Healthcare is as much a system of information as it is a system of medicine. The collection, management, and use of that information is so important that a whole new branch of healthcare has emerged in recent years: healthcare informatics. This interdisciplinary field utilizes computer science and information technology to solve problems in healthcare.
Healthcare Informatics is in demand now and the field is expected to grow through the next decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in healthcare informatics will increase faster than the average through 2029. You probably know that healthcare and technology are great career paths, so just imagine what it would be like to work in a field that combines the best of both worlds.
Technology and Healthcare Have Combined
What makes healthcare informatics an in-demand field? The rise of technology! Technology is used in just about every industry today, but its inclusion in the healthcare industry has become critical to efficient patient care and positive outcomes. Here are just two ways healthcare and technology have merged:
The HITECH Act
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was implemented in 2009. It expanded the use of health information technology in the U.S. Under the meaningful use clause, the government can penalize healthcare facilities that don’t utilize Electronic Health Records, which are digitized versions of medical records.
The Emergence of Telemedicine
Over the past few years, telemedicine has allowed doctors to diagnose and treat patients remotely through the use of technology like apps and video calls. Telemedicine benefits patients who can’t get around easily or who don’t live close to a healthcare facility. Telemedicine grew during the pandemic and is predicted to continue its upward growth.
Benefits of a Career in Healthcare Informatics
The field’s growth trajectory may be enough reason to choose healthcare informatics. But it also offers competitive salaries for specialists and better pay as you advance your knowledge and build your credentials. Consultants in the field can earn more than $100,000.
There are also many different roles within the field. You could be an informatics director who manages changes in technology and trains other employees. Or perhaps you’d prefer to work as a health IT project manager, overseeing health tech projects from inception to execution and evaluation. Or maybe you like the detailed work of an electronic medical records keeper. In this role, you would update and maintain patients’ medical records. The point is that there are plenty of options once you enter the industry.
But let’s not forget that when you work in healthcare, you have the opportunity to make a difference in patient outcomes. All that technology you work with really does have the potential to help save lives. That’s something you can be proud of your entire career.
Are you ready to explore healthcare informatics? Whether you want to build a career from start or advance in the field, Limestone University offers a Master of Science in Health Informatics that will prepare you with the education, knowledge, and skills you need. The program consists of 10 classes in a flexible online format so you can fit your coursework into your life. Request info now to learn how you can get started.