Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Opens Pathways for HIM
Despite growing uncertainty around the future of healthcare, HIMSS17 presented a positive outlook, heralding the promise of new careers in healthcare information technology (HIT). With more than 42,000 speakers, exhibitors and attendees, many educational sessions focused on topics and trends of interest to HIM professionals.
According to Pivot Point Consulting’s Healthcare IT Market Report released at HIMSS, healthcare IT professionals enjoy a high level of job satisfaction and optimism about career opportunities. Why? Simply put, HIT offers well-paying, meaningful jobs with exceptional potential for growth.
AHIMA’s career map provides easy access to information on current and emerging career paths in various categories. Here are three positions featured in IT:
- Implementation support specialist—responsible for end user support, maintenance, training and customization of the EHR, providing leadership in quality assurance, billing, operational procedures and continuing EHR development
- Data quality manager—provides leadership and oversight of data quality management program activities, developing strategies with a multidisciplinary care team to achieve organizational goals
- Data architect—oversees development of target data architecture, design principles, quality control and data standards, in collaboration with business experts and developers to identify data needs and ensure the integrity of the data warehouse
These positions require extensive knowledge of federal and state regulations, the ability to implement an organization’s data governance policies and procedures, and a high degree of data security in the handling of data.
Emerging Trends to Watch
Health Data Management (HDM) recently posted a list of 14 significant themes that emerged at HIMSS17. From that list, here are four technology trends that are relevant to HIM’s expansion into IT:
- Data security—Cybersecurity is an ever-increasing concern. With the rise in the number of ransomware attacks comes the threat of cyber attacks that involve patient safety.
- Value-based care opportunities—The shift to value-based care means a potential shift in how clinical records systems function to streamline care delivery, which requires enhanced data skills.
- New security approaches—Lean methodologies are being employed to tie information security to information systems and organizational strategy.
- Population health and IT—As population management grows within health information technology, new forms of HIT will look to provide more granular information needed to manage individual cases.
In addition, HIM colleagues who attended the conference shared several trends that will be top of mind for our profession throughout the coming year:
- Data integrity and patient identity matching are critical to preventing medical errors and achieving a goal of improved care. This means ensuring accurate EHR data and proper release of information (ROI).
- Patient-generated health data (PGHD) presents opportunities along with potential issues for IT, compliance, privacy and security professionals.
- Technology and proactive training programs are essential to risk management required to mitigate healthcare security concerns.
Next up—Data Analytics and Informatics
HIM professionals are already moving into diverse data analysis roles within their organizations. As the healthcare industry faces imminent transformation, data analytics and informatics will play a powerful role. Now is the time for HIM professionals to explore trends at the heart of healthcare’s evolution.