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    Making Education and Career Choices to Fit a Changing Health Care Landscape

    By Dr. Matthew Caines

    It’s no secret big data will significantly impact the future of health care. This plethora of digital information made available by advancements in technology is not only affecting consumers but also drastically impacting the career opportunities of those interested in the health care industry.

    Applications, innovations, and possibilities that exist for future health concepts are sometimes beyond our immediate imagination. 

    “We are about to enter an era once only dreamed by sci-fi authors,” said Matthew Caines, DHEd, MPH, CHES, Kaplan University’s department chair for public health, health education, health informatics, and health information management

    Careers in Health Informatics and Health Information Management 

    Those with interests, talents, and education in both health care and technology may find increasing opportunities in the fields of Health Information Management (HIM) and Health Informatics. Health information management, also known as health data management, is the practice of acquiring, organizing, and protecting health information in hospitals and other health care organizations. Health informatics involves the design, development, and application of the IT-based methodology used to analyze these huge amounts of information. The health data insights acquired are used to improve the health care environment.

    According to Brina Hollis, MHHS, PhD, CBRS, Health informatics faculty at Kaplan University, “Health Information Management and Health Informatics are two multifaceted fields that may provide career opportunities for individuals with a variety of backgrounds.” Some exciting areas of interest include:*

    Data analytics: Data analysts are needed to manage and analyze vast amounts of data, making use of it in a way that positively impacts health organizations and consumers.

    Cloud computing: Cloud computing utilizes remote servers to store and share data in order to help organizations cut down on costs and save space. Additionally, cloud computing allows organizational and patient information to be available in real time, which allows for better analytics and tracking and better organizational and patient outcomes. Future health software used for cloud computing also will enable dramatic changes in telemedicine.

    Telemedicine: The term telemedicine refers to the concept of receiving health care remotely with the use of a computer and Internet connection. Due to the advancement of informatics and virtual machine technology, telemedicine has expanded to include virtual care centers, eNICUs, and home monitoring programs with nurses and physicians on call. Telemedicine and cloud computing work together to improve the health care experience and outcomes for patients.

    Dr. Hollis highlighted some of the career titles associated with health data management:

    Health Information Management

    • Systems Management
    • Director of Compliance
    • Chief Information Officers
    • VP of Coding/Auditing
    • HIM Operations Manager

    Health Informatics

    • Consultant/Health Informaticist 
    • Clinical Analyst 
    • Project Management 
    • Data Analyst 
    • Chief Information Security Officer 

    Dr. Matthew Caines is Academic Department Chair for the Master of Health Informatics, Master of Health Information Management, Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, and Medical Billing and Coding Certificate programs.

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