Just as technology has changed the way we bank, shop, or watch movies, so too is technology shaping medical record keeping.
Now electronic exchange of medical information allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers to access and securely share vital medical information electronically—and, ideally, improve the speed, quality, safety, and cost of patient care.
Those who work in Health Information Technology (HIT) manage and organize medical data, ensuring accuracy and security of these records. Technicians can also track patterns of disease and treatment outcomes. They may specialize in types of information, such as in medical coding or in maintaining cancer registrars.
“With the future of healthcare, everyone is shifting to electronic health records,” said Allison Minicz, instructor for the Health Information Technology Department at McHenry County College. “It’s a great time for anybody getting into the HIT field.”
Nationally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for health information technicians to grow by 22% per year between 2012 and 2022. This growth is expected to result in an increase of 41,100 jobs by 2022.
MCC recently added a HIT degree that expands on its current medical billing and coding certificate.
Many students go on to work in a hospital’s health information management department, but Minicz said there are many other employers that hire health information technicians, including insurance companies, government agencies, cancer registries, software vendors, and education.
The AAS degree can be completed mostly online, Minicz said. Classes are held in the evening and blended classes meet on campus once a month.
Minicz, who has taught HIT for six years, said she has never had a student who had an issue finding a job.
“It’s health care,” Minicz said. “It’s always going to be there.”
For more information on a HIT career or classes at MCC, visit www.mchenry.edu/HIT