Washington DC Health Informatics
Thanks to the exponential growth period gripping the nation’s health care and information technology fields, the demand for skilled technicians has never been greater. The continual influx of patient data into the ever-expanding medical computer networks has created an entirely new calling. Known as Health Informatics, this exciting discipline revolves around the careful collection, distribution, and proper storage of confidential records and vital statistics, with an eye toward the legal and ethical ramifications of each. The effects of the growing government expansion of the health care system starts close to home, in the hospitals and institutions surrounding the nation’s capital. Health Informatics technicians, therefore, are flocking to the Washington D.C. in an effort to cash in on this exciting employment trend.
CAHIIM Certification in Washington D.C.
The two most common levels of achievement in the Health Informatics field are separated by a pair of academic years. Those with a mind to gain quicker entry into D.C.’s employment market may opt to enter a two-year Associate’s degree program, which results in certification as an RHIT, or Registered Health Information Technician. Students craving a greater degree of education can stay on for an additional two years, earning a Bachelor’s degree and the title of Registered Health Information Administrator, or RHIA. Both of these titles earn their prestige from the same source – the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management. Nominally reduced to CAHIIM , this organization acts as the governing body in the Health Informatics industry. Their careful monitoring of the nation’s myriad educational institutions has raised the bar a considerable degree. Only those schools who measure up to their strict academic standards receive CAHIIM certification, placing RHIT and RHIA graduates among the most highly sought after commodities in the employment market.
Health Informatics Salary – D.C.
Those seeking employment in the DC area will be treated to respectable starting wages, usually eclipsing the $12 per hour mark . After a little careful calculation, we can measure the yearly earnings of novice professionals at around $25,000. The median annual income is closer to $30,000, with an average hourly wage last monitored at $14.67. Those with several years experience in the field can look forward to yearly gains of over $60,000, which breaks down to over $30 for each hour of work.
*Salary Data: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Earnings Statistics
While there are no CAHIIM-certified programs operating within the District itself, there are several nearby schools which offer accreditation. Baltimore’s Coppin State University, for one, offers Baccalaureate degrees in the field, turning out a regular crop of RHIA’s. The same city also plays host to a pair of RHIT programs, courtesy of the similarly named Baltimore City Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County. In addition, there are a number of online informatics degree options offered at highly reputable universities.
Wherever they decide to earn their degree, Health Informatics professionals should consider joining the American Health Information Management Association. Usually shortened to AHIMA , this group of registered technicians has dedicated themselves to bettering the working conditions of RHIT’s and RHIA’s everywhere. Their constantly updated job boards will help even the greenest graduate land a paying gig, while their regular news updates will keep members abreast of the latest developments in the informatics industry. For more information, check out their website at www.ahima.org.