Job security and high pay are within reach for those who have earned advanced degrees and put in the work in the medical field, due to a growing population of aging patients and a healthcare system demanding increasingly efficient and effective care.
If you’re just beginning your career or are looking for a change, one popular path that combines technology and healthcare in a rewarding setting is the role of a health information technician.
What is Healthcare Information Technology or Management?
According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), a health information technician
“Ensures the quality of medical/health records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems. They use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs.”
Moreover, health information technicians document, modify, and catalog patients’ healthcare information and ensure these records are comprehensible, reliable, and secure for practitioners and patients alike. To do this, health information technicians must be proficient in the latest information science technologies.
Here are some rewarding job opportunities related to this career path:
- Medical billing and coding technician: This role involves extracting billable information or codes from medical records and other documentation before applying the codes to create insurance claims and bills for patients.
- Outpatient coding compliance auditor: An outpatient coding compliance auditor performs medical record audits and reviews to help identify coding mistakes, billing issues, and other financial factors.
- Health information manager: A health information manager maintains and ensures the security of all patients’ records and data.
- Wellness counselors: This role, also referred to as a coordinator of patient information, involves helping patients manage their health information and better understand their provider and insurance plans.
The Benefits of Pursuing a Career in Healthcare Information Technology
1. Gain a Strong Technical Background
Technicians and managers must continue to stay up to date on the latest information science technology during the course of their careers. This is necessary to do their jobs at the most efficient level and to keep up with the ever-evolving demands in healthcare. Plus, having this strong technical background can offer ongoing professional growth opportunities and job security.
2. Explore Opportunities in the Medical Field
The medical field is abundant with job opportunities due to the necessity of helping and serving patients. To get there, pursuing a degree in medical billing and coding is a way to become part of the solution to helping patients in the healthcare system and, at the same time, obtain a rewarding career.
3. Obtain More Opportunities by Learning Procedural and Regulatory Knowledge
Expanding into procedural terminology and legal and regulatory issues by specializing in health information coding (HIC) will open doors to even more job opportunities, including:
- Certified coding specialist
- Health information management revenue cycle analyst
- Claims coding specialist
- Medical coding specialist
- DRG validator
These are just a few career opportunities that are available when striving for HIC specialization.
Ready to Make a Career Change?
If you’re unhappy in your career due to a lack of opportunities, professional growth, job security, income, or for other reasons, then it’s high time to make a change. Whether you’re in school studying to become a health information technician or wanting to pursue this role as a new career path, know that doing so is a good investment of your time, money, and energy.