What Can You Do with a Health Information Technology Degree?

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Oct 7, 2019

Oct 7, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

According to the US Department of Labor, health information technology jobs are expected to grow 11 percent between 2018 to 2028. This rate is much faster than the average for all other career fields.

Health information technology professionals are in the top six most in-demand health care careers. That’s even higher than doctors!

If you’re a recent college tech grad, you might be asking yourself “what can you do with a health information technology degree?” The answer is “lots!” Check out this helpful guide on the career options available to someone with your brand new skill set.

What is Health Information?

Health information is a total of an individual patient’s medical data collected to date. This data can include lab results an x-rays. Doctor’s notes on symptoms and diagnoses are also considered health information.

Doctors use this information to review how their patient’s health changes over time. This data is also used by researchers who are studying an entire population’s health changes over the years to suggest ways to improve outcomes.

Health information management (HIM) is the overarching term used to describe the array of careers that manage this data. These careers range from coding and auditing to electronic records management. Cancer registry management is also a part of the HIM system.

What Can You Do With a Health Information Technology Degree?

HIM careers center on the thought that proper record documentation can improve patient care and reduce human errors. HIM also calls for a wide selection of behind-the-scenes professionals. These professionals help maintain that necessary balance between technology and healthcare aptitude.

Here’s a glimpse of just a few of these health information technology jobs.

Medical Coders

Medical coders review all patient medical information. Then they translate their histories into numeric codes.

Medical coding uses a standard health care coding system. These systems assign procedure and diagnosis codes for health statistics and patient care.

There are two most common coding systems. One includes the International Classification of Diseases (ICD.) The other system includes the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT).

Medical coding touches other fields in and outside of the medical profession. Pharmacists and doctors use these codes to better understand a patient’s medical history.

Health insurance professionals will rely on these codes as well. They need them to determine how insurance can cover an injury or medical condition.

Medical Compliance Auditors

Medical compliance auditors review doctor’s billing records and coding files. These audits are a helpful way for healthcare organizations to improve the quality of care. Audits also find ways to save costs for the healthcare provider.

Compliance auditors are responsible for confirming that health care offices are complying with all federal and state regulations. They’ll also check for compliance with professional organization guidelines. Their review also reveals whether a healthcare provider is consistent with its own internal standards.

Healthcare Data Analysts

Healthcare data analysts collect and interpret medical data. Their job is to find ways to lower medical costs and improve the patient’s experience.

These professionals can also identify emerging trends in the healthcare industry. Armed with this knowledge, they can make recommendations for improvements.

You’ll find healthcare data analysts working in health insurance companies and hospitals. Governmental agencies and medical practice groups also hire healthcare data analysts as well.

Medical Research Analysts

You’ll find most medical research analysts working as a part of a team directing a clinical trial, medical study or another body of research. These professionals work with physicians and universities to coordinate clinical research efforts.

Some research efforts these professionals perform include identifying research subjects and scheduling interviews. These interviews are with current or former patients.

Their research projects might include evaluating new drugs or medical devices. They might also be called on to research new biological procedures for the human body.

Medical Records Technicians

When patients are admitted into a hospital or health care facility, a medical records technician will create a thorough medical record for them. Medical records technicians will manage these records during the patient’s stay. These records might include x-rays or lab procedures.

Medical records technicians will also take information from the doctor’s notes and transfer them into the patient's permanent medical file. These technicians use digital programs to input and update patient information for insurance companies as well as physicians.

Electronic Health Record Developers

Electronic health record (EHR) developers design electronic healthcare record systems. They ensure that the systems are used correctly and make upgrades to improve efficiency. These developers use their software system skills

These professionals also develop and execute test scenarios and analyze their results. EHR developers will also collect feedback from their clients to create system improvements. EHR developers will also draft policies and procedures for medical staff to use. They’ll also provide ongoing training for medical staff for all versions of the system.

Cancer Registrars

Cancer registrars manage historic cancer patient case files. These professionals collect information on a cancer patient’s medical treatment and status. This information is vital for medical research as well as to justify future public funding requests.

Cancer registrars work in hospitals. You’ll also find cancer registrars working for either federal or state governmental agencies.

Cancer registrars can apply for Certified Registrar Tumor (CRT) certification. This certification affirms their expertise with national standards and medical coding concepts.

Next Steps

Ready to put that new health information technology degree to work for you? Your options are limitless.

You might start looking for a job as a medical coder. Put those ICD or CPT coding system skills to work for you. Then you might be able to leverage these skills to later achieve a Certified Cancer Registrar Tumor certification.

If your best skills are on the technical side, consider jobs as an EHR developer. Your digital testing and system training experience will lend itself to any industry.

For more help on finding answers to that nagging question “what can you do with a health information technology degree?” be sure to check our website. Let us help you find that next best career where you can make a difference.