With the advent of computer technology and the introduction of the Internet, the information flow has increased enormously. The information mass has also grown to an extent that can hardly be managed without proper technological means. In the healthcare field, particularly the information quantity is much huge due to new discoveries and researches conducted perennially. Thus, the healthcare information technology emerges as one of the most promising fields in terms of opportunities in modern context. The degree involves education that enables you to achieve a job as an associate managing the technical affairs properly.
More advanced educational programs teach you to build software’s, and to organize and manage the healthcare information in a proper manner ultimately paving the way for a better and efficient administration and management.
The probable designations that you will work as, if you have a degree in healthcare information technology are Health Information Clerk, Transcriptionist, Coding Specialist, Medical Records Manger or Health Information Technician. The degree holders can work in any medical firm, hospitals, and private chambers, and shoulder a very important responsibility.
Health information technology is a vast discipline broken into several segments of which Medical Coding, Insurance Reimbursement, Medical Terminology, Diagnosis Related Groups Systems, Health Data and Data Analysis, Statistics and Database Management are considered to be of prime importance.
The course provides you with training in the area of health information technology, which gives you an expertise in analyzing, collecting and managing the information in a manner that can assist in various ways like billing research, documentation for legal purposes, cost control and better patient care. Candidates gain an insight into the usage of computers, collating and handling data correctly and efficiently.
The health record of individual patients are stored and maintained so as to have complete information that enables proper diagnosis and treatment of his/her problems. The health information technicians do this job where the professional involved hardly gets a chance to meet the patients in person.
The job the health or medical information technicians carry out is not just related to storage and maintenance of health information. They ensure that the data is correct and easily retrievable. The experts assign appropriate medical codes before storing the information on computer’s storage area.
Few candidates turn out to be expert of the coding domain and are referred to as health information coders or coding specialists. These technicians prove highly beneficial for improving care for patient, assisting in legal actions, taking part in research studies, controlling costs, or responding to surveys.
As mentioned earlier, the technicians work at all the places that are connected to medical facilities such as hospitals, home health organizations, outpatient care, nursing care centers, insurance firms, physician offices, and public health departments.
The lower level of work such as record maintenance, fetching and management, looking after legal issues, medical terminology, etc, are looked after by candidates having an associate’s degree. That is the reason for framing their coursework too on the same lines where subjects of the likes of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, database management, statistics, legal aspects of health information, , coding and abstraction of data, quality improvement methods and computer science are taught.
The RHIT (Registered Health Information Technicians) are preferred to their non-RHIT counterparts. This certification is possible to attempt only if a candidate has an associate’s degree. The students have to qualify for an examination held by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and they become a RHIT.
The employment for health information technicians and medical record technicians is expected to grow by 18% by 2016 as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is driven by various forces. The insurance companies are hiring more experts in the field, the federal laws, which make the information storage on computers mandatory.
There are also upcoming opportunities in physicians’ offices as the demand for a detailed record is increasing from the side of the patients.
The most profitable area is that of medical coding i.e. the coders are expected to have maximum employment opportunities as the paperwork is increasing to unmanageable limits and the change in the government regulations and policies demanding soft information storage that can even assist the insurance companies to file claims easily.
The courses offered online are not only varied in range but also in mode of teaching. Several courses continue regularly while the classes of some other courses are held in short-burst modes like classes on weekend etc. The associate’s, bachelors and master’s degree are all possible to obtain when we are talking about health information technology.
There are advanced degree options available for working professionals who are interested to achieve more and expand their horizon of opportunities. With the right kind of selection, such candidates can make it to higher designations with higher remunerations.