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South Dakota Health Informatics - SD

From the Badlands to the shadow of Mount Rushmore, a new career is sweeping across the state of South Dakota. Known as Health Informatics, this exciting field is attracting students from all sectors. Graduates throughout the age spectrum are rapidly becoming indispensable staff members at hospitals, correctional institutions, college campuses, and other various companies. Simply put, Health Informatics involves the collection, storage, and distribution of vital medical data. It's a challenging and rewarding field, with practitioners paying keen attention to the legal and ethical ramifications of handling confidential material. As the health industry continues its march into the digital age, these skilled specialists are in higher demand than ever.

South Dakota Health Informatics Links

South Dakota Health Informatics Degrees and Certification

There are two predominate degrees available in the Health Informatics field. The easiest to complete is the two year Associate's, which earns the title of Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). If students opt to continue their education, they can obtain a four year Bachelor's degree, garnering the title of Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). For those already in this growing field, a master's degree might be the next consideration to take your career to the next level.

Certification at both levels is attainable through only one organization – the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management . Usually shortened to CAHIIM, this governing body oversees the curricula of college programs across the country, allowing only the best to bestow the titles of RHIT and RHIA upon their graduates. This commitment to academic excellence puts CAHIIM-certified graduates at the top of the heap. Prospective students would do well to make sure that their college meets the Commission's rigorous guidelines.

CAHIIM Accredited Schools in SD

South Dakota residents, in fact, have only one choice when it comes to picking a CAHIIM-certified school. Located in the city of Madison, Dakota State University offers Health Informatics degrees at both the Associate's and Bachelor's level. At the head of the program is Dorine Bennett, believes that her program's flexibility is one of its greatest assets. “Our entire program is available online,” she says, “for both the Baccalaureate and Associate's degree.” Dakota State also offers their courses in an in-person format, perhaps the most impressive notch on the school's resume comes after graduation. “We've had one hundred percent placement for the last several years,” says Bennett of her charges. “We've got students in the urban areas, and in physician's offices in rural areas. Really, wherever there's health care facilities.”

Health Informatics Salary - South Dakota

Health Informatics graduates can expect to make a healthy living in South Dakota. Of the estimated 1,000 currently employed , the average hourly wage is estimated to be $15.33, which works out to just under $32,000 annually. Those just entering the field can expect to draw somewhere in the neighborhood of $10.80 per hour, or near $25,000 per year. Industry veterans have been known to earn as much as $44,500 in annual take home pay, which breaks down to $21.38 by the hour. Those with a masters degree have an even higher earning potential.

*Salary Data: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Earnings Statistics

Regardless of seniority, all members of the Health Informatics field are encouraged to join the American Health Information Management Association, more commonly known as AHIMA . This professional organization is dedicated to bettering the lives of its RHIT and RHIA membership, by providing updates on the latest advances in health communication technology. Their website also features regularly updated job boards, which will go a long way toward helping their newest members find a paying job. For more information, check out www.ahima.org.

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