the healthcare industry in the us is growing rapidly, and with this growth comes an increase in the complexity of the field as well. in order to make healthcare management efficient and straightforward, many hospitals are transitioning to digitized systems for help. health information technology is a field which has grown in popularity in recent times, and is concerned with the exchange of health information in a digital environment. professionals in this field are trained to implement new technology which can help hospitals reduce paperwork, improve administrative efficiency, and decrease the rate of errors in data flow. in order to understand how to do this, these professionals receive training through health information technology degrees.
what kinds of degrees are available?
health information technology degrees are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. at the undergraduate level, students spend four years learning about the problems facing the healthcare industry in terms of data management, and the best practices being used to solve these problems. in addition to learning how to set up these systems, students will also learn how to ensure that they are transparent and secure. this means that while everyone has access to relevant data, not everyone is authorized to modify it. these students will also learn how to train staff in the use of computer systems to prescribe medicines and recommend treatments.
health information technology degrees at a graduate level take this learning to a more comprehensive degree. students are able to explore new technologies which can be used to improve the operations of a hospital. they are also trained to take up a greater responsibility in the workplace, meaning that there are modules for training students in leadership qualities as well. students may also specialize their learning towards a particular area of healthcare. although the curriculum will vary from one institute to another, types of courses that you may come across in a health information technology degree include:
healthcare delivery and information management
legal aspects of health information
automation of health information
quality assurance and statistics in health information
software applications for health care professionals
online health information technology degrees
to make it easier for students to obtain a quality education, many institutions have started offering online degrees in health information technology. these programs are flexible, convenient, and cost-effective alternatives to campus-based counterparts. enrollees in online programs are able to work through the materials at their own leisure, without being restricted to a physical campus. this is excellent for those professionals in the field who wish to advance their learning without quitting their jobs to accommodate the degree. because the programs are online, you save money in fuel costs, food, lodging and textbooks as well.
what kinds of jobs are available?
today, there are dedicated companies which are providing health information technology solutions to hospitals and healthcare facilities of all sizes. these companies are always looking for trained professionals who can work in analyzing the operations of a facility to determine which systems are needed, training staff, and ensuring a smooth transition of the facility from paper to digital. you can also work in a hospital itself as an administrator, overseeing the smooth operation of all the systems which have been implemented. with appropriate training and experience, you can aim to grow and assume more senior roles in the organization. according to o*net online, in 2012, medical and health service managers earned a median annual wage of $88,580. employment has been forecasted to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 22% during 2012 to 2022.