Telemedicine is a term used to describe how medicine is transmitted electronically. Telemedicine benefits patients by allowing them to have fewer doctor visits and by reducing the number of medical errors, which reduces the number of injuries and deaths caused by these mistakes. Telemedicine has also increased the need for medical information technicians and health services managers, creating many jobs.
Doctors need updated information to provide patients with adequate care, and administrators need to keep track of medical information for billing and insurance purposes. Telemedicine encompasses technology that allows the storage and forwarding of data, remote vital-sign monitoring, message security, emails, electronic alerts and video conferencing.
Health information technicians are responsible for telemedicine.Telemedicine is increasingly in demand because there is a shortage of healthcare professionals and a rise in chronic diseases resulting from an aging baby boomer population. Telemedicine technology allows health-care practitioners to treat a more significant number of patients.
Telemedicine is necessary for organizing the use of electronic health records, the exchange of health information across different industries, the use of health information to follow trends and the transmission of medical information for the proper filling of patient prescriptions. With right telemedicine technology, appropriate specialists can quickly be located to provide adequate care, the frequency of patient visits can be reduced by running several tests each visit, patients can be given more control over their attention, and potentially deadly medical errors can be reduced.
A health information technician needs an associate’s degree and a Registered Health Information Technicians credential, which is offered by the American Health Information Management Association. Successful technicians are good with technology and communication. Those who pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree can be promoted to the position of health information manager.
According to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2008 and 2018, the need for health information technicians is expected to grow by 20 percent. The demand for health services managers is expected to grow by 16 percent. Growth in the health-care sector is driven by an aging baby boomer population that will need increasing amounts of medical care.
The BLS reports that health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $30,600 in 2008. Median yearly earnings for health services managers was $80,240.