5 Signs You’d Excel in Health Information Technology Careers
The field of health information technology (HIT) is growing fast. In fact, jobs are expected to increase at the much-faster-than-average rate of 15 percent through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
“Due to recent federal legislation requiring the use of clinical systems by healthcare providers, there is a tremendous HIT workforce shortage,” says Beth Dituro of the Pinnacle Center for Professional Development. This puts health information technology careers on the hot list for career opportunities.
If you’re thinking you can’t capitalize on this opportunity because you’re not “tech-savvy”, think again! HIT employers are seeking candidates with a wide variety of traits and abilities – many of which have nothing to do with technical expertise.
Keep reading to see if you have what it takes to excel in health information technology careers.
You might thrive in HIT careers if …
Don’t let your preconceived notions scare you away. You could be more suited for a health information technology career than you know. An HIT career might be a natural fit if you can identify with the following traits.
1. You’re a team player
The lone wolf idea may have worked in the Wild West but these days, people value the power of connection and communication. You may be a good fit in the HIT world if you’d prefer to text your friends or grab coffee with an associate rather than spend the day alone. You make social skills a priority in your development as a person and can engage in group projects without fear. That ability is important for HIT professionals.
“Do not underestimate the importance of strong communication and collaboration skills within HIT,” says Neelesh Shah, CEO of Performance Logic. HIT pros often work with physicians and other patient care providers to implement solutions, making strong communications skills a critical aspect of the job.
“Those who recognize this early and make it part of their skill set will be headed for a successful career,” Shah says.
2. You’re creative
Creative thinkers are valued in many professions, and HIT is no exception. You may fit the bill if you get bored with doing the same old things and are constantly challenging yourself to find new ways to look at the world. Pushing the boundaries like this comes in handy in HIT.
"The only way to improve is by challenging the status quo to find a solution."
“Creative IT professionals are needed to think outside the box and develop new apps to solve complex health issues,” says Tim Cannon of Health IT Jobs.
There is a rising need for creative thinkers in HIT, Cannon says. Government incentives are driving changes in healthcare delivery and creating the need for new tech solutions, like mobile health apps.
“The only way to improve is by challenging the status quo to find a solution, and come up with that next innovation,” adds Donn Wurts, practice director for Healthcare – Dimension Data.
3. You’re compassionate
One quality no HIT professional should be without is compassion. You find yourself empathizing with others and wanting to help those who are in trouble. That inherent compassion doesn’t always come naturally in our busy and distracted society, but it’s an excellent quality in an HIT professional.
“Having an innate desire to improve the health of patients is ideal for working in the field of HIT,” Christine Tsien, chief medical officer at HealthReveal. “The more you believe in the mission of your work, the more you are motivated to do the best job possible.”
When HIT professionals care about the end goal—overall improved care for the patients—they are more likely to find innovative solutions to problems other people haven’t even considered yet.
4. You’re a natural teacher
People come to you for help and advice because you can explain things in a way that makes sense. You know how to help your parents navigate a new app or give a few pointers to the newbies at work. This natural ability to guide and teach others will come in handy in HIT, where there’s plenty of new information to learn and demonstrate to others.
“People who are successful in HIT are constantly learning, communicating and teaching,” Dituro says. Cannon adds that the job often requires explaining complex technology to professionals who have little or no technological knowledge. Anyone who can cut through all of the tech lingo and speak in layman’s terms will be a valued and effective member of their HIT team.
5. You’re flexible
Your friends would describe you as someone who goes with the flow. You like that image because it describes life as the liquid, unpredictable thing you’ve found it to be. Some people scramble to keep their plans uninterrupted when the unexpected happens, but you just make adjustments. That kind of adaptability will take you far in HIT.
"Health IT is a rapidly changing field."
“Health IT is a rapidly changing field,” Cannon says. “Professionals need to be able to adapt and learn quickly.” Cannon sees employers looking for easy-going individuals who have the flexibility to handle sudden changes in projects or responsibilities.
“Individuals who are flexible enough to switch responsibilities and priorities mid-project are well suited for Health IT,” Cannon says.
Is health information technology the field for you?
Can you relate to some of the qualities described above? You might be naturally inclined to find success in health information technology careers. If this is enough to pique your interest, you’re probably curious about what the career actually entails.
Learn more in our article: What is a Health Information Technician? A Sneak Peek at this Behind-the-Scenes Career.