Overview of Health Information Technology Job Duties

Overview of Health Information Technology Job Duties

Mar 17, 2015 | 10:00 am

Exchanging health information electronically and securely is a hot new career… one that’s growing faster than average and has the potential to keep expanding. What exactly does a health information technology job cover, and what preparation do you need to get there?

What You’ll Do

The need for information technology (IT) in healthcare is vital. According to the American Hospital Association, research shows that computerized physician order entry, decision support systems and medication administration barcoding can actually limit errors and improve both care and efficiency.

After the proper training, technicians take on the task of managing patient healthcare data both electronically and in paper form. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these are just some of the many tasks included in a health information technology job:

•Gather and maintain patient health history, examination results, test results and treatments.
•Classify and code patient information for insurance reimbursement, databases and registries.
•Follow patient outcomes for appropriate assessment.
•Review health records for completeness and accuracy.
•Secure patient health information in accordance with HIPPA guidelines.

It’s important to note that a health information technology job doesn’t involve caring for patients, but it often includes corresponding with the professionals who do, such as RNs and physicians.

What You’ll Need

Most health information technology jobs require applicants to hold a post-secondary certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology. The BLS notes that employers prefer candidates with professional certification, which could mean graduating from an accredited program or passing a specialized exam. Check with your state on certification requirements and continuing education courses.

Where You’ll Work

Most health information technology jobs are found in hospitals, but any organization that requires a technician to collect, process, maintain and secure patient medical information hires healthcare IT staff. This could include physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities, residential care facilities, government organizations and more. Work equipment involves a computer and phone as well as other standard office supplies.

Job prospects are good for those entering this field, and with the widespread use of electronic health records, the need for health information techs should only continue to grow. With the proper training, experience and ongoing education, advancing to management roles and more is the next level. Good luck!