A Guide to Healthcare IT Roles and Getting Started

When you think of roles and careers that involve helping people, you might picture nurses, doctors, and other medical specialists. Every day, they work hard in the medical field to ensure patients receive the best possible care.

You may dream of being able to help people in the same way, but know that being a doctor or nurse is not something you can do, want to do, or have a passion for. However, there are other ways to work in the healthcare industry and make a difference without requiring several years of education and having a hands-on role with patients. Many healthcare IT roles offer a similar opportunity.

With demand in healthcare IT jobs growing each year, now might be the right time to begin looking at available roles, IT in healthcare benefits, and how you can start paving a road toward this rewarding job that may present endless future opportunities.

What Is Healthcare Information Technology?

Healthcare information technology combines two already well-established industries, healthcare and information technology. Those in such roles work with other healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses to provide a seamless service for patients.
 
They are responsible for a variety of medical technology requirements in hospitals and clinics, such as processing medical billing, preserving clinical histories, medical coding, clinical analyses, clinical applications, staff technology training, and more.

 As healthcare and IT trends become more prevalent in the average medical facility, the demand for someone with qualifications and experience in healthcare technology grows. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all healthcare roles, including those relating to information technology, are projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030.

Healthcare Technology Roles

When you have a passion for helping people, you can fulfill that desire without directly being responsible for patient care. There are many different exciting and rewarding healthcare tech jobs you can train for that may set you up for satisfying and possibly even lifelong careers in the medical industry.
If you’re not quite sure what any of those roles might be, we’ve included some of the many possibilities below.

Medical Records Clerk

Medical records clerks or medical records technicians often have associate’s degrees or similar experience or qualifications to make them suitable for a role in a healthcare facility. They organize medical records, track patient outcomes, perform basic coding, and convert physical medical records to digital files.  

This role often paves the way for careers in medical coding and clinical analysis, with room for growth and education in the future.

Medical Records and Health Information Technician

Medical records and health information technicians (HIT) are responsible for organizing and managing medical records for easy accessibility, order, accuracy, and security. They maintain medical records, help with billing, and organize documents with efficient coding systems while abiding by their HIPAA requirements.

 This line of work has been experiencing growth, so those interested in such a role may like to begin looking at educational opportunities so that they can earn a professional certification and enter the healthcare industry. 

Medical Coder

As daunting and complex as the job of a medical coder might sound, it’s a rewarding role that allows you to make a difference in patients’ lives who require their doctors to access their medical information quickly.

 This role involves assigning codes for diagnosis and treatment into medical coding systems so that other medical specialists can find the information they’re looking for. There is potential for experienced medical coders to earn up to $61,000 in this role, according to PayScale.

Clinical Analyst

Becoming a clinical analyst can be a step up from a job as a medical clerk. This healthcare IT role requires work with health records and patient care, training staff with health information systems, creating databases, and more.

 Generally, this line of work requires you to be an excellent communicator and usually has you working toward a bachelor’s degree. However, there is potential to earn over $90,000 a year for your hard work and dedication

IT in Healthcare Benefits

Technology has been a game-changer in many industries, and healthcare is no different. There is an abundance of benefits associated with the integration of healthcare and technology for both staff and patients.

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The most apparent benefit is storing and retrieving patient health records digitally for easy access, security, and accuracy. With your expertise, any healthcare professional can search for a patient and find extensive information relating to their care.

 Having such information available in a legible format without the risk of poorly transcribed data leading to medication inaccuracies is a significant positive. 

Patient care is also undoubtedly to the fore, with digital files allowing for easy access to medication alerts and reminders, flags, diagnostic reports, emergency contacts, and more.

There are many healthcare technique types, but technology is likely not one you anticipated being as crucial as it now is. 

How to Enter a Healthcare IT Role

How you enter a healthcare IT role can depend on the job you’re interested in and the level of experience or qualifications you already have. Typically, many healthcare technology roles require an associate’s degree or less, with some of the more intensive jobs generally requiring a bachelor’s degree.

Once you have identified the role you could see yourself thriving in, you may like to see what educational opportunities exist to enter it, such as an online medical billing and coding career diploma, a bachelor’s degree in health information management, and an associate’s degree in health information technology.

It may also be essential to obtain your Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) qualification or your Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) qualification through organizations like the American Nurses Association (ANA) and National Healthcareer Association.

Once you have experience or qualifications that you believe make you fit for a healthcare IT role, you may like to connect with a job-seeking platform dedicated to helping job seekers find, apply for, and secure positions in the healthcare industry.

Depending on the platform you use, you may be able to enter fulfilling roles such as medical billers, office managers, medical assistants, medical receptionists, and more.

 If you can see yourself helping others in a gratifying and ever-changing role, now might be the right time to learn more about healthcare technology, its benefits, and how you can begin your new journey. Find out about what’s required for new healthcare tech jobs today. 

Search for Healthcare IT job opportunities here.