Expanding your career options with a healthcare degree makes sense when the need for medical records and health information technicians is expected to grow by 20 percent until 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A degree in health information technology prepares you to enter the healthcare field in an administrative setting. Unlike many other entry points in the healthcare industry, many health information technology careers (HIT) do not take place in a patient-facing setting. So, what is health information technology?
Health Information Technology Defined
Patient care and records generate a vast amount of paperwork. Some of that paperwork creates a record of previous doctor's visits, and other types provide a framework for billing and reimbursements. In either case, a skilled health information technology professional ensures data entered are accurate and complete. Inaccurate or incomplete patient charts present a danger to those who need medical attention. For example, patients with an allergy must have that issue documented to ensure there are no complications with their treatment. A health information technology professional might be in charge of reconciling patient charts. A notation on one chart with the allergy and another without is enough to throw up a red flag.
Health information also carries importance for regulatory bodies. When creating treatment programs and patient care standards, patient records hold the key to improvement. Government agencies look at trends and treatment patterns to determine regulations relating to patient care and healthcare administration.
Getting Your Degree Online
The need for accurate and complete patient charts grows every year, as medical knowledge becomes more specialized. This makes earning a degree in health information technology more valuable than ever. Ultimate Medical Academy's health information technology degree program offers a complete curriculum, focused on IT-related skills desired by today's employers. Taking courses online allows students an accelerated program that can be completed in as few as 18 months.
Courses such as Introduction to Healthcare Computer Information Systems familiarize students with the technology needs of the healthcare industry and discuss issues with communication between healthcare providers and IT staff. Healthcare Data Quality Management teaches students to assess methodologies for the improvement of data collection and to broaden the uses for health information. These are just a few of the courses health information technology students take as part of an associate degree. Once completed, you have a range of potential health information technology careers available. From hospitals to government agencies, the potential for career opportunity is great.