Emerging Careers in Health Information Technology

Health Information technology is the secure exchange of electronic health records between health care professionals, insurance providers, patients, and the government.

The problem with medical records being recorded on paper is they have to be stored in filing cabinets at the physicians office, or in a box at the patients home. Then, when providers want to access the medical records they have to be mailed, faxed, or physically brought to the appointment by the patient. Furthermore, handwritten notes and prescriptions can have poor legibility, making them difficult to read. This obsolete system can cause medication errors, duplicate testing, and increased health care cost.

The Main Advantages of using Health IT include:

  • Decrease paperwork
  • Access patients medical records instantly
  • Increase accuracy of Patients Medical Information
  • More efficient system
  • Reduce Cost

In addition, the technology can increase the public health by:

  • Early detection of disease outbreaks and viruses
  • Able to compare health records from different parts of the US

Health Information Technology Jobs

Jobs in Health IT are in high demand with a predicted growth of 21 percent by the year 2020. Some jobs include

  • Registered Health Information technician (RHIT)
  • Health Information Manager (HIM)
  • Medical Biller
  • Medical Coder
  • Consultant

Implementation of HIT

According to a study by RAND Health performed in 2005, the US health care system could save more than $81 billion a year if most healthcare providers were to adopt the technology.

In 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which allocated $19 billion in incentives for eligible healthcare providers who implemented and adopted Health IT before 2015. If hospitals and healthcare providers switched over from paper to electronic health records, they could receive up to $44,000 over four years in Medicare funding and $63,750 over six years in Medicaid funding. After 2015, health care providers will not be able to receive any federal funding.

In order to qualify for the financial incentives of the federal government, healthcare providers must meet strict standards set by the Department of Health and Human Services when implementing Health IT. This promotes interoperability in healthcare and smooth communication between health care providers.

Although the government lends financial incentives to healthcare providers who adopt the technology, the health care providers will pay for the initial cost of the implementing and training staff members how to use the technology. Finally, the reduced cost of paperless medical records is predicted to save money for healthcare providers over the long run.

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