Rapid growth in the healthcare system means all kinds of expansion, including in jobs available in health data management. With more people being served by healthcare facilities and practitioners, there's an important need to effectively manage diverse kinds of healthcare data. The types of jobs also vary, depending on your skill levels and on what sorts of records need management.
Health Information Technicians and Managers
When patients enter a hospital or any kind of healthcare facility, information must be gathered about them. This will include initial patient history information, both personal and medical, as well as any records that are generated during the patient's care, including doctor's visits, lab tests, medications prescribed and surgeries performed. Healthcare information technicians are responsible for maintaining and organizing these records in a secure fashion, so that they can be accessed when needed. According to Explore Health Careers, health information managers are responsible for the overseeing of such records for a whole facility, a certain department or a whole medical practice. Health information managers usually have at least an associate's degree in health informatics, but there are also bachelor's and master's level programs in the field.
Healthcare Documentation Specialists
Other jobs available in health data management include jobs in healthcare documentation. Doctors and other healthcare practitioners are busy dealing with more patients than ever. Most of the time, they provide a voice record of notes concerning patient visits. Those notes are then listened to and transcribed by healthcare documentation specialists. These transcriptionists take down what the doctor has said, sometimes editing it for clarity and ensuring its accuracy. Documentation specialists have to be well-versed in medical terminology in order to be effective at their jobs, and able to clearly organize important information into given formats. Documentation specialists can receive training in a number of venues, including community colleges and vocational schools. It's important to find a program that has validity in the healthcare community, such as those programs approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity.
Medical and Billing Coders
When you go to the doctor, someone has to translate the services rendered to you into the appropriate codes for the insurance company. That job falls to medical and billing coders, whose task it is to translate those bills accurately. It may sound easy, but with close to 10,000 code numbers, there's a lot to keep track of, especially with so many different types of medical services and procedures in healthcare today. Coders train in approved programs to receive certification.
Related Resource: Medical Coding Changes
These are some of the main jobs that can be found in the healthcare data field, each important and each requiring specializing training. Job growth and outlook for these and other jobs in the field is strong, especially due to increased government funding to enable the digitizing of health information records in an effort to make health record-keeping more accurate and consistent across the country. If you are interested in working in the healthcare industry, it can be worth your while to check out jobs available in health data management.