By Katie Wike, contributing writer
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows jobs in the health information management field will grow by more than 40,000 by 2022.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted last fall the projected growth rate of health information jobs was “faster than the average for all occupations,” and the “demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages.” At that time, Health IT Outcomes reported a projected need for 50,000 more healthcare informatics workers in the next 10 years.
Now, more data from the Bureau backs up that earlier prediction. According to the more recent data, it is expected there will be an additional 41,000 job opening in the healthcare information management (HIM) field by 2022.
Typically, according to the report, HIM staffs are usually responsible for the following tasks:
- assign clinical codes for reimbursement and data analysis
- electronically record patient data
- organize and maintain information for clinical databases and registries
- protect patients' health information
- review patient records
- track patient outcomes
iHealth Beat summarized the report’s findings, explaining where HIM professionals were working at the time of the survey:
- 37 percent worked in general medical and surgical hospitals
- 22 percent worked in physician offices
- 9 percent worked in nursing and residential care facilities
- 5 percent held government jobs
“The increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to change the job responsibilities of health information technicians. Federal legislation provides incentives for physicians’ offices and hospitals to implement EHR systems into their practice. This will lead to continued adoption of this software in these facilities. Technicians will need to be familiar with, or be able to learn, EHR computer software, follow EHR security and privacy practices, and analyze electronic data to improve healthcare information as more healthcare providers and hospitals adopt EHR systems.
“Health information technicians can specialize in many aspects of health information. Some work as medical coders, sometimes called coding specialists, or as cancer registrars,” explains the report.
“An aging population will need more medical tests, treatments, and procedures. This will also mean more claims for reimbursement from private and public insurance. Additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by all types of healthcare providers, should lead to an increased need for technicians to organize and manage the associated information in all areas of the healthcare industry,” explains the Bureau.