A rapidly growing career in information technology is that of health informatics. These IT professionals use their skills to organize and manage health information data used in hospitals and physician's offices across the nation. The increasing reliance on Electronic Health Records means that IT professionals are needed to streamline medical care and automate manual processes. If you're thinking about earning a degree in health informatics, here are four facts you need to know about this career:
1. There will be massive job growth in the near future.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health informatics is expected to grow at a rate of 21 percent between 2010 and 2020 - that's 7 percent faster than average. In addition, within the next five to seven years it's estimated that 50,000 health informatics workers will be needed.
2. Health informatics melds three different fields.
As the job title suggests, health informatics is a melding of many different fields, namely health care, technology and business. These trained professionals work on the technical side of health care and use their skills to increase efficiency and reduce error.
3. There are sub-categories within this career.
There are many focused areas of study within health informatics, so you have the option of tailoring your career based on your interests. Some sub-categories include bioinformatics, nursing informatics, health information management and public health informatics.
4. Health informatics could reduce costs.
The idea behind health informatics is to make the medical industry more efficient and to thereby reduce costs. According to the University of Illinois, Chicago, 50 percent of all health care dollars are currently wasted on inefficient processes.
Western Governors University is a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. Find out more about WGU's degree program in Health Information Management.