A rise in the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and the rapid pace of health care technology development have produced changes and opportunities for health care IT professionals.
These professionals have the opportunity to become a leading force in improving health care delivery and outcomes.
Trends in Health Care IT
Here are four trends driving the growth of health care technology.
- Interoperability. Compatibility between EHR systems is part of the push toward greater information sharing. A concerted effort to improve the flow of data between health care IT systems is especially important when patients receive care from several different health care facilities or when hospital systems merge. Though it’s an immense undertaking, it’s one that will be at the forefront for hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities until it’s solved.
- Transparency of information. When individuals don’t know how much something should cost or what the likely results of a procedure are, it’s hard to make smart health care choices. Figuring out ways to share data on health care costs and quality will be a trend in health care technology for the foreseeable future.
- Patient engagement. Patients are looking for deeper engagement—digitally—with their health care providers. Some clinics offer secure ways of scheduling and communicating with providers by way of a secure e-portal or email/messaging system. Other technology on the forefront of patient engagement includes telehealth visits and syncing fitness trackers with health care professional records and systems.
- Leadership. The industry will benefit from leaders who can drive the use of technology to connect with patients. Leaders in areas of health care technology will be strategic thinkers who can not only use new technology systems, but who are able to get them implemented and accepted.
Job Titles to Explore in Health Care IT
There are a variety of job titles related to the intersection of health care and information technology. For example:
- Health Information Managers organize and manage the electronic databases that contain patients’ health information, as well as generate and analyze patient reports. They can play a vital role as experts on patient records, ensuring they remain accurate, secure, and accessible to both patients and doctors.
- Data Architects design and create the structure of data within a health care organization. They can play a key role in patient-to-physician communication by designing systems to make information flow more user-friendly.
- Systems Architects design and build networks for health care records, staff records, and general communication for a health care organization. They can help solve connectivity problems through the implementation of clinical systems technologies.
- Clinical Informatics Specialists support clinicians and other health care professionals by designing, building, testing, and identifying opportunities for improvements to clinical information systems.
Capella University offers two health information management degrees:
- BS in Information Technology, Health Information Management
- BS in Health Care Administration, Health Information Management