How IT and Healthcare Combine in Growing Career Fields
Are you looking for a doubly rewarding career?
Healthcare and information technology are growing fields with increasing overlap. This is a great time to see how an education in these fields can provide you with new job opportunities.
Whether you’re a prospective student looking to start a career, an IT professional seeking stable and meaningful work, or a healthcare professional exploring a new option in your field, find out if healthcare and IT is a good fit for you.
What is driving IT and healthcare growth?
- New laws and emerging technologies are making IT skills increasingly important in the healthcare field.
- Installing, maintaining, and using traditional IT applications is critical in the healthcare setting.
- Jobs in the health IT field may grow faster than the average rate through 2022, predicts the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Imagine this: A hospital patient has a drug allergy. Allergy information is recorded in the patient’s electronic chart, which all doctors and nurses consult before prescribing and administering medications.
But what if something goes wrong with the system that manages patient charts? If the allergy does not show up when a new doctor is assigned, that patient could be put at serious risk.
Healthcare providers require up-to-date, accurate, and always-accessible patient data. This is why the people designing and maintaining digital medical records are becoming just as important as doctors and nurses delivering care.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for medical records and health information technicians will grow 22% between 2012 and 2022.
Accurate and easy-to-access information is critical in every healthcare interaction. People who manage billing and coordinate patient information across different systems also require reliable, efficient platforms. They need to answer patients’ questions with confidence.
These are the type of questions IT professionals might answer:
- Where will patient information be stored?
- How secure is my personal data?
- How quickly will it be available?
Emerging technology is exciting, too. On top of networked information, there are more networked devices in healthcare than ever before. Robotic operating tools and remote monitoring devices that may be worn or implanted need to work reliably and securely. IT professionals who understand the needs of clinicians and patients will be uniquely qualified to develop and manage such devices.
Job highlight: information manager
For new students or students changing their career direction, informatics and information management are promising fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job demand for health information managers will grow 23% from 2012 to 2022.
As an information manager, you may find yourself organizing electronic health information available to patients and clinicians, analyzing healthcare trends and costs, delivering patient education, automating traditionally manual tasks, and identifying ways to improve your organization’s systems.
Finding relevant training
An IT professional may need healthcare training in order to take advantage of the growing market for IT jobs in medical and health related organizations. Great areas to look are data collection, security (patient confidentiality is critical, after all), maintaining software and hardware infrastructure, and managing networks that involve medical equipment and devices.
Some healthcare degrees to consider are:
- Health information management (BS)*
- Healthcare informatics (MS)*
- Healthcare administration (BS)
- Medical specialties (AOS)
If you’re in the healthcare field already, you may want to seek additional education to move into Information Technology. Whether you’re interested in building networks or developing code, IT degrees that you may find useful include:
- Computer technology & networking (AAS)*
- Computer science (BS)*
- Health information management (BS)*
- Information systems (MS)*
And, of course, health information management (BS)* is a degree that shows the growing intersection of these two fields. It’s hard to imagine healthcare today without a strong link to technology. The best care possible will come from great information systems as well as tools and people.
*These programs are also available online through our affiliated school, Independence University.
Ready to take the next step? Stevens-Henager College offers a wide variety of degree programs designed for some of today’s fastest-growing career fields, such as business, healthcare, technology, and graphic arts. Call 1-800-622-2640 or visit http://www.stevenshenager.edu/ today to learn more.
For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the programs and other important information, please visit our website at www.stevenshenager.edu/student-information.