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What to Expect from a Health Information Tech Career

Update Date: Nov 13, 2020 10:21 PM EST
What to Expect from a Health Information Tech Career
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If you're considering changing careers, you know there are many factors to consider. Making the right career choice is crucial - imagine spending 40 hours a week doing something you hate? Not an ideal scenario by any stretch! If you are interested in a healthcare career but have a passion and interest in technology, a Health Information Tech Career is probably something to keep on your radar.  

A career in health information tech is in high demand these days due to the healthcare industry's growth and increased use of technology for key tasks such as record keeping, patient management, and diagnostic tracking. A Health Information Tech Career requires attention to detail, software management proficiency, advanced computer skills, and exceptional communication. You won't work with patients directly, but you will ensure the systems that support their medical care are managed effectively. In this rewarding healthcare career, you will be responsible for keeping technology running smoothly and efficiently throughout the system.

If I have piqued your interest by now, you might be wondering...what exactly can you expect from a Health Information Tech Career? Let's get right into it! Here are 5 things to expect from a career in health information technology:

1. Job prospects straight out of school 

The healthcare industry is growing rapidly! Job growth for Health Information Tech Careers in America is rising at a steady pace. More specifically, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts an 8 percent growth in this field between 2019-2029. What does that mean for you? Job prospects when you finish school, of course.

Completing education in the field of Health Information Technology is important for two key reasons. Firstly, most employers require certification before hiring. This means if you want a job in this field, you must complete a course and receive your certification. There are colleges in the United States, such as City College in Fort Lauderdale, FL, that offer comprehensive programs specializing in Health Information Technology certification. Finishing this type of degree will ensure you take full advantage of the anticipated career growth in Health Information Technology.

Secondly, completing your education in this field will ensure the job offers you receive are competitive and reflect the higher end of the pay scale. Specialized education will increase your compensation, but we'll look at salary expectations a little more later on.   

2. A set schedule, likely consisting of Monday-Friday and 9-5 office hours. 

Most jobs in Health Information Tech consist of regular office hour schedules. This means you can expect a stable work schedule of around 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. Of course, there could be overtime requirements or variances between workplaces, but most jobs entail office hour schedules.

3. An annual salary of approximately $45,000 

According to the Bureau of Labour and Statistics, the average annual salary for a Health Information Tech Career is USD 45,000. Though this is the average, numerous factors will affect your overall compensation.  

Hospitals (state, local, and private) are the highest paying workplaces for health information technologists. Notably, nursing care facilities and physicians' offices are the lowest paying, with an average salary of around USD 38,000.  

Secondly, your education can greatly affect your overall compensation. Health information technologists with an associate degree from an accredited college will likely receive higher compensation than those who have not completed similar education in the field.

Lastly, your employment contract may involve full-time or part-time hours, which could affect your compensation. Most employers offer full-time work in this field, but part-time careers in health information technology are not entirely unheard of.

4. A Role that requires significant attention to detail

In most healthcare settings, patient medical records are kept electronically. These software systems require significant attention to detail; the information held in these systems is must be entered accurately, securely, and confidentiality.  

In addition to electronic medical record-keeping, health information technicians produce medical reports and code procedures. They are required to accurately support the management of patient and insurance details throughout various systems. Furthermore, the health information technicians will be working closely with healthcare administrators; this can be a high-volume workload in a large hospital setting! Precision in record keeping will be one of the key responsibilities you should expect when entering a career in health information technology.

5. A varied work environment

If you aren't sure what type of work environment suits your personality, don't stress! There are numerous work environments in the healthcare industry that require the support of a health information technician. Because technology is now embedded in nearly every aspect of healthcare, you can work in an office, hospital, private clinic, dental office, or even a nursing home. There are so many options for healthcare information technicians to find the right environment that meets your unique needs.

An exciting aspect of this career is the fact there is room for growth and advancement; you most likely will not be stuck in the same job and same pay scale forever. For example, you could begin in a hospital helping input medical records and gradually work your way up to an auditor or supervisor position working for cancer or trauma registrar. Alternatively, if you are technologically inclined and want to work in an innovative research environment, there are job opportunities within software companies that design the platforms used in healthcare settings.

Consider which area of healthcare technology strikes your interest and begin focusing on building the skills and experience necessary to land your dream job - there are so many options out there!

As America's healthcare industry continues to grow, medical organizations will require more and more health information technicians. Technology and healthcare are so closely intertwined these days, and professionals are needed to effectively manage patient medical records and support the growing needs of healthcare in America.

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