As healthcare changes healthcare informatics professionals are necessary. These professionals often work with electronic or medical records, in medical management systems and for hospitals and clinics. They are versed in both medical terminology and information technology and hold associates or bachelor's degrees.
Healthcare informatics professionals update and maintain patient records in a healthcare setting. They use stenography and transcription software to process information and prepare reports. Healthcare informatics professionals generally need an associate degree before entering the workforce. Certification and higher-level degrees make more managerial or researched-based positions available to successful graduates.
|Required Education||Associate degree in Applied Science in healthcare informatics, or related subject|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||15% (for medical records and health information technicians)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$37,110 (for medical records and health information technicians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Healthcare Informatics Professionals Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2015 the median annual salary earned by medical records and health information technicians, including healthcare informatics technicians, was $37,110 (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the highest paid technicians, on average, worked for pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies. Among the many places healthcare informatics technicians work are private physician offices, hospitals, nursing care facilities and scientific research services.
The BLS expects job prospects for healthcare informatics professionals to remain strong due to increased use of electronic medical records. With changes in technology, professionals who have strong computer knowledge and skills may have the best chance of landing a job in the field. The BLS projects a 15% growth from 2014-2024 for these workers.
Career Information for a Healthcare Informatics Professional
Healthcare informatics professionals gather and analyze patient records while maintaining patient confidentiality. They compile records for physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals and ensure information accuracy. Using software, computers, and specialized equipment, healthcare informatics professionals maintain indexes, update forms, prepare reports, and assign patients to appropriate diagnosis groups.
Healthcare informatics professionals must have good communications skills to work effectively with patients, doctors, medical professionals, and insurance companies. Taking continuing education courses in the latest health informatics software and hardware may help informatics professionals keep up with technological changes.
Aspiring healthcare informatics technicians typically complete a degree program to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Informatics. Healthcare informatics technology specialists prepare for this career by completing a bachelor's degree in healthcare informatics. Associates and bachelor's degree programs include general education courses along with core courses, which include:
- Healthcare information management
- Legal aspects of healthcare
- Medical financial management systems
- Medical terminology
- Medical electronic records systems
While certification is not required, many employers prefer to hire applicants who have received certification from an accredited organization. The American Health Information Management Association offers several levels of healthcare informatics certification. To be eligible for the lowest level of certification one must complete a two-year degree program from an accredited school and pass a certification exam.
Professionals who wish to further their careers can go on to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in healthcare informatics, which may help secure a job in a management or research. Earning additional specialized certifications may also help in career advancement.
Healthcare informatics professionals work in a myriad of medical information technology venues. They have specialized skills in computer programming, medical terminology and health information management. These professionals have an associate's or bachelor's degree and often have advanced certification.