Before committing to an educational program, you need to be sure there are career options available for your new degree or certification. Higher education usually translates into higher income potential, as long as the job outlook is positive. The healthcare industry offers growth potential, with more jobs expected to be added in this sector than any other through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Pursuing a degree in health information technology opens up career options including: Health information technician, medical coder and medical transcriptionist. Each of these careers provides support for health care providers, ensuring health information standards.
What is a Health Information Technician?
A health information technician has job responsibilities that include maintaining, organizing and compiling patient records. A Health Information Technology degree program gives students a foundation in today's healthcare software to meet the challenges of ensuring data accuracy and integrity. Patient records include information such as test results, care plans and recommended follow-up visits. Proper record maintenance helps patients get the care they need when they need it.
What is a Medical Coder?
A medical coder assigns codes to treatments recorded in patient records. This allows easy calculation for determining what is due for each procedure. It also streamlines the process for submitting claims to insurance companies and Medicare. Billing and coding includes health information technology since in-depth knowledge of healthcare software increases efficiency when billing patients and submitting claims.
What is a Medical Transcriptionist?
A medical transcriptionist listens to audio recordings and generates a written document containing the same information. When a doctor meets with a patient, recommendations and treatment plan discussions are recorded for later transcription. Transcriptionists specializing in health-related recordings need specialized health information technology training to ensure clean content. Familiarity with medical terminology helps transcriptionists better translate between the spoken and written word. It also helps ensure that there are minimal errors, as a transcriber that is well-versed in medical terminology is less likely to misinterpret a complex term.
A health information technology degree opens the door to pursue these career options, together with others. As the healthcare industry expands, the need for support personnel also grows. Health information technology careers make up a large part of the allied health industry. Medical office assistants need grounding in IT, as do cancer registrars. The applications for this degree could take you to a new career in almost any healthcare setting from a physician’s office to a busy hospital.
Originally posted: April 16, 2013
Last updated: January 9, 2017