The employment outlook for the healthcare IT field looks very promising now and into the future. The federal government has set goals to get electronic health records standardized across the country. This has affected the demand for educated and experienced IT specialists. While exact job titles may vary, following are descriptions of some of the most in-demand healthcare IT jobs.
Health Informatics Specialist
Health informatics specialists implement the new technology necessary to meet the federally mandated goals for standardized electronic health records. Some of the duties could include:
- installing software
- updating networks
- troubleshooting and monitoring systems
- training hospital teams
Educational requirements can vary depending on the location and the job itself. Some positions only require a high school diploma and technological experience. However, it’s more common to hold at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer sciences. Salaries vary according to location, but the average salary is around $61,000.
Nursing Informatics Specialist
An informatics nurse analyses and addresses the logistics of technology in direct patient care. Many healthcare facilities recruit someone from their nursing staff to bridge the gap between IT and direct patient care. An informatics nurse could:
- help decide which IT programs would be most beneficial to the healthcare facility
- help implement them
- help train the staff
Educational requirements start with a nursing degree, but could also include a master’s degree in computer technology. Some positions could require certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Salaries vary according to location, but the average is around $66,000.
A clinical analyst creates the database system for healthcare facilities. They must set up a system that’s efficient for healthcare facilities to use and at the same time provide enough security measures to protect the sensitive medical records of patients. In addition, clinical analysts must stay current on the constantly changing federal regulations regarding standardization of electronic healthcare records. Educational requirements for an entry level position require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a life science related field. This is in addition to:
- a solid background in IT
- other technology
Higher level positions could require a master’s degree. Salaries average around $65,000.
Clinical Informatics Manager
Clinical informatics manager is a higher level position that:
- manages and trains staff
- develops and operates under a budget
- monitors operations to ensure they are operating within state and federal standards
- other managerial duties
Most hospitals and clinics hiring for this position require a master’s degree in addition to experience in the healthcare informatics field. Generally, clinical informatics managers start their career in one of the lower level informatics jobs and work their way up to a managerial position. Salaries can vary according to:
- experience in the informatics field
- the size of the healthcare facility
The national average for a clinical informatics manager is around $90,000.
The employment outlook for the healthcare IT field is promising. As the population ages and federal standards continue to evolve, standardization of electronic healthcare records is becoming more important than ever. There are many different career paths in the healthcare industry for IT and technology specialists.
This is a field that can be personally as well as financially awarding.