Given today’s technology, the field of information technology (IT), is poised for job growth well into the next decade and beyond. When matched with projected job growth of the healthcare industry, the view is doubly optimistic. The IT field handles everything computer-related, from building and troubleshooting hardware components to designing, creating, implementing and maintaining software programming. IT workers are found in business, education, retail, and healthcare. As the healthcare industry becomes more computerized and health records become increasingly digitalized, the need for IT workers in healthcare also increases.
What an IT Professional Can Do in the Healthcare Industry?
Among fastest growing healthcare occupations are those within healthcare information fields. With patient records being increasingly entered and maintained electronically, the need for individuals that can create, program, and maintain the computer systems necessary for these electronic records is also increasing proportionately. One of the positions in high demand is the healthcare information management position. Someone in this position is responsible for entering, maintaining, analyzing and securing patient data and patient records. Often trained in the use of popular software packages used within the medical field, this person often serves as a bridge between the clinical and administrative areas of healthcare.
Another is the position of healthcare information technology. This is more of a true IT position, as the person in this position is responsible for maintaining the actual hardware and software involved in keeping digital medical information. Generally following education strictly in IT fields, this person would then apply his or her IT knowledge to learning the specifics about systems used in the healthcare industry.
Finally, healthcare informatics involves IT knowledge for actual creation and programming of the systems used for digital medical records. This position also delves more heavily into research of how medical information is captured and maintained digitally, seeking to improve the process through new technology whenever possible.
Salaries for these jobs can range between $30,000 to $80,000 per year, commensurate with experience and level of education. Some entry level positions can be obtained with just two years of higher education, allowing the opportunity to work in the field while seeking higher degrees and correspondingly better positions and salaries, if desired.
For science and technology-minded candidates interested in working in healthcare but not necessarily with patients directly, the IT field is a solid consideration. As healthcare job growth remains optimistic into the future, so too will the need for skilled IT professionals.
About the Guest Author
Kim Lawrence is an IT Consultant specializing in the healthcare industry. More of her advice about this topic can be found at 10 Best Online Degree Programs in Health Information Technology/Health Informatics.