Do you know the quickest way to advance your career in health IT? The answer is to specialize. In almost any industry–not just health IT–specialists are in higher demand and command higher salaries because of their expertly-focused knowledge. As a health IT professional, you’ve already declared a niche, or an area of specialty. But earning additional health IT certifications can make you an even more in-demand professional.
Top 5 Health IT Certifications for 2012
CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician. Individuals who earn this certification will have an understanding of HIT standards, regulations and the workflow of a general healthcare environment. They’ll be able to apply their knowledge to help implement, deploy and support IT systems in private practices, hospitals and other clinical settings.
Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT). Certification in this area means a HIT professional understands how to plan, select, implement and manage electronic health records (EHR’s), along with health IT.
EMR Certified Healthcare IT Specialist (Certified HIT). If you could choose just one certification between now and 2014, this might be it. EMR Certified Healthcare IT Specialists are at the forefront of helping doctors, hospitals and other healthcare organizations make the transition from paper to electronic records. The United States government estimates that healthcare organizations need more than 500,000 HIT professionals to meet the 2014 EMR conversion deadline, making this certification an even hotter ticket.
ASHIM Certified Health Informatics Systems Professional (CHISP). This certification is provided by the American Society of Health Informatics Managers (ASHIM). Health IT professionals with this credential have a firm understanding of the US healthcare system, as well as computer science fundamentals. They have also completed coursework in a number of areas, including clinical, compliance/legal considerations, health informatics, information analysis, medical administrative operations and technology.
AHIMA Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). This certification is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Health IT professionals with this certification are the “bridge” between providers, patients and payers. They have knowledge in a number of areas, including managing patient health information and related records, administering health information systems, collecting and analyzing patient data. RHIA’s also understand medical, administrative, ethical and legal requirements.
There are, of course, many other health IT certifications you can pursue if you want to advance your career, but these are the most in-demand for 2012. As a health IT professional in a booming industry, you’re already aware that you can write your own ticket in today’s job market; but with a specialty and additional certifications, you can write an even bigger one.