Health Information Technology

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What is Health information technology? HIT involves the management and exchange of health information in a digital format. With the advancement of everyday technology, Health IT must follow suit. By taking advantage of the existing technology, physicians and health care professionals have their patients’ medical information available at their fingertips.

Health IT is viewed as an important tool for improving and maintaining efficiency, quality, and safety in health information delivery and care. Privacy and security are also key aspects of any effective health information technology.

Physicians aren’t the only beneficiaries of Health IT, either. Patients can connect with their health care providers, access and share information about their health, and help improve their overall quality of life.

Some advantages that come with using health information technology include:

  • Improved quality of care
  • Prevention of medical errors
  • Reduced health care costs
  • Increased administrative efficiency
  • Less paperwork
  • Broadened access to care

Types Of Health Information Technology

The types of health information technology can be simplified into three main categories:

Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records store patients’ medical records, including any diseases, which medications they’re taking, and physician visits. Patients can also view their own medical records or the results of any recent lab tests.

These records allow doctors to access health information much easier, which comes in handy if the doctor’s office is closed or there’s an emergency. Doctors are also able to share their patients’ information with specialists or anyone else who might need it.

Personal Health Records

Personal health records are similar to electronic health records, except patients dictate what information goes into them.

Users can track the information from doctor visits, but personal health records also include outside factors to their lives. Tracking food intake, exercise, and blood pressure are all benefits of keeping a close watch on personal health records.

Some personal records can even be synced with a doctor’s records to better connect patients with their health care providers.

Electronic Prescriptions

Many problems can arise with paper prescriptions, such as misplacing them or not being able to read the handwriting. With e-prescriptions, doctors can communicate directly with pharmacies to arrange medicine pick-ups.

How To Get Certified

For Health IT programs to become certified, they must undergo a series of tests to ensure that they meet requirements set by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology oversees its own Health IT Certification Program.

By getting certified, individuals can gain a number of professional advantages, such as expanding career opportunities or validating their abilities and knowledge.

Health IT certifications can be obtained for several different roles, including IT technicians, technology specialists, professionals in health care information and management, and associates in health care information and management.

Top Schools For Certification

Though certifications can be independently obtained by taking the necessary tests, some individuals may benefit from attending schools with their own health IT programs. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education is responsible for offering guidance to these programs for a proper curriculum.  

Many of the nation’s top universities feature medical programs that support IT certifications, and students can even obtain degrees by fulfilling the requirements through online courses.

Some of the top schools for health IT certification are:

  • Northwestern University
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Biomedical Informatics
  • Brandeis University, Graduate Professional Studies
  • Boston University
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Cincinnati
  • The University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine
  • Rutgers University, School of Health Related Professions
  • University of Tennessee, Health Science Center

These schools have earned top reputations based on their programs’ quality, the courses offered, academic standing, rankings, and even the faculty they employ or past awards.

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