Washington Health Informatics
As the nation’s medical industry continues its march into the future, a great need has arisen for professional data handlers with an inclination toward ethical and legal responsibility. This demand has given birth to an entirely new field of employment – Health Informatics. Nowhere is their a greater market for this new skill set than in the state of Washington. Its numerous hospitals, corporations, and other large employers are all in need of skilled technicians, capable of handling the avalanche of medical data produced by patients, clients, and employees.
Health Informatics Certification in Washington
For students in Washington, there are two tiers of academic certification available in the Health Informatics field. The most basic is the Associate’s degree, which garners the title of Registered Health Information Technician, or RHIT. This can usually be completed over a two year period. With another two years, however, students can ascend to the Bachelor’s level. Known as Registered Health Information Administrators (or RHIA’s), these highly trained individuals enjoy even greater opportunities in the employment market. For those who which to take their careers to the next level, there are also Master’s programs for you to consider.
Certification at both academic levels comes from a single source – the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management . More concisely known as CAHIIM, this group monitors the classroom standards of education institutions across the nation. Only those who meet their standards are granted license to produce graduates under the RHIT and RHIA monikers. Because not every Health Informatics program is CAHIIM-approved, students would do well to make sure their prospective colleges measure up to this industry high water mark.
Health Care Informatics Degrees – WA
Fortunately, for those studying in the Evergreen State, there are several CAHIIM-qualified schools to choose from. At the RHIT level, aspiring technicians can accomplish their goals at the Shoreline, Spokane, and Tacoma Community Colleges. Those with an appetite for further academic accomplishment will find what their looking for at the University of Washington. There students are offered the chance to earn their Bachelor’s degree through a standard four-year instructional program.
There’s been a lot of talk over the past few years about the internet and its place in the educational system. Fortunately for today’s busy students, several CAHIIM-certified Health Informatics programs offer their entire curricula in the digital format. This allows those with jobs and families to complete their college degree, which will result in higher pay and better employment opportunities. Many of these programs you will find listed below.
Health Informatics Salary – Washington
Following graduation, young professionals in Washington will be treated to some of the highest starting wages enjoyed by CAHIIM-certified graduates. New recruits can expect to draw as much as $11.50 per hour, with yearly earnings in the $24,000 area . As of May 2009, the state average for Health Informatics technicians was reported at $17.66 per hour, or $36,740 annually. Those with several years in the field can earn as much as $25.96 per hour, with an annual take home gross of $54,000, while those with a master’s degree might find an even higher earning potential.
*Salary Data: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Earnings Statistics
Health Informatics workers young and old are encouraged to join the field’s professional organization. Known as the American Health Information Management Association (or AHIMA ), this group offers a wide range of benefits to its members. Among these are regularly updated job boards, plus news posts featuring the latest advances in the field. Those who’d like to learn more about this highly respected group can visit their website, www.ahima.org.