Healthcare providers, insurance companies, pharmacies, and patients rely on information concerning treatment, medications, medical histories, and payment. Health informatics professionals manage records and communications input, storage, and data recovery. They're usually associated with hospitals, clinics, consulting companies, laboratories, suppliers, or insurance companies.
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How to Prepare for a Career in Health Informatics
To succeed in medical informatics, you need a solid educational foundation in information technology. You must know medical protocols and practices in:
- Clinical care
To advance in the health informatics industry, you must understand: privacy and patient laws in medical reporting; and computer hardware, medical record software, and network security.
Health Informatics Education Requirements
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you can land an entry-level health information technician or medical records job with an associate's degree in health informatics. The BLS reports grads who earn a Registered Health Information Technicians credential have the best opportunities. Computer network administrators need, at least, a bachelor's degree, while managers may complete a master's degree or MBA with a focus on health informatics.
Salary Range and Job Outlook
The BLS predicts network and computer systems administrators' jobs will rise 23 percent from 2008 to 2018, while medical records and health information technician jobs will grow 20 percent. According to the BLS, the median 2008 salary for medical records and health information technicians was $30,610. The median annual wage for network administrators was $66,310.