- Marsha Wheeler
The topic that has been researched is the job market for health informatics in the healthcare industry. Health informatics is defined as the application of information technology to improve on the management of patient’s data, population data, and other information that is relevant to patient care and the community’s health, teaching, research, and advancing medical knowledge. The process of medical decision making and processing of medical information, including technology and communication of medical practice education and research. HIT involves the exchange of health information in an electronic environment (Medical informatics, 2008). The process of transferring health information to an electronic database is a very time consuming and detail oriented process and accuracy is a must. The need for heath informatics will be ever increasing because of the technology based world that we live in today.
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Health information technicians and physician staff consolidate and oversee health information data by safeguarding its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper and electronic systems. HIM professionals use different classification systems to code and classify patient personal information for compensation purposes, for use in office databases and data registries, and retainpatient medical records and course of treatment. (“Health Information Technology &,” 2013). Extensive use of health information inside the medical industry will advance future of health care, limit medical inaccuracies, reduce medical costs, increase organizational effectiveness, reduce bookkeeping, and increase access to reasonable health care with quality of care in mind. Health informatics includes a variety of job roles and situations. Some of these different job specifications are Health data manager, claims data analyst, compliance auditor, medical coder, HER content manager, clinical information manager (“Health Information Technology &,” 2013).
The education required for HIM certification begins with successfully passing a competency exam and maintaining annual continuing education requirements. Credentialing in the HIM profession is based on passing a competency exam, after completion of a two, four, or post-baccalaureate course of study. A four year degree in health information will provide entry level education to prepare for registered health information administrator credentials. To be eligible to take the RHIA exam applicants will have to meet one of the following requirements: have a baccalaureate degree or post baccalaureate certification from a CAHIM accredited information management program, have a degree from a foreign HIM baccalaureate program which AHIMA has an agreement, be a current student in a CAHIM accredited program enrolled in the final term of study (LaTour, Maki, & Oachs, 2012,p. 62-63).
HIM technicians usually go into the healthcare field after completing an AS degreein Health Information Technology. Other than general education classes coursework includes medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, legal aspects of health information, health data standards, coding and abstraction of data, statistics, database management, quality improvement methods, and computer science. The2011 AHIMA Job Survey showed,93% of surveyed RHITs hold a degree,74% of those surveyed hold an Associate’s degree, 16% hold a Bachelor’s degree, and 3% hold graduate and post-graduate degrees (“Health Information Technology &,” 2013).
“US News & Reportrecently named health informatics and health information management as #4 of the top new college majors for the future” (“Health Information Technology &,” 2013).
HIM specialists work in many different facilities, these locations can include hospitals or clinics, home health, doctor’s offices, ambulatory care centers, elderly care facilities, mental health facilities, specialist offices, hospice facilities, and public health agencies anywhere that gathers, maintains, analyzes and utilizes medical records and data.
Jobs that one can hold with a degree or certification in HIM include: Health Data Analyst, Insurance Claims Analyst, Records Technician Specialist, Clinical Coding Specialist, Physician Practice Manager, and Patient Information Coordinator. With a bachelor’s degree the positions change a bit, other jobs include: HIM College Instructor, HIM System Manager, Consultant, Chief Privacy Officer, HIM Department Director, and Data Quality Manager (“Health Information Technology &,” 2013).
The job outlook and salary potential for HIM is looking to be very good in the future. HIM is a very diverse and emerging field in healthcare that is continuing to become stronger in the employment position for the future. Bureau of Labor Statistics says thatoccupations in health information technology is anticipated to steadily rise by 22%between 2010 and 2022(“Medical Records and Health,” 2014). Hospitals will remain employing the most medical and health services managers. “According to American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the average yearly earnings for entry level medical records and HIM specialists was$48,000 in 2008. With professional experience, the middle 50 percent earned $60,000 to $86,000 in 2008. The lowest 10 percent earned under $32,000 while the top 10 percent earned over $200,000” (“Health Information Technology &,” 2013). The median pay rate is $34,160 or $16.42 per hour. Salaries can fluctuate based on education, skill, locality, and establishment. The demand for those in the healthcare field is anticipated to grow as our population of the country continues get older, as they are becoming older they are trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
Our aging communities are going to require extensive examinations, more treatments, and education to continue to live healthier lifestyles. More medical attention will in return accompany additional medical claims for compensation from insurance companies. These extra claims added to the EMR’s that are being used by providers will increase a need for healthcare information technicians, thus increasing the job forecast for health informatics.
The onset of new positions being introduced in facilities is anticipated to grow at a much relaxed frequency than other businesses, as hospitals are now focusing more on monitoring expenses and utilizing more clinics and other facilities. Medical and health services managers with more skilled experience in larger facilities will have the best job opportunities, as hospitals are becoming bigger and more complex. Employment will grow fastest in physicians’ offices and in home health agencies(“Health Information Management,” 2014). Services that were formerly completed in hospitals will continue to grow as medical technology improves. The need for health informatics in healthcare will continue to succeed as facilities are becoming bigger and more sophisticated. Healthcare professionals will see the need to understand the burdens of cost suppression and fiscal responsibility, and the need to refocus on preventive care will be a certainty. Administrators with generalized knowledge of a specific field, such as compensation will have more chances for growth. Government has required providers to embrace electronic health records, which is now initiating the demand for HIM specialists with the significant skills that are required to implement these new requirements.
The implementation of theAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, requires all public and private healthcare providers move to meaningful use ofelectronic medical recordsby January of 2015, or face penalties(“Health Information Technology Salary,” 2014). Due to the change in how medical facilities manage and store patient information, the new focus has led to a surge of new positions opening up all over the country for health information management. (“Health Information Technology Salary,” 2014).
In conclusion with all the changes in healthcare as well as technology the need for health informatics specialist is at an all-time high. With the mandates for electronic medical records by the government and our aging population now is the time to make the medical field a permanent home in my career outlook.
Health information management. (2014). Retrieved December 8, 2014, from http://www.himcareers.com/ job opportunities/
Health information technology & health information management career overview. (2013). Retrieved December 8, 2014, from http://www.allhealthcaredegrees.com/him.htm
Health information technology salary and career guide. (2014). Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://www.healthinformaticsguide.com/health-information-technology-salary-career-guide/
LaTour, K. M., Maki, S. E., & Oachs, P. K. (2012). Health information management concepts,
principles, and practice (4th Ed.). Chicago, IL: AHIMA Press.
Medical informatics. (n.d.)Mosby’s Dental Dictionary, 2nd edition. (2008). Retrieved December 13 2014 fromhttp://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Medical+informatics
Medical records and health information technicians. (2014, January 8). Retrieved December 7, 2014, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm
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