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Healthcare consolidation creates a need for more IT professionals

IT skills and new healthcare needs drive growth in health technology degrees

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and the HITECH Act in 2009 (Health IT for Economic and Clinical Health), healthcare in America has gone through radical changes. The transition from paper to electronic health information is impacting the operation of healthcare on every level. It involves not only medical providers of all types, but health IT vendors, government agencies, third party payers, researchers, and patients, all combining forces in new ways, with the goal of creating greater access to quality healthcare at an affordable cost. It is leading to new business models, improved clinical decision support, health information exchanges, health insurance marketplace, patient portals, and mobile health apps among the many innovations.

For those in the information technology field, this new cooperation among stakeholders could bring a variety of new career opportunities. Many organizations are now seeking IT experts with abilities in managing complex information systems, combined with a background in healthcare. An online Master of Health Information Technology degree program offers the type of knowledge you need to help healthcare organizations streamline processes and improve security of their data.

Today’s changing healthcare market requires a health technology degree

For IT professionals, the healthcare field can be challenging. Jobs in the healthcare industry require not only skill with computers but fluency in medical operations and information management as well. An MHIT gives students background in medical practice management along with a foundational understanding of the rapidly changing healthcare environment. healthcare environment. While earning their Master of Health Information Technology degree, students will learn about ways to effectively manage health information systems to benefit both patients and healthcare professionals. They will learn how to plot effective strategies for maintaining contact with patients, analyze usage patterns to improve response time and manage electronic health records (EHRs). A health technology degree provides effective crossover between information technology and the new opportunities for improving care delivery with shared electronic health information.

Because of new technology and informatics requirements in the healthcare sector, people with a health technology degree can become application analysts, compliance officers or clinical data analysts. Management positions may include health information management director, health IT project manager, or even chief information officer. New titles are emerging, including chief nursing information officer, chief medical information officer, clinical informaticist, chief transformation officer, and more.

Learn at your own pace

Many people would love to return to college and start a graduate program, but need a class schedule that can be adjusted around their work hours. Luckily, many institutions have recognized this problem and now offer fully online programs that allow students to earn a Master of Health Information Technology degree while maintaining their full-time work schedule and personal obligations.

The world of healthcare is changing rapidly, and IT professionals must expand their knowledge of medical systems and regulations to keep up or expand into the field. In the end, online platforms for learning make getting a Master of Health Information Technology degree easier for those already employed and can provide an opportunity to change or enhance their careers.

Learn more about the University of South Carolina’s online MHIT program.


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