66% of individuals have concerns regarding the privacy and protection of their health information. To help ease speculation with the transfer of health information to online platforms, health professionals formed the field of health information technology.
Health information technology (HIT) came forth as the overarching solution for any technology-related issues in healthcare. HIT professionals have been on the rise since most health-related operations have moved online.
To learn more about what health information technology is and what health information technology professionals do, keep reading. We have everything you need to know about HIT.
Table of Contents
What Is Health Information Technology?
Health information technology is the sector of healthcare that oversees and manages the technological systems that healthcare providers use. These systems are those platforms that store, analyze, and share patient data.
HIT doesn’t just cover electronic medical records. The health area also covers e-prescriptions, technology tools, patient health tracking, and more. HIT even looks at how medical technology can track trends in patient care and health habits, like smoking and drinking.
Having this kind of patient tracking and storage is beneficial to healthcare providers and patients.
These electronic medical records allow healthcare providers to see their patients’ medical records. By having their past information, healthcare professionals can understand their patients’ past medical history and – therefore – care for them better.
Patients are positively affected because they don’t have to worry about reiterating their entire medical history. Sometimes, this can cause the patient to miss an important piece of information that could impact their care.
In addition, electronic medical records have been expanded into the world of mobile apps. Patients can see their past and present care through these means and have more information about their care overall.
Although health information technology encompasses many different medical technologies, the field focuses mainly on protecting patient privacy while improving patient care.
What Do HIT Professionals Do?
Under the field of health information technology, there are several different subfields that handle specific roles. Firstly, we should say that all of these professionals are – no matter their specialty – focused on improving healthcare technology for providers and patients.
Some HIT professionals focus exclusively on patient medical records and electronic medical records. Others focus on the inner workings of the computer systems across the healthcare field.
There are social, technological, organizational, and administrative roles among others available in the healthcare technology field.
Another important part of being a healthcare information technology professional is making sure that you’re looking out for patient privacy. Since these individuals are working with patient medical records, they have to follow strict government rules and regulations that have been set forth to prevent discrimination, resale, or abuse of medical records.
Most HIT professionals will have direct access to patient files and physician notes, allowing them access to extremely sensitive information. Therefore, those who do work in healthcare information technology have to be able to keep confidentiality and respect patient boundaries.
Because of the sensitive nature of most of the documents that are held in electronic systems, HIT professionals must safely encrypt these accounts and files. They have to make sure that unwanted visitors can’t jump into patient charts and steal medical information.
These employees also have to be sure that their healthcare systems are up-to-date with technology-related regulations regarding the protection and security of all patient files.
If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. But, HIT professionals are important and the healthcare field would be totally compromised without them.
If you’re interested in becoming an HIT professional, you can get your HIT associates degree online.
Why Are HIT Professionals Important?
Having quick and easy access to patients’ past medical records makes all of the difference for both patient and provider when it comes to getting and providing proper medical care. A past medical condition, surgery, or treatment could change the path of testing and treatment now.
HIT professionals are important because they are the people who make electronic medical records available for physicians everywhere. By bringing medical charts from various facilities together, they’re making it easier for physicians to care for patients who choose to see a variety of providers.
In the most extreme cases, the electronic medical records that HIT professionals monitor can mean the difference between life and death in a patient.
If there is an unconscious, demented, or otherwise incapacitated patient, the physician won’t be able to receive any medical history from them. In most of those cases, there also isn’t a family member to piece together some of the information. Without an electronic medical record, the physician will have nothing to help him or her understand why the patient is in their current condition.
You wouldn’t want to be the patient who’s going into cardiac arrest when the physician knows nothing about you. Being able to view past visits with other physicians and the care and treatment you received can make a world of difference in how you or other patients are treated.
HIT professionals weren’t always regarded as essential healthcare members, though. As hospitals and clinics were first moving onto online systems, HIT professionals were underwater.
Trying to handle the backlogging and updating of millions of charts is extremely difficult. Luckily, as these processes became streamlined, HIT professionals blossomed and are now known as the backbone of healthcare technology.
Without these intelligent and motivated workers, physicians everywhere would be at a disadvantage. This is not to mention that patients, too, would not be cared for as well as they could be.
The present healthcare industry was built on the work of healthcare information technology professionals, and the future will be formed from them as well.
Get Started Today
Now that you know all of the basics about becoming a health information technology professional, it’s time that you get started on your degree and get to work making the healthcare industry the best that it can be.
You’ll be making a difference in so many peoples’ lives!
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