Health IT Offers Great Career Acceleration

by Joe Lavelle on July 29, 2012

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Perhaps you have a member of your family who just graduated from high school and has now heard the question about 574 times: “So, what’s going to be your major?”  If this decision has not already been made, then the follow up recommendation may be to explore a career in the health field.  And, however unwelcome the teenager may find this intrusion into their life decisions, the advice is solid.

While employment numbers continue to be rather bleak in most professions, those who hang out around stethoscopes and hospital beds are doing great.  Why?  Our population is aging.  People always will get sick.  And, there is another reason that is more important than ever.  The explosion of the health IT industry means that those with a specific skill set and knowledge base are in high demand.

For those not familiar with the health IT world, the purpose is to digitize medical records, creating easy access both for patients and between providers.  Are there allergy concerns?  Past surgical or family histories of relevance?  Conflicting prescriptions?  An electronic health record (EHR) can answer these questions in a second, resulting in saved money, saved time and, most importantly, saved lives.  Because of this, the new health care legislation signed by President Obama will begin to penalize Medicare-eligible physicians if they don’t have EHR implemented by 2015.

This doesn’t mean that if you know how to do data entry, you are ready for a job in the health IT world.  This is a specialized field that, ideally, requires education in both traditional IT issues and the specific terminology, concerns, and processes of the medical world.  Building a resume that will make you attractive to medical offices takes time.  But, if the integration of medicine and technology holds any interest for you, or that cap and gown-wearing person in your life, the opportunities are amazing.

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