What A Way to Travel

What A Way to Travel

The personnel crunch in the healthcare section is taking everyone by surprise. With the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, hospitals and other healthcare providers must share information in an electronic format. With this electronic system in place, it is now safe for health care professionals to interact with one another, in a more secure manner, which requires a upgrade in communication technology. The trouble with communicating across great distances is that it is often difficult to tell who is talking to whom, and even more importantly, who is typing what. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established a Safety and Information Technology Advanced Research and Development Group to lead the way in developing a more secure health information technology field.

In the area of privacy, experts suggest that two-way communication via electronic mail, text messaging, and other electronic means, which does not compromise the secure nature of the message, should be the preferred method of communication between health care professionals and the people they are communicating with. This is a recommendation that sends a lot of message across the country, health professionals and patients alike, differing experiences and perspectives. Health information technology sides many businesses and professionals frequently ask how we can use electronic health information technology more effectively. This is the decade of phone-based technological solutions which many industry watchers see as laying the foundation of future eHealth.

Many business and government agencies are moving in step – namely and purposefully- towards eHealth, which is seeing some phenomenal results, particularly in cost-effective ways to get reimbursed for services rendered. Driven by discussions of productivity and cost-effectiveness, payment models are coming into place. meshes between insurance companies and healthcare providers are also developing which go over the top of the eHealth system, providing high end efficiency as well as cost control. Healthcare employers and coders who work with healthcare organizations need to be more creative in how we develop and maintain information databases, and eHealth organizations are finding their efforts paying off.

Information brokers serve as a very important link between systems development and actualization of the eHealth project. These are service providers who gather information on a client, enter that data into a database, and haul it back to the user. The information comes from a variety of different sources, including various web browsers and information stored in motion. A number of software engineers have applied for positions in this area specifically because the position itself requires high levels of technical attention to detail – something that is not always found in current job listings. Systems development is in the foundational stage of development for eHealth, and although initial efforts have been made to develop a number of eHealth software applications, much more are needed to come online. In addition to being technically solid and architected, application developers must be extremely creative in thinking about how to best widget their application. Business analysts are needed to help create these relationships between systems, businesses and individuals.

Out of all the various careers in the eHealth industry, information technicians are by far the most numerous and the least understood. This is an area that is both particular to the healthcare industry, and requires individuals who are able to memorize information quickly and efficiently. It is not the forte of an information technician to memorize lists of information, but the ability to analyze the complex connections between information and its consumer is the backbone of the job. The hybrid nature of the job allows information technicians to step into more than one role, depending on the specific needs of the organization for which they work.

The career outlook for information technology is up over 20% over the next several years according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Connections up with healthcare professionals and members of the information technology community can expect excellent entry opportunities. Demand for information technologists will grow as members of the information technology field-employers need to understand both the needs of the industry and those of a new generation of technologists who are stepping into the information technology field. The career outlook specifically for information technology is above average. The increasing accuracy of medical records combined with the growth of the use of electronic records should produce an increased demand for information technology professionals in the coming years.

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