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How to Transition into a Healthcare IT Role from Another Industry

According to Becker’s, healthcare has the most unfilled jobs of any industry in the United States. It’s a compelling argument during a shaky economy to consider a shift into this field. Healthcare occupations are predicted to grow at double the rate over all other jobs in the next decade, marking this industry as a sure bet if you’re looking for steady income in this tech-driven field. At the same time, the IT industry laid off more than 191,000 workers last year and the cuts continue at companies as big as Microsoft and Google.

These are great reasons to consider a shift to healthcare IT.

Shifting from a general IT role to a specialized healthcare IT position offers opportunities to contribute to critical advancements in patient care, data management, and overall healthcare delivery. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this transition smoothly, including necessary skills, certifications, and job search strategies.

Understanding the Healthcare IT Landscape

Tech job candidates first ask how healthcare IT differs from a less specialized field. Healthcare IT involves designing, developing, creating, using, and maintaining information systems for the healthcare industry. Your work would likely include platforms and specialty areas such as electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine, healthcare data analytics, and cybersecurity. Healthcare IT professionals in this field work to improve patient care quality, ensure data security, and streamline healthcare operations.

So, do you have what it takes to make this transition?

Assess Your Current Skills

Start the transition by evaluating your current skill set. Identify which of your existing skills are transferable to healthcare IT. Key skills that are often transferable include:

  • Database management: Understanding database systems like SQL can be highly beneficial.
  • Cybersecurity: Knowledge of protecting systems and data from cyber threats is crucial in healthcare IT.
  • Networking: Familiarity with on-premises and cloud network management and infrastructure is important for healthcare systems.
  • Software development: Programming and software development skills are valuable for creating and maintaining healthcare applications.

Acquire Specialized Knowledge

Many IT skills are transferable; however, gaining specialized healthcare IT knowledge will set you apart from other job candidates.

Consider pursuing:

  • Healthcare terminology: Familiarize yourself with common healthcare terms and workflows. Understanding the language of healthcare professionals will help you communicate effectively.
  • Healthcare regulations: Learn about regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that govern the use of patient data.
  • Healthcare information systems: Gain knowledge about specific healthcare information systems such as EHRs, Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), and Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems.

Achieve Relevant Certifications

IT is a field where you should always be learning new things. Certifications can always significantly enhance your credibility. But the right certifications, can also and demonstrate commitment to transitioning into healthcare IT. 

Some valuable certifications include:

  • Certified Professional in Health Information Management Systems (CPHIMS): This certification is for experienced IT professionals seeking to enter the healthcare industry.
  • Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS): Offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), this certification covers various aspects of health IT, including EHR implementation and support.
  • CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician Certification: Focuses on the knowledge and skills required to support and manage IT systems in a healthcare environment.

Gain Experience

Consider volunteering or interning at healthcare facilities to gain hands-on experience with healthcare IT systems. This exposure will provide practical insights and help build your professional network within the industry.

Job Search Strategies

When you’re ready to start applying for healthcare IT positions, use these strategies to enhance your job search:

  • Customize your resume: Emphasize any healthcare-related projects, experience, and skills.
  • Network: Join healthcare IT professional associations like the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Attend industry conferences and seminars to connect with professionals and learn about job opportunities.
  • Work with a specialized recruiting firm: Companies like Bluebird Staffing bridge the gap between a job candidate’s desire to pursue new career opportunities and top healthcare employers. We specialize in helping IT professionals find the right fit in the innovative world of healthcare.

Discover HIT jobs today with Bluebird Staffing!

Transitioning into a healthcare IT role from another industry is a strategic move that can lead to a fulfilling career. Bluebird Staffing can help you get there. Check out our job board, send us a resume, and let us go to work for you.

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