Meaningful implementation of electronic health records (HER) has been set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2011. At that point, criteria for computerized management of medical information was implemented with the intent of having all health care centers up to compliance within three years of the particular institution's entry into altering their record-keeping system.
This widespread implementation of computers and technology in health care has opened up a whole field of employment in health care. A Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics (MSHI) has become a valuable addition to the resumes of individuals in health care. Because this type of degree can be acquired online, individuals are able to maintain employment and earn credentials at the same time.
The online health informatics degree leads to an increase in employability for health care professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that the number of jobs in this field will increase by 21 percent by the year 2020. In the current slump relating to jobs, this is encouraging.
Individuals with clinical experience are welcomed in the field as are non-clinical practitioners such as those in IT and business. Although IT knowledge is useful, this is not the main thrust of this type of degree. Health informatics is a combination of management of the health care environment and technology.
With the acquisition of a MHSI, individuals become professionals with expertise in leadership, management and health care informatics. They are able to make connections among the components of healthcare and IT as well as develop the capability of working on interdisciplinary teams in health care. Management of hospitals, doctor's offices and care facilities all will need the expertise of someone trained in the growing field of electronic health record management.
According to Rajiv Leventhal in Healthcare Informatics on August 22, 2014, "Ninety-six percent of federally-funded health centers have an electronic health record (EHR) in use at some or all sites," which indicates the wide variety of positions and uses that can be made of a MSHI in many areas. Consider adding this degree to your variety of experiences to help maintain employability and relevance in your field.