7 Healthcare IT Roles That Are Transforming Tech Careers

Healthcare IT is becoming one of the fastest growing areas in the job market as health service providers rush to get compliant and adopt new technologies.

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Thu, May 16, 2013

CIO — Even in a down economy healthcare continues to grow, and lot of that growth falls inside of the IT realm. A convergence of mobility, new legislation, HIPPA compliance and emerging technologies are creating a market that is hungry for talent that not only knows IT but has a solid understanding of healthcare.

Healthcare IT Growth Factors

  • ARRA stimulus funding - Meaningful Use
  • ICD-10 Conversion
  • Lowering Healthcare Costs
  • Demand to integrate healthcare systems
  • Mobility and Device Integration

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, more jobs are being created that blend the skills of both IT workers and healthcare workers. And with the adoption of electronic medical records, telemedicine and ICD-10 migration, this trend is picking up momentum.

Healthcare IT Roles that are Transforming an Industry

In CompTIA's 4th Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities survey, 375 doctors, dentists, healthcare providers and administrators from small- and mid-size practices were asked about the trends driving healthcare and IT.

The main takeaway is that the importance of IT to healthcare providers continues to trend upwards. "A net 89 percent of physicians and other providers now rate IT as important/very important to their practice," according to the CompTIA survey.

CIO.com spoke with Healthcare IT experts to see where the demand lies for these hybrid roles within this transforming market. Here are the seven roles they identified:

1. Clinical Applications Analyst

These professionals are the ones who can actually connect the workflow of what is taking place when you look at everything that happens between patients, clinicians, doctors and various support folks like social workers.

"These are people who are able to manage what the transformation of those work processes need to do. They are the lingo bridge, the flow bridge, the translation bridge and they are the lexicon bridge between clinical workflow and application functionality," says Randy Gaboriault, Christiana Care Health System.

These individuals will have a strong clinical background and work to improve workflows using their unique experience, whether it's on the revenue side or in the operating room. Clinical application analysts work as a liaison of sorts between patient care and clinical technologies. They help to design, implement, maintain and train to support clinical and/or business systems.

Annual Average Salary: $71,000

2. Clinical Informatics

This is where computer science, information science and healthcare converge. These are people who help us look at the data and information and how we use that information. "[In healthcare] we capture all these little things that happen, we capture all these transactional things. All this information healthcare actually has to now mine and use to better inform what we do with patients of similar composition. What informaticists do is mine information and help turn it into meaningful, operative action on the frontline of clinical delivery," says Gaboriault.

As you might expect, hospitals collect an enormous amount of data and someone needs to be able to make that data useful. "Basically it's data analytics," says Dana Anderson, client services executive at Modis, an IT staffing firm. Anderson works within Modis' hospital and healthcare division.

"The whole goal of meaningful use is to have improved health outcomes. They [clinical informatics] identify trends and then apply the data to real-life scenarios, "says Liann Brobst, a national healthcare IT recruiter with Modis.

Annual Average Salary: $89,000

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