BY MALLORY BEBERMAN
Published November 15, 2010
A recent study published by the University of California at San Diego examined the top careers for recent college graduates. We profile the top 10 here.
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1. HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNICIAN
This past July, President Barack Obama signed new legislation that will reward hospitals that optimize their use of electronic health records, creating a greater a need for health information technicians.
The Department of Health and Human Services could grant doctors and hospitals up to $27 billion over the next 10 years to turn all of their paper medical records into electronic ones. Furthermore, with this legislation, doctors and hospitals that do not use electronic medical records by 2015 could face financial infractions from Medicare.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of medical records and health information technicians will grow 20 percent faster than the average rate of all other occupations through 2018.
Professionals in this field generally have an associate degree and have strong computer software and technology skills, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information technicians should also be familiar with medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, clinical classification and coding systems.
“Health information technology makes it possible for health care providers to better manage patient care through secure use and sharing of health information,” the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s website states.
The website also says health information technology allows hospitals to provide their patients with improved care since electronic medical records enable doctors to diagnose health issues faster, decrease the frequency of medical errors and better coordinate the care they give.
Specifically, health information technicians compile reports that detail patients’ medical history, symptoms, examination results, diagnostic tests, treatment methods and all other relevant information. As electronic health records are more frequently used, technicians must understand the EHR software programs, how to maintain a high-level of EHR security and how to analyze the electronic data.