Happy National Healthcare IT week! It’s time to take a step back and shine a spotlight on healthcare’s unsung heroes – IT workers. These professionals play a key role in transforming and adapting care, so this week is focused on spreading awareness about the critical nature of their work.
While we celebrate the hard-working healthcare IT professionals out there, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to all of you who are considering to start or switch paths toward a Healthcare IT (HIT) career. Long story short – do it! Why? I have three awesome reasons:
The Demand is There
Health systems need IT professionals. And this is not just a stale assumption; the numbers show it’s fact. The current unemployment rate for the healthcare industry is 3.2 percent, and according to BLS.gov, entry-level health technologists and technicians will see a 16 percent increase in job demand through 2024.
Career Paths Are Evolving
As technology and the healthcare landscape evolve, HIT careers have taken interesting twists and turns. First is security. In the beginning of 2017, 52 percent of healthcare executives said they’re upgrading their security systems this year.* With the recent Equifax breach, there’s no question that every organization is taking a hard look at themselves and considering “when” instead of “if,” so this percentage has probably climbed. Beyond that, health systems hold sensitive information about patients, so they’re naturally a prime target for hackers. This is a great opportunity for those with an interest in security to shift and refocus their skills!
Next you’ve got the increased demand for analytics. 95 percent of large hospitals in the United States have EMRs in place**, and popularity the Internet of (Medical) Things (IoMT) is rapidly rising. What are the results? Data, data, data. How do we best use this data it in a way that’s truly transformational? That’s what healthcare analytics professionals do!
Along with the spike in security and data needs, HIT work is seeing an increased demand within telemedicine and mobility. This trend really gained ground in 2015, and it hasn’t let up. By 2018, it’s estimated that 65 percent of interactions with healthcare facilities will occur by mobile devices.*** One of the amazing aspects of technology is that it’s rapidly making the inaccessible accessible.  A patient’s care is no longer restricted by geographical location! Instead, they can hop on a call with their physician, log on to their health system’s online portal and get the help they need. And yes, this is all made possible by HIT professionals!
The Opportunity to Positively Impact Lives
Although doctors and nurses tend to be the faces of positive impact at health systems, HIT professionals play a massive role behind the scenes that allow doctors and nurses to do their jobs more efficiently every day. As I said earlier, HIT professionals are the unsung healthcare hero, so if you’re looking for an evolving career where you can make a difference, look no further.
Eric Born is the Managing Director of Medix IT, where he oversees Medix’s Epic, HIT, Infrastructure, Business Intelligence, Application Development and IT Security practices.