Rise in the Health Care Industry

By: Search For Classes

Information technology has had a profound impact on the health care industry in recent years, and it's no wonder that many IT professionals are finding more and better employment opportunities in this expanding industry. While fluctuations in growth for other sectors has been a mainstay of the economy in recent years, health care industry growth shows no signs of slowing down. Due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, it is estimated by the US Department of Labor that job opportunities in the health care field will grow faster than the average for all other industries through 2014.

Most hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities have incorporated some level of IT into their systems, though the increased complexity is creating a need for administrators who possess the advanced technical knowledge to implement and effectively run database systems specifically created for the the industry. With many software developers now offering patient medical and billing information applications designed to streamline and enhance the input, security and availability of data, health care facilities are heavily recruiting graduates of IT degree programs in order to incorporate these programs into their existing platforms.

According to Jeff Alexander, IT project manager at St Johns Hospital in Springfield, IL, "The move in recent years toward large scale implementations of industry specific software applications such as those developed by Meditech, Cerner or McKesson has facilitated the increased need for IT professionals at every level of the healthcare system. Now, with new technologies such as physician PDA's that allow doctors to instantly view lab results, sync with patient files and order tests as well as new applications for pharmacy and patient care systems becoming more sought after, it is likely that shortages for IT personnel needed to implement these developments are inevitable."

Whether or not there will be a sufficient supply of information technology degree program graduates to meet demand in the health care industry remains to be seen. One thing that is certain, however, is that the database systems and industry specific applications that are becoming standard for health care facilities will undoubtedly increase in complexity as time goes on.

"Without question, the health care industry is becoming far more reliant on IT" added Alexander. "Between the added security resulting from regulations set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the sheer volume of information in the average health care facility database, the move toward utilizing information technology as a problem solver is in full swing."

As the health care industry grows, so will the available job opportunities for those in the IT field. Considering the extent of health care expansion, that could mean several thousand new positions in the very near future.

Careers and Job Hunting
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