Health information technology degree online, health management and health informatics programs prepare students for computer and technology careers in healthcare settings or related facilities.
Health information covers all of the data collected when people visit doctors, are admitted to hospitals, and are billed by health insurance companies. Not long ago, much of this information was kept in paper medical records, but computer systems and health information technologies now play a greater role in processing health information.
In addition to health information technology degrees, this field also includes the related health informatics and health information management programs.
Health information technology students develop high-demand skills related to the handling of patient health information. They learn about medical terminology, computerized support systems for organizational planning and decision making, anatomy and physiology, diagnostic coding, and health information legal issues. In addition, these online programs train students to use electronic medical records, as well ICD9 and ICD10 coding software.
A health information technology degree that is pursued by distance learning revolves around use of technology. This makes the Internet-based e-learning format not only convenient and flexible, but also an excellent environment for learning health information skills. Throughout the online program, students train on computers and Internet-based health systems that mirror the ones they will use when they enter their specific healthcare field. In addition, having access to a computer during all classes and sessions allows students to use the extensive resources that health information technicians access during their jobs, such as coding manuals and health terminology dictionaries.
Health information technology and health information management degrees focus on the use of computers and Internet technologies to update and share information about patient records, tests, hospital stays, etc. This involves using electronic medical records to maintain accurate patient records, and coding the visits according to strict guidelines. Some positions may involve managing people and implementing technology rather than day-to-day entry of information into computer systems.
Health informatics is even more involved with the computer systems. This specialization involves computer science and programming, information systems, and business management. It also includes creating and refining computer systems for storing patient data, as well as for keeping that information private and secure.
A health information technology program prepares a student to work as a health information technician, also known as a health information analyst or clinical information systems manager. Technicians use computers and electronic medical records to retrieve and share patient information. Job prospects for health information technicians and analysts are excellent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This comes from not only a greater use of electronic medical records, but also an increased use of medical tests and services by the population.
An online health information management degree may also lead to positions such as a quality improvement specialist, project manager, or a research support analyst. A health informatics degree can lead to positions such as a database administrator for a healthcare organization, or a system designer.
With training and education in health information technology or health management, other careers one can pursue include:
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