Careers in Health Information Technology
Health information technology focuses on the use of computer systems and information technology in the field of healthcare. This includes using special software and hardware for storing, retrieving and processing patient data and other medical information. In addition to playing an essential part in every industry and even in our daily lives, information technology is fast becoming an integral part of healthcare. In the past decade, the role of health information technology has become quite prominent in the field of medicine. Computers have drastically reduced the workload on medical researchers and led to a number of new treatments for previously untreatable ailments. Additionally, doctors facing a rare disease can confer with colleagues from around the world to devise the best form of treatment. A recently developed technique using health information technology and robotics focuses on allowing surgeons to work on patients in other countries. Hospitals have not only started keeping patient records in an electronic form, but also transferring existing paper records and documents onto computers.
Related Degree Programs
Several colleges around the US offer degrees in health information technology. These include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Most people in this field usually start off with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Information Technology. In order to enroll in this degree you must be a high school graduate or have a GED. The four year long bachelor’s degree includes a number of courses in health, medicine and IT. Students are taught basic clinical procedures, biology, medicine, pharmacology and anatomy. Additionally students also take courses in basic medical terminology, health services, disease classification and medical ethics. They also learn how to operate specially designed software and health information systems. After completing this degree, students can increase their chances of working in various entry level positions at hospitals and clinics around the country.
For those who wish to continue their education in order to have better career opportunities and opportunities for advancement, master’s degrees are also offered. A Master’s degree in Health Information Technology prepares students for management and administrative positions in healthcare. Students can specialize in an area such as health information system management, hospital administration, medical coding and medical billing. Both bachelor’s and master’s degrees are offered online in addition to being offered on-campus. This makes them ideal for working professionals and single parents. Classes can be taken from anywhere with a simple internet connection. You can also take classes on your cell phone or iPod. An online degree in health information technology helps you improve your job prospects.
The healthcare sector in the United States will grow by more than 10.8% during the 2012-2022 period. Consequently, the field of health information technology is also expected to grow as well as the related job opportunities. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the medical records and health information technicians earned $35,900 as median annual wages in May 2014, while the top ten percent professionals earned above $59,160 per year, around the same time. The largest employers of health information technology professionals are hospitals, followed by private clinics and nursing homes; and federal organizations and medical associations.