Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Explore the Field of Health Information Technology
The healthcare industry is growing faster than ever, and growing with it is the need for trained professionals in the field of information technology. With advances in medicine and technology, digital record keeping and data basing have become fundamental elements to modern healthcare facilities. According to statistics held by the United States Bureau of Labor, job prospects for professional in the health information technology field are expected to be among the fastest growing for the next decade. In addition, technicians are in constant demand by employers, making IT professionals in the health industry invaluable. Wages for technicians averaged at $40,610 in 2008, and those holding degrees from accredited universities earned even more. Healthcare technicians perform a variety of duties relating to organization records handling. Their skills are essential to efficient patient care. Some of these duties include compiling medical information like medical history, current symptoms, examination results, diagnostic tests, treatment methods, and past healthcare services provided. Workers in this field also organize and manage medical data and ensure the quality and accuracy of data. In addition to careful management of data, technicians are responsible for understanding and using a variety of advanced equipment and technologies. Technicians are now proficient with electronic health records, or EHR. With this type of software, technicians maintain and analyze all of a facilities data. Professionals often work to improve the quality of data management, and contribute to greater quality in overall patient care. Professionals in the health information technology field may hold an associates degree, or higher. Programs in the field are offered at a variety of field, and typically cover a broad range of topics in healthcare and computer systems. At the associate's level, graduates can expect an introductory level of knowledge of the following areas. Basic Medical Terminology Graduates can expect a rich understanding of medical terminology so they can communicate with medical professionals and understand important concepts for healthcare organizations and patient care. -Health Services and Information Systems Classes will cover the history of healthcare facilities in the United States and the evolution of modern day procedures in the industry. -International Classification of Diseases Coding Central to a healthcare professional's basic knowledge is an understanding of the layout of disease classification. Graduates will be better able to interpret and communicate this data. -Legal and Regulatory Issues in Health Information Programs will prepare graduates to deal with the specific technology laws related to patient privacy and records handling.