As the HITECH Act and mandates of the ACA continue to transform the way the healthcare industry uses technology, the number of opportunities for IT professionals is expected to grow as well. In fact, according to The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “IT jobs in healthcare are expected to grow by 20% annually through 2018, ‘much faster than average’.”
From this, it is clear that there are ample opportunities for IT professionals to consider for a new career path in the healthcare industry. Since IT professionals are expected to be in such high-demand, now is the perfect time to position yourself as an expert on specific healthcare IT trends and technologies and launch yourself into a long-term career.
Here are some areas where hospitals and other healthcare providers are ramping up their staffing strategies to hire top IT talent:
Mobile App Development – With the heavy reliance on smart phone and tablet technology, the use of mobile devices and mobile apps has grown rapidly within the healthcare industry. For example, while some mobile apps provide a database used by doctors to search information about drugs, diseases, and medications, other apps allow patients to use them as encyclopedias in order to educate themselves on various medical related issues, conditions, treatments, etc. Whether you have basic or extensive experience in software development, the demand is projected to increase in this area.
Cloud Computing – The healthcare industry is constantly updating its methods of providing remote patient monitoring and assistance through cloud technology. Cloud computing gives providers the ability to centrally manage patient data, in which doctors can quickly and easily pull up medical records remotely. It also allows for better data consolidation, which helps clinicians make better decisions and provide high-level care to patients. If you possess cloud computing skills or are a well-versed cloud architect, consider these types of positions.
Clinical Data Analytics – With so many systems in place for patients, compiling data and tracking hospital records can prove to be a challenging task for many under-staffed hospitals. A Clinical Analyst uses big data to predict outcomes, measure trends, and establish correlations that can drive quality care at lower costs. If you are an IT professional skilled in data warehousing and business intelligence, you will be able to find rewarding opportunities in these areas.
ICD-10 Implementation– The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) is the most up-to-date diagnostic coding and billing system used across the healthcare industry. As the deadline to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 approaches, there is a high demand for IT professionals familiar with coding systems and data that possess the ability to train staff in using this complex electronic medical record system.
Patient Portals – Brower-based gateways are now being used to connect patients with convenient 24 hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection. For example, to help ensure patients have their most up-to-date information, they are able to view recent doctor visits, specific lab reports, or check benefits and coverage through these gateways. If you have experience working with web browsers, website design, and website maintenance, working with hospitals to develop patient portals can be an area with a lot of opportunity.
Data Breach Prevention and Network Security – With an increased usage of mobile devices and internet-based medical recordkeeping systems, unpredictable cyber breaches have healthcare professionals on constant alert. As a result, medical providers have begun to invest in cyber-attack prevention strategies. Therefore, if you are an IT professional with experience in data breach prevention or network and cloud security, you are in a great position to update infrastructure to secure privacy for both patient and provider information.