Who Employs Health Informatics Professionals?

Finding out which companies employ health informatics professionals will soon become a much easier task with the expected expansion of the healthcare profession. The industry is rapidly changing as patient records are undergoing a significant transformation from paper-based storage of records to digital. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that growth of this profession will hit 22 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than the expected overall job growth for the country.

Additionally, the BLS suggests that some of the most likely states where health informatics professionals may find employment include Texas, California, Washington and Florida. One of the states with high need for health informatics professionals is New York.  Many positions are available there and the population of workers isn’t sufficient to currently meet demand.

What Do Health Informatics Professionals Do?

Often called medical records technicians or health information technicians, a health informatics professional must be able to communicate effectively on a variety of healthcare topics while accessing electronic patient records. Health informatics professionals must also know how to keep health information private due to the sensitive nature of medical records. Therefore, companies that employ health informatics professionals will search for someone with official training and a professional certification.

Health Care Organizations for Employment

The primary industries within healthcare where health information technicians are employed include hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and government agencies. Hospitals employ the largest percentage of workers, but the needs of nursing and residential facilities are expected to grow in the next several years as the population ages and more care facilities are built.

Companies Hiring Health Informatics Professionals

According to magazine “Healthcare Informatics,” several companies have started increasing the number of health informatics professionals employed at each company site. For example, McKesson Technology Solutions out of Alpharetta, Georgia is an IT company that works with electronic patient records. Also, computer maker Dell is another major player in the computerized records industry.

In most cases, a health informatics professional may choose to work at a company in the technology sector that offers electronic health records solutions, or he or she may choose to work directly for the healthcare institution. Whether a health informatics professional works for a private company, in the public sector, or for the government, the choices for employment are varied and growing.

Gaining an Edge in the Job Market

One of the most important projects for health informatics students is looking into membership with a professional association after graduation. The leading professional association for health informatics professionals is the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Additionally, graduates may want to look into the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS).

In addition to membership in those vital associations, students will also want to look at becoming certified as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) or becoming a Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR). Membership in these associations requires recertification on a regular basis. Also, ensuring college training includes an internship also gives students an edge in becoming a working health informatics professional after graduation.

After working as a health informatics professional, workers may choose to move on to a career as a medical services manager or health services manager, which is another swiftly growing field of employment. A company or hospital who will employ health informatics professionals will also often employ managers to guide health informatics professionals, and those managerial positions will become available through further education.