There are many things to consider if you are planning to pursue a career in healthcare information technology (HIT). Brian Malec defines HIT as the application of computer and related technologies to the delivery of healthcare services (Malec, 2015).
To be successful in any career, you should become familiar with current trends in that industry this also applies to HIT. Healthcare and technology are constantly evolving. David Miller suggests the culture of Healthcare is changing, it is becoming more collaborative and less hierarchal, more team and service-based, as well as more patient, centered. He states executive level expectations of HIT are increasing and now the chief information officer is actually involved in strategic decision-making and planning (Miller, 2016).
The culture of HIT has shifted from reactive to proactive, from order takers has become strategic partners. It has moved from silos to one IT team. 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 would be ransomware. Sharing health information between health systems. Patient engagement through the use of a patient portal. Personal health data, information provided by patients via Fitbit or apple watches. Telehealth offering healthcare services remotely through video conferencing. Precision medicine, still in early stages, involves using the person’s genes to customize care (Boucher).
You may be wondering what skills and requirements you should have 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 technical ability (Brown).
To be considered a top-performer in the job selection process, Miller looks for three specific qualities: 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. He looks for the required soft skills: communication, body language, written communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, professional ethics, time and stress management, and leadership skills (Miller, 2106).
To close, I would like to discuss my current skills and areas I would need to develop. My first 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.
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 complimented on my talent for 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 than something that makes our lives easier.
If I had to quantify my technical skills, I would say I have had about twenty percent of formal training and the other eighty percent would be self-taught. I am not afraid to ask questions or try to solve on my own. I am a visual and hands-on learner. Having an example helps me work through a problem, I am a quick learner. I have on-the-job experience, I have not be certified in any capacity
I have discovered through the years that I am 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. I have very high standards for myself and the people around me. I strive to be the best in everything I do, even if no one is looking. I am known for my organizational skills and planning, and attention to detail. I am very solution focused, when I encounter a problem, there is always a solution. I am also very collaborative and team orientated.
My personality, by nature, is happy, easy-going, calming and I am a pleasure to be around. I have never met a stranger and can have a conversation with anyone. I am able to make personal connections rather quickly either in-person or over the phone. Stress and time management comes naturally to me. I focus on the things I can change and try not to give too much time and energy to the things I cannot. I am always willing to help and very considerate. I believe in treating people how I want to be treated.
A few areas for improvement would be, attending more formal training and earning certifications. I sometimes allow myself to be consumed by a problem and not resting until it is solved, this is not always possible. It is hard for me to say no. I don’t like conflict but will do what is required. I would like to get more project management skills and 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 Skills/1_rpm6agru.
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/.