Georgia Health Informatics
Health Informatics is one of the fastest-growing fields in America today. Health Informatics is the field that combines computer science, information technology, and healthcare. Professionals in Health Informatics are responsible for the collection, organization, modeling, and privacy of all medical and administrative data. Health Info Technicians are in high demand in Georgia, with a projected 20% increase in the number of jobs available from 2008-2018, much higher than the national average.
In the field of Health Informatics, the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics & Information Management education, or CAHIIM , is the governing authority. They accredit the best programs in the field, in addition to providing certification through examination for Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA). These certifications increase the job opportunities in an already strong field. Certification by CAHIIM allows a professional to join the Georgia chapter of AHIMA, the American Health Information Management Association. AHIMA members have access to the most recent information in the field, besides access to exclusive job postings and networking opportunities. To learn more about Georgia AHIMA, visit their website at http://www.ghima.org/CoP.htm.
Georgia Health Informatics Technician Certification & Salary
To become a RHIT, students must first complete a CAHIIM-approved Associate’s Degree program. In Georgia, approved programs are offered by Atlanta Technical College, Columbus Technical College, Darton College, DeVry University-Atlanta, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Macon State College, Ogeechee Technical College, and Southern Crescent Technical College. These programs introduce students to all aspects of the field, including medical terminology and coding, information management, legal aspects of healthcare, and medical reimbursement procedures. Students must also complete an internship prior to graduation. Other schools in Georgia offer health informatics degree programs as well. A complete list can be found below. RHIT make a competitive salary, with the average worker earning $14.32 an hour, or about $30,000 a year. After years of experience, those in the top tenth percentile earn up to $20.77 hourly, or $43,200 a year.
Health Info Systems Administrator or Manager Programs & Salary
At the Bachelor’s level, degree programs are offered by Macon State College and the Medical College of Georgia. Nanette Sayles, RHIA and Director of Macon State’s Health Information Administration program, explains that the Bachelor’s degree prepares students for a “wider range of jobs and higher earning potential.” Graduates from Macon State have an excellent job placement rate, primarily finding jobs in “hospitals and hospice” settings. Sayles explains this is partially due to the three internships students must complete, “one in a traditional HIM department, one in a non-traditional hospital setting, and one that lasts four weeks in a management position.” When asked about the job market, Sayles said “They need to double the number of Health Informatics professionals.” She added that, for those with Bachelor’s degrees, “The sky’s the limit.” In Georgia, RHIA earn an average of $41.103 hourly, or approximately $85,000 annually. In the top tenth percentile, workers with extensive experience earn up to $63.40 hourly, or up to $132,000 annually.
*Salary Data: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Earnings Statistics