Professionals who can manage the information systems for medical facilities are health information technologists who design, operate, and maintain the technology that makes the healthcare systems run. Earning an online associate degree in medical informatics could allow you to pursue this field.
After your training in medical informatics, you could begin... working in a variety of jobs such as Clinical Coder, Data Analyst, Patient Information Coordinator, and Health Record Technician. You can also choose the environment in which you want to work, with positions for medical informatics graduates available in medical facilities (hospitals, physician's offices, clinics, nursing centers, mental health facilities, etc.), pharmaceutical and other private companies, schools, or government agencies.
The curriculum for an online associate degree in medical informatics focuses on mastering technical concepts and then learning to apply those concepts to real-life circumstances. Your degree requirements will likely include studies in technical topics such as healthcare and biomedical information systems applications development; data acquisition, manipulation, analysis, and management; database applications; web applications; and applications software consulting.
You may also take courses that help prepare you to work in a healthcare office setting. You may be able to customize this coursework to concentrate on a specific medical setting, but general courses usually include introduction to medical terminology, health services and information systems, medical coding, health information and legal issues, and health insurance basics. Associate degree programs may also offer you the opportunity for hands-on training via an internship or practicum.
After completing your degree requirements, you could be ready to apply for your certification from an organization such as the American Health Information Management Association. Certification in the field is not required; however, it is preferred by some employers, so earning your certification may help you get a better job in the field.
To advance in your career, you may need to earn a bachelor degree. Depending on the direction you wish to move, you could continue with your studies in health information management or transfer your credits to a related program such as health services administration. With this background, you may have a wealth of options, and can explore other technical and administrative areas of modern health care where there will continue to be excellent job growth.