What Is an Ambulatory Systems Architect?
Ambulatory refers to outpatient care, such as a non-medical facility like a school or nursing home, but it also includes clinics and medical settings that usually handle non-emergency issues. Ambulatory systems refers to the electronic health record systems used by these establishments. The ambulatory systems architect leads the design, development and execution of these systems based on user/client needs, cost and necessary merging with existing applications, systems or platforms. They are responsible for establishing the technical standards and functionality tests, as well as creating specifications, prototypes and user guides.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree, associate's degree or high school diploma/equivalent|
|Job Skills||Software design and programming; verbal and written communication skills; knowledge of business management applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), point of sale (POS) and customer relationship management (CRM); data exchange and data format conversion; imaging and scanning software|
|Median Salary (May 2018)*||$88,740 (for all computer systems analysts)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||9% (for all computer systems analysts)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A bachelor's degree in management information systems, computer science or a related field will take preference with employers, but an associate's degree or high school diploma or equivalent can be sufficient. If a bachelor's degree is not earned, however, more years of relevant work experience will be required by employers. Additional certifications are typically required, as well. This can include ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) certification, Epic Systems certification, PeopleSoft certification and imaging solution certification.
Ambulatory systems architects are responsible for the application of technology frameworks, standards, programming languages and software development. This is a very technical role that will require several years of experience honing skills. Experience will be needed working with:
- Epic software, a popular electronic health records system
- Finance, supply chain and human resources business practices and systems, including Point of Sale, ERP and CRM
- Radiology imaging software, financial document imaging and/or medical records scanning and imaging
- HL7 (Health Level 7) interface engines, data exchange and data format conversion
- Software design and programming
They must also have the ability to communicate efficiently, as they will need to coordinate with team members and other business representatives on solutions.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary in May 2018 for all computer systems analysts was $88,740. The BLS also reports that the employment for all computer systems analysts is projected to grow 9% from 2016-2026, which is about the average rate compared to all other careers. Electronic medical systems show no sign of turning back, so systems architects will continue to be in demand.
Below are a few careers related to an ambulatory systems architect.