What is a health information technology degree and why should you earn one?

health information technology degreeWhen students decide to go back to college and earn a degree, they will quickly realize they have many options to choose from, including health information technology. Essentially, this field involves sharing healthcare data through electronic devices, which has been found to improve patient care, reduce healthcare costs and prevent medical errors, among other benefits.

Due to the many advantages of using technology in healthcare, about 35 percent of hospitals in the U.S. were using electronic health records, or EHRs, last year, according to a survey by the American Hospital Association. In the coming years, this percentage is only expected to increase, creating many new job opportunities for students with the proper training.

What are possible jobs for health information technology degree holders?

Students who decide to enter the fast-growing field of health information technology have many career choices. One of the most popular options is medical records and health information technician. These professionals make sure healthcare data is accurate, accessible, secure and of high-quality.

Individuals with a health information technology degree can also become health information administrators, which are sometimes called health information managers. Professionals in this role are responsible for designing and managing health information systems that keep patients’ medical records secure and up to date.

What will the future of this industry look like?

According to Healthcare IT News, studies have indicated that healthcare, in general, is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. In fact, it is estimated that there will be more than 4.2 million new healthcare jobs by 2020.

As the overall healthcare sector continues to expand, healthcare information technology will also grow. A February brief by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that because the demand for professionals in this field is growing so fast, there may not be enough healthcare information technology degree holders to fill these positions.

“Given the prevailing air of economic uncertainty in America and the unprecedented level of support for health information technology from the federal government, growth in health information systems may represent an untapped market for both job creation and market savings,” the brief states, as quoted by Healthcare IT News.