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How do i start a career in Healthcare IT.

By samudojr ·
what does it take to start a career in healthcare IT?

I have 1-2 yrs experience in IT (programming and RDBMS), i have a passion for hospital work but dont want to be a nurse/Dr.

Is there a certification i need to think about?
what kind of skillsets would be essential?

Thanks

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Transitioning to Healthcare IT

by paulenet In reply to How do i start a career i ...

This is not going to be easy to hear. Unfortunately, a realistic chance to make the move right now are dismal, especially with only 1-2 years experience. Much of the healthcare sector definitely needs a massive overhaul of IT systems to more robust and integrated solutions. However, despite economic news stories that try to tell us otherwise, the demand for IT people in healthcare (and most other industries) is very low right now, because of the very deep recession. Also, the U.S. job market is already saturated with well-seasoned professionals with many years experience, with countless equally-qualified U.S. citizens available for the same job, which is pretty much the case in other industries right now. While we wait for the economy to improve, what you can do in the mean time is learn as much as you can about healthcare regulations, process and procedures, and requirements such as HIPAA. IT certs can help, and a HIPAA cert would go a long way to attract attention from the Healthcare world, but courses are not cheap. http://www.training-hipaa.net/

However, if you are from India, then your chances are actually very good, and in most cases, no additional experience would be required. For the last several years, U.S. companies have been hiring as many foreigners as they can for cheap IT labor, despite having a significant lack of experience.

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Careers are a lifetime commitment

by rclark In reply to How do i start a career i ...

This is my 20th year in Healthcare IT. So I have seen a lot of people come and go. The sucessful IT specialist in healthcare has one major focus. Patient Care.

In order to generate and support that, you have to support the people who actually deliver the care. First nursing, then physicians. Those two groups have a very long history of delivering care, but a very short history with computers.

Your job, if you do get into IT is to manage the experience so that the quality of care delivered is better than before you started.

That is it in a nutshell.

So how do you do that? The tools we use are the tools everyone uses. Most systems today are moving to Electronic Health Records or EHR. The current and past half dozen presidents have all endorsed moving to an EHR to defray costs and to allow for efficiencies of scale. Unfortunately, those goals are hard to achieve. The best systems in existance only come close. The systems are currently ranked from 1 to 7. Most hospitals are at 3 or below. A very few have reached the level 7.

Any hospital or health system you work for will use one of 10 or so main packages. Those are Meditech, Quadramed, Eclipsis, HBO, Mumps and the like. But no matter which is installed, the job of the IS folks are the same, keep the servers running, keep the terminals/devices up to date, keep the hackers outside the firewall, and support special requests with information. Just like every other business.

The only real difference in healthcare is that your product is life saving/life changing and that everything you do affects everyone around you, including your family and friends. So you have to do the best job everytime, in everyway. You will always be on call, always be under pressure, and mostly always paid less than your peers in other industries.

So unless you have a vocation, choose something else for the next five years or so. By then, the market will have shaken out and we will have a clearer picture of where healthcare is going. By then you will have five more years experience under your belt.

My suggestions for experience are these:

Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Visual Studio
Microsoft Report Server

Those three can be used in most businesses, and won't lock you into any specific job. They are fairly inexpensive, about $1,200.00 each to attend plus travel and hotel if they are not available in your city. Kansas City does have good training facilities, but I don't know if they have those specific courses available.

No matter what courses you take, or what certs you get, they will only be as good as your ability to deliver the data accurately and on time. What that means is that having a cert, or taking a class does not mean you get/or keep the job. It may get you an interview, but I never hire anyone unless they can walk the walk.

Other items I have found useful are:

ASP (Classic), IIS in all its flavors, VBA for scripting, and HL7 winsock programming using Visual Studio.

Once you have all that, most of which you can pick up on your own, you can think about getting detailed education from one of the big vendors. That is not cheap, and you really need to have a job with one of the health systems prior to deciding which one to go with. Otherwise, you would be wasting your time and money with no real assurance of being able to get a job at the end.

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Try online classes

by louiebaton In reply to How do i start a career i ...

You should check out a careers in healthcare.

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