to design and apply software applications. This position can also vary in its setting. Some may work in a hospital environment while others may be found in an academic or government agency setting.
Electronic Medical Record Keeper - Regular duties for this position typically include the input of patient data and assigning codes within the record keeping systems. They collect information for medical researchers and studies and may be called upon to consult with physicians to ensure accuracy of the records. In this position they may also be called up to disperse information to insurance companies, other agencies or family members.
The career choices don’t stop there. Obviously, you can check some of the mainstream career related sites for more information. But also consider visiting some sites that are industry specific and may have a direct line to job opportunities within your field such as Cap Today or Minority Nurse.
The field of health informatics is exploding. The demand for jobs within the field is expected to increase over the next decade with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting an approximate growth rate of 22%.
When hunting for the best location to work and live, check out this top ten graphic that lists the ten states with the the greatest number of HIT job openings. California tops the list, which may come as no surprise since it’s the home to Kaiser Permanente, which is also listed as one of the best healthcare institutions for HIT professionals.
About C. A. Newberry
C.A. Newberry is a retired Communications & Event Coordinator. She spent years advising small businesses & mentoring youth in her community. If not at her computer, you can find her at the ballpark.