One of the big challenges we have in healthcare is being open to the idea of someone transitioning to healthcare IT from something outside of healthcare. In fact, the same could be said about someone coming from the clinical side of healthcare to the IT side. Although, the later seems easier than the former.
While I understand many people’s concern hiring someone into healthcare IT that doesn’t have experience with the unique aspects of healthcare, I think we have to be careful to not disregard them completely. I was one of those people who bridged the gap from being an IT professional to working in healthcare. I’m still grateful that my employer took the risk on me and hired me with no healthcare experience. You’d have to ask them to know for sure, but I think they were really happy with the choice.
I do remember when I went off to an intense 2 day one on one EHR training at the EHR vendors office. I think the training was a unique experience for this EHR trainer. Looking back, I’m pretty sure there was as much training on healthcare (CPT Codes, ICD-9 codes, etc) as there was on the technology. I remember many times during her training where she would start to talk about some of the tech parts and we could quickly move on from it since I already understood how it worked.
While in many ways I got lucky, Priya Ramachandran made a similar transition and offered these 4 pieces of advice to those looking to get into healthcare IT:
1) Having health-care related credentials helps
3) Hone up on healthcare concepts skills
4) Learn from the greats
I think the key idea is to find a way to understand healthcare as much as possible. Certainly you won’t know everything, but you can learn enough to show that you can learn the rest. That will give you a fighting chance of breaking into healthcare IT.
What are your thoughts on making the transition? Any suggestions for those that are trying to make the change? Any reasons on why we should or shouldn’t hire those who don’t have healthcare experience?