IT 3503, Spring 2018
January 21, 2018
Pursuing a Career in Healthcare Information Technology
There are many things to consider if you are planning
to pursue a career in healthcare information technology (HIT). If you are
uncertain what HIT is, Brian Malec defines it as the application of computer
and related technologies to the delivery of health care services (Malec, 2015).
Now you know what it means, let’s explore current trends, skills and
requirements to compete in this industry.
To be successful in any career, you should be
familiar with current trends of that industry this also applies to HIT. Both
healthcare and technology are constantly evolving. David Miller suggests the
culture of Healthcare is changing, it’s becoming more collaborative and less
hierarchal. It has become more team and service-based as well as more patient
centered. He further states executive level expectations of HIT are increasing.
The chief information officer is actually involved in strategic decision making
and planning (Miller, 2016).
We have just discussed how the culture of
healthcare has changed, let’s explore if the culture of HIT is changing. It has
become more proactive, they have become strategic partners. They have moved
from silos and have become one IT team. The partnering skills are becoming just
as important as technical skills (Miller, 2016).
Mike Boucher recognizes several trends that are
changing the healthcare industry. Cybersecurity an example of this would be ransomware.
Sharing health information between health systems. Patient engagement through
use of a patient portal. Personal health data, which is information provided
from patients via Fitbit or apple watches. Telehealth essentially offering
healthcare services remotely via video conferencing where there may not have
them. Precision medicine, still in early stages, but this involves using the
person’s genes to customize care (Boucher).
You may be wondering what skills and
requirements you should possess if you are considering a career in HIT. Miller
indicates several of the following as required skillsets: communication,
enabling change, leadership, strategic focus, business acumen, consensus
building, influencing others, technical understanding, project management, problem
solving, organizational understanding, and client orientation (Miller, 2016). Bob
Brown lists the five most critical informatics skills as: verbal and written
communication, organizational skills, problem solving and troubleshooting, time
management and technically ability (Brown
What skills are required to be considered a
top-performer in the selection process? Miller looks for three specific things:
intrinsic motivation, skills knowledge and experience, and talent. He describes
intrinsic motivation as, “being driven by deep interest and involvement in the
work, either by curiosity, self-expression or a personal sense of challenge”
(Miller, 2106). While hard skills are
required, you must also have soft skills. The top soft skills he looks for are:
communication, body language, written communication, interpersonal skills,
teamwork, professional ethics, time and stress management, and leadership
Finally, let’s explore my current skills and
areas I will need to develop to ensure a success career. My first real job was
at the Ritz-Carlton, which is known for its world class customer service. It was
there that I learned how to serve and do what is best for both internal and
external customers. While there I held many roles, which all touched so form of
information technology. It is there I was empowered to solve problems. There
were standards and processes in place to reduce MR. BIV, which stands for
mistakes, rework, breakdowns, inefficiencies, and variations (The Corporate,
2016). The Ritz has given me a solid foundation to build upon.
I have been an administrative assistant for
almost twenty years and during that time, I have been the first and preferred person
to call for support. Troubleshooting both in-person, over the phone, and via
skype. I have been complemented on my talent of demonstrating how to use
various office equipment and software, creating training materials and tip-sheets
as needed. I am deeply excited by technology, I enjoy it. There is nothing
cooler that something that makes our lives easier.
If I had to quantify my technical skills, I would
say that I have had about twenty percent formal training and about eighty
percent self-taught. I am not afraid to ask questions or see what happens if I
click this. I am a visual as well as hands on learner, if I see an example I
can figure it out, I usually catch on to things rather quickly. While I have
job experiences, I have not be certified as a technician or analyst.
I have discovered though the years that I am
very process driven and methodical in what I do and how I do it, some would say
a little obsessive, I believe it serves me well. Having very high standards not
only for myself but for the people around me. Striving to be the best in everything that I
do, even if no one is looking. I am also known for my organizational skills and
planning, as well as my attention to detail. I am very solution focused, when I
encounter a problem I feel there is always a solution. I am also very collaborative
and team orientated.
My personality, by nature is happy, easy-going, calming
and a pleasure to be around. I never meet a stranger and can hold a conversation
with anyone. I am able to make personal connections in-person or over the
phone. Stress and time management come naturally to me. I focus on the things I
can change and try not to give too much time and effort on the things that I
cannot. I am always willing to help and I am very considerate and believe in
treating people how I want to be treated.
A few areas for improvement would be, obtaining
more formal training and certifications. Not allowing myself to be consumed by
a problem and not resting until it is solved, this is not always feasible. It is
hard for me to say no and I don’t like conflict, but will do so easily when
ethics are involved. Develop more project management skills, while I am
naturally organized I would like have a more formal understanding of the
principles and methods.
Boucher, Mike. “IT 3503 / 6503 01d: A Journey to a Career in
Health IT.” KSU MediaSpace, mediaspace.kennesaw.edu/media/IT 3503 6503 01dA A
Journey to a Career in Health IT/1_mqgkrgwe.
Brown, Bob. “IT 3503 04 Critical Informatics Skills.” KSU
MediaSpace, mediaspace.kennesaw.edu/media/IT 3503 04 Critical Informatics
Malec, Brian T. Careers in Health Information Technology.
Springer Publishing Company, 2015. EBSCOhost, proxy.kennesaw.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=845659&site=eds-live&scope=site.
Miller, David L. “Road to The Top: Skills and Talents
needed to Advance Your Career in IT?” HIMSS, 29 Dec. 2016, www.himss.org/road-top-skills-and-talents-needed-advance-your-career-it.
“The Corporate Salute: From Blame to Problem Solving.”
The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, 9 Dec. 2015, ritzcarltonleadershipcenter.com/2013/07/the-corporate-salute/.