The world of healthcare is rapidly changing and the need for individuals in the health information management and technology fields has never been higher. The evolution of electronic health records, health information exchanges, changes in national health insurance and advances in medical technology are changing the way we collect and organize health information.While the core skills of many jobs in the industry will remain the same, HIM professioinals will also need information technology skills to keep pace with the change.
Frank Waterstraat, program manager of the University of Wisconsin online Health information Management and Technology program, says these changes have put a new demand on the skill sets needed by workers in the industry.
“Ironically, with the implementation of health information technology and the health information management profession, many of the job functions have remained pretty much intact,” Waterstraat said.
Waterstraat notes that areas such as coding for reimbursement, information release, ensuring patient security and using data to measure healthcare quality and reduce costs, are all still core functions of the discipline. The shift in skill sets has given way to expanded dimensions of the industry and the professions associated with health information management and technology.
“As much as the profession has changed, there’s a component of it that has remained the same, and yet there’s a whole series of new areas that provide new dimensions and opportunities in the profession,” Waterstraat said.
The University of Wisconsin Health Information Management and Technology program was uniquely designed to address the healthcare industry’s emerging needs in these areas, teaching skills sets that include systems analysis and design, project management, system development and integration, as well as a continued focused on ensuring privacy and security in electronic information systems.
“The University of Wisconsin Health Information Management and Health information Technology program offers a program that integrates these two disciplines into a single degree,” Waterstraat said.
Faculty involved in the program are experts in the areas of healthcare, management, information systems, project management, system analysis design, economics, epidemiology, and much more. They have been recruited from across the University of Wisconsin System campuses to teach courses. Faculty are able to provide students the most up-to-date and critical information to advance their educations and careers.
To learn more about our HIMT program and hear more from Frank Waterstraat, watch his full interview here.