A Healthy Dose of Medical Information Technology
The medical information technology field is a specialty field that prescribes software to treat and cure health care computer systems. As anyone who has dealt with computers knows, they are temperamental and difficult patients. This practice prepares graduates to combine information technology with medical science in order to diagnose and restore to health any issues that may arise in order to facilitate patient care and research.
Where Medical Information Technologists Work
People in this field may work for the government, hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient care facilities, private practices and in medical clinics. They may be responsible for handling accounting, preparing medical records and reports, ordering supplies, doing medical billing and coding or receiving patients. They may also be responsible for computer applications and there is generally no direct patient care. Most jobs in this field are in hospitals and candidates must have strong communication skills in order to communicate with physicians and other healthcare professionals.
The Job Description
A job in medical information technology will require candidates to assemble patients’ health records and organize and maintain this information. They need to ensure that the data is accurate and secure, especially with the increasing use of electronic health records. They need to be able to maintain the computer software, ensure that it is privacy-compliant and analyze the information to determine if the care can be improved. They should also be able to input any data on patterns of disease, the progression of disease, treatment options and outcome.
Types of Medical Information Technologist Degrees
There are several types of degrees available in medical information technology and duties will depend on the level of education. A certificate in medical information technology is available for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in a business, medical or technological field. In addition, there is a two year Associate’s Degree available or a four year Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Information Technology. Some colleges also offer a Master’s of Science in this field that focuses on research and innovation, current healthcare information technology and areas for improvement.
Top Schools in the Field of Medical Information Technology
There are many schools where applicants can attain a degree in medical information technology. A couple of the most notable ones are Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and the University of Washington in Seattle. At Northwestern University, they offer a Master of Science in Medical Informatics that teaches students to organize and analyze patient records. In the fall of 2011, this program will be offered online in addition to the traditional on-campus degree. The University of Washington in Seattle is one of the best medical schools in the country. They offer a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Medical Education and Biomedical Informatics.
Medical information technology is a fast growing field that will continue to change as the medical industry becomes more reliant on computer technology. There are several degree programs available for those interested in this field and room for advancement. Job prospects should have excellent communication skills and understand computer software. For those who enjoy medical knowledge, but have no desire to deal with patients on a first-hand basis, this may be the perfect career.