Good healthcare provided by knowledgeable professionals is quite literally the thing that keeps us going. But there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the healthcare industry, such as health informatics. Health informatics careers involve maintaining and transferring patients’ physical records into an electronic format.
Although this practice can be complicated, it is necessary to keep the industry functioning. Below, we’ll take a look at what health informatics is and the careers that are available in the field.
What Is Health Informatics?
Health informatics is an area of healthcare that combines healthcare fundamentals with data management. The goal is to create a more comprehensive way to deliver healthcare results by digitizing patients’ data and utilizing information technology developments.
Health informatics work consists of aspects of computer science, data analysis, and information technology. Health information professionals use the data provided in physical medical records and electronic health records to give patients accurate and comprehensive care.
What Degree Do You Need for a Health Informatics Career?
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The field of health informatics is diverse, and there are opportunities at healthcare companies for recent high school graduates as well as for applicants with master’s degrees.
When taking education level into account, health informatics jobs will differ in terms of salary and responsibilities. For example, according to PayScale, the average salary for a health informatics specialist ranges from $45,000 to $111,000.
To pursue a degree in health informatics, you can choose from a variety of majors. Since the field consists of both IT and health, we suggest that you select a major similar to those listed below.
- Computer science
- Health science
- Data science
- Information technology
Of course, you could also choose to pursue a more standard healthcare degree, such as nursing, or sports medicine.
The American Health Information Management Association
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the governing body for health informatics professionals. AHIMA is dedicated to making patient information easy to access by all branches of the healthcare industry.
AHIMA is the perfect place to learn healthcare informatics because it offers certificates for specific jobs and experience levels. These accreditations listed below are a great way to enhance your resume.
- Health Information Management (RHIA, RHIT)
- Coding (CCA, CCS, CCS-P)
- Data Analysis (CHDA)
- Privacy (CHPS)
Some of these certification courses require that you have a health informatics degree, but others are attainable if you pass work experience and exam requirements. Overall, joining AHIMA is a smart choice if you are serious about a career in health informatics.
Health Informatics Careers and Salary Ranges
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is on track to grow by 15 percent over the next few years. Healthcare has never been more important than during the current pandemic, and health informatics will continue to play an integral role in maintaining and transferring patient information.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of individual careers within health informatics.
Health Informatics Consultant
- Salary range: $41,000 – $98,000
A health informatics consultant is the chief architect behind converting physical patient records into an electronic form. These health informatics consultants train healthcare professionals to use new tech systems, ensure that those professionals follow regulations, and examine trends in healthcare technology to anticipate any upcoming changes.
Becoming a health consultant is a great way to start your career in healthcare informatics. The responsibilities and requirements for a health informatics consultant will differ depending on the company you work for.
Health IT Specialist
- Salary range: $34,000 – $77,000
A health IT specialist can apply advanced tech principles to any IT system in the healthcare field. These health informatics specialists bear the brunt of the work that comes with transferring physical information into electronic health records.
This can be as simple as sharing data and completing data entry, or as complicated as building robust databases that will be used to compile and store patient records.
Chief Medical Information Officer
- Salary range: $21,000 – $309,000
This is a unique executive role, responsible for large amounts of patient health data. The chief medical information officer oversees information technology systems, training, and new tech development.
The chief medical information officer will also conduct in-depth data analysis to improve how patient data is managed to benefit the future of health care. The officer is also responsible for representing their company on various medical and health care boards, including AHIMA.
Are Careers in Health Informatics Worth It?
Yes, because learning health informatics can result in excellent job opportunities. Not only can you find work straight out of high school, but you will also have the chance to land a managerial role if you receive a college-level education.
If you feel you’ll enjoy working with complicated data at the forefront of the healthcare industry, then a job in health informatics would be ideal.
As patient records and information will continue to transition to digital, healthcare will become increasingly more modernized. In a health informatics career, you could be a part of this important shift.
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