The expansion of the internet, together with the demand for accessible information and the concern for healthcare data security has created an enormous need for individuals who can translate between the growing number of technical and clinical stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Add to this the 2007 executive order from the U.S. government requiring all electronic healthcare records to be compatible or interoperable by the year 2014 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s projection that individuals capable of bridging the gap between institutions, professionals, and secure data will be in high demand for years to come is no surprise.
Health information technology is an expanding field that involves the computerized exchange of information. Health information is managed by various computer systems for patients, government entities, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and private health providers. Degree programs in health information technology, medical informatics, and health information management prepare individuals for entry and advancement in this growing and high-demand field.
Careers in Health Information Technology
One who wants to pursue a career in health information technology has many options. The field is growing every day and requires additional skilled workers who have a degree in health information technology. One may be a project manager in the field of health information technology and required to oversee the implementation of a new IT program for a medical office. One may also have other responsibilities as a project manager, such as dealing with system outages and overseeing other IT professionals. One may also be an inpatient coder and help with the intake of patients. Other specialists may work as technical support staff, implementation manager, implementation support staff and clinician consultant.
Uses of Health Information Technology
Health information technology involves the security of patient information. The most important aspect of health information technology is the measures that are taken to protect the confidentiality of patient information. When a patient gives sensitive information such as his or her past medical conditions, credit card numbers and social security number, that patient expects the information to remain confidential. The current health care legislation has required that hospitals take better measures to protect the information of patients. One way hospitals can do this is by hiring health information technology professionals.
Doctors also use health information technology in order to record prescription drug information that is related to particular patients. Recording this information allows doctors to immediately know which medications a person in the emergency room may have taken prior to a surgery procedure.
Benefits of Health Information Technology
Health information technology has allowed hospitals to store patients’ information in a more secure way. It also allows doctors to have instant access to sensitive information that could affect the treatment of patients. Health information technology also allows for greater communication methods between pharmacies and hospitals. When a patient obtains a new prescription, the information can be instantly sent over to the pharmacy with the use of computerized systems. The total amount of paperwork that is needed to fulfill a prescription is decreased.