It looks like Shahid gets a lot of the same emails I get. He recently posted some suggestions on how to break into the healthcare IT industry. Here’s some of his ideas:
- If you’ve got experience running or working in a medical office or you’re an experienced project manager you can apply for an implementation specialist or assistant at almost any healthcare IT firm like an EMR or EHR vendor, consulting firm, or systems integrator. The thing to keep in mind is that every customer that buys an EMR needs to have it installed and deployed and that’s done by implementation folks. There is a shortage of people that can take complex products like EHRs and EMRs live.
- If you have a little or a lot of general IT experience but no healthcare IT experience you can start by working in a technical support or training capacity. You would get the opportunity to learn new products and use your IT experience to provide customer service, support, and training talent.
- If you’re interested in the software side you can think of being a tester of software; vendors need good quality assurance and configuration management personnel and that’s a great place to begin your healthcare IT career.
- If you’re good at writing, consider joining the documentation team for creating training materials, videos, screencasts, or other related artifacts necessary to teach people how to use healthcare IT.
- If you’re a developer interested in writing software but you’re not experienced in healthcare, join one of the many open source projects that are out there building open source EMRs, EHRs, PHRs, and related tools. Open source is a great way to join a community of people willing to help you if you’re willing to give back to them, too.
- If you’re an integration specialist (you know EAI, EDI, EII, ETL, ESBs, or other integration techniques) start to learn HL7, CCR, and CCD and you can write your own ticket almost anywhere. The majority of healthcare problems in the IT arena are integration and deployment problems so if you know scripting and HL7 you’re good to go.
That’s a pretty good list for people searching for HIT jobs. I also like to point people to this list of EMR, EHR and HIT job websites. I’ve had really good reviews for that resource. I also liked Shahid’s suggestion of working on an open source EMR project in order to gain the experience in the healthcare field.