Over the last few years, technology and healthcare have converged in ways they never have before. With the accelerated digitization of the healthcare industry, providers are further increasing their investments in technology to help improve data analytics and patient care, and increase capabilities for treatment outside of typical healthcare facilities. As the space continues to expand, so will the demand for jobs. “There is such a crunch for talent in both the healthcare and technology industries that the barrier to entry in healthcare IT has never been lower,” says Matt Hodgin, VP of Healthcare Technology.
Whether your primary experience lies in technology or the healthcare space, many of your skills can be transferable to this unique and growing industry. And if you’re looking to make a change, the perfect time to break into healthcare IT is now! Here’s how you can make the leap:
Consider what you hope to achieve in your new role:
There are many different paths you could take in healthcare IT, so before embarking on a search, consider what your end goal is. “First, think about what environment you’d like to work in—from health insurance companies to hospitals and their vendors, every company delivering services in the healthcare space has technology needs,” says Matt. “Second, consider what you’d like to be doing with technology and where your current skills may be transferable.This can include working on infrastructure, data analytics, or training end-users on software applications commonly used in healthcare settings. Popular categories to be familiar with in healthcare IT include:
- Analytics: Reporting, Business Intelligence, Data Analysis, AI, Machine Learning
- Infrastructure: Cybersecurity, The Cloud, Identity Access Management, Networking, Hardware
- Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Common EHRs include Epic and Cerner. Also to note, every EHR has multiple clinical and financial modules corresponding to patient care and the Revenue Cyle
Map out what you already know:
Often overlooked when making a career change are past experiences that can help you qualify for the job. As someone already in tech, you can use your knowledge and apply it to the healthcare industry by familiarizing yourself with common terms and best practices. As someone already working in healthcare, such as a nurse, you may have done light programming using Microsoft Excel or SQL that can apply to a job in healthcare IT. “Think about all the areas you’re exposed to in your day-to-day that can be transferable,” advises Matt. “Healthcare IT is very collaborative and broad—many skills can apply.”
Volunteer or do extracurriculars to gain new skills:
If ultimately you don’t have all the necessary skills to break into healthcare IT, consider volunteering, taking on extra responsibilities at your current job, or even continuing your education to either learn about the healthcare industry or expand on your technical skills. “Looking for roles on the healthcare vendor side can also help you get a foot in the door,” says Matt. “Vendors often are looking to hire in abundance and at entry-level. As someone just starting out in tech, consider looking into gaining an A+ certification online to further boost your marketability. “
Contact your network:
Networking can improve your chances of finding opportunities, especially if you’re looking to break into healthcare IT. On the hospital side, internal candidates are usually the people who get picked first for a role because they have experience in the environment—so it can be beneficial to ask around. “If you are in patient care, ask a member of the nursing informatics team. Inquire about what do they do, if they’re hiring, and if they’d be willing to train you in one of their systems so you could take on additional assignments,” suggests Matt. Alternatively, if you are already in technology looking to get into Healthcare IT, consider connecting with people in the healthcare field such as Professional Medical Billing and Coding Specialists, and Registered Health Information Technicians.