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Healthcare IT Jobs: 9 Roles and How to Hire Them

As medical facilities transition to digital and cloud-based systems, information technology (IT) is an increasingly important part of operations. If your facility is expanding its technology infrastructure and building a larger IT team, it’s important to understand the roles and responsibilities of common healthcare IT jobs.

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IT jobs in hospitals and doctor’s offices

The size and structure of a healthcare IT department varies by facility. Some organizations get by with a few generalist tech workers, while others have a clearly defined hierarchy. Here’s a look at some of the most common IT jobs in the industry.

1. Cybersecurity specialist

Cybersecurity specialists help protect your facility’s computer systems and sensitive medical data. They design and implement security architecture, work with software engineers to ensure application security and address security risks to the organization. In many facilities, this person is also involved in the development of security procedures, policies and workflows.

Cybersecurity specialists also handle tasks, including:

  • Locating system vulnerabilities via penetration testing

  • Resolving data breaches

  • Developing and maintaining threat intelligence

  • Managing change-control processes

  • Reporting on security metrics

  • Educating leaders and staff about data securit

2. Electronic health records (EHR) manager

EHR managers take on a critical role in your hospital or doctor’s office: the operation of the facility’s electronic health records system. This person, who might also be called an EHR analyst or EHR specialist, is responsible for maintaining, testing, troubleshooting and updating EHR software. If your organization takes advantage of government financial incentives for EHR implementation and interoperability, the EHR manager is typically involved in meeting program objectives and reporting on progress.

Other EHR manager duties may include:

  • Supporting staff members

  • Designing clinical records workflows

  • Training clinical staff on the EHR system

  • Supervising other EHR employees

  • Coordinating with EHR vendor

3. Software engineer

In a healthcare setting, software engineers develop the applications your medical professionals use for facility administration and patient care. They build, test and maintain programs for medical records, billing, compliance, telemedicine, medical databases, medical diagnoses and hospital equipment operation, just to name a few. Engineers may work for a single facility, a medical network or a healthcare technology provider.

Depending on the position, software engineers may also work on:

  • Debugging and troubleshooting applications

  • Releasing application updates

  • Maintaining technical documentation

  • Creating a process to resolve user concerns

  • Making recommendations for technical workflows

4. IT support technician

IT support staff provide technical assistance to the employees who use your facility’s technology programs. They answer questions, troubleshoot problems and provide appropriate solutions. Depending on the position, the support staff may also interact with community members who need help accessing and using the patient portal. They might work on-site at your location or at a remote call center.

IT support workers may also have responsibilities, including:

  • Managing the support ticket workflow

  • Fixing hardware and software problems

  • Recommending equipment replacement as necessary

  • Adjusting permissions and configurations

  • Setting up IT access for new hires

5. Health information technician

A health information technician, who may also be called a medical records technician, helps ensure the accuracy and privacy of your patients’ medical records. They review and analyze records to ensure they are complete and accurate; if needed, they communicate with healthcare providers to fill in the gaps. When a records request comes in, the technician provides data in accordance with current laws and regulations.

Additional health information technician duties may include:

  • Reconciling records with facility census

  • Processing records for births and deaths

  • Classifying records to apply insurance codes

  • Ensuring data security for records and requests

  • Analyzing records data to identify potential issues

6. Clinical applications analyst

Large healthcare facilities often hire clinical applications analysts to ensure the smooth integration and operation of key software packages and applications. Analysts often work with the clinical apps that control your organization’s imaging equipment, IV pumps, lab orders and patient tracking, among others. They provide targeted technical support for staff members, contribute to workflow development and ensure consistent system uptime.

Clinical applications analysts may also:

  • Maintain systems and applications

  • Coordinate solutions with all involved parties

  • Collect and analyze app data

  • Build and maintain relationships with vendors

  • Recommend updates and changes

7. Health data analyst

Your healthcare facility generates a considerable amount of data about patients, doctors, conditions and treatments. Data analysts collect and manage these complicated data sets. They interpret the information and recommend ways to improve patient outcomes, enhance facility operations, promote community health and streamline resource allocation.

A health data analyst might also:

  • Track and report on data trends

  • Identify and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Work with other professionals to identify strategic shifts

  • Visualize data for staff, patients and community members

8. Systems administrator

The systems administrator takes ownership of all the IT systems within a hospital or healthcare facility. This role can vary considerably based on the size, purpose and technology needs of your organization. Many systems administrators handle the installation, operation and management of hardware and software for computer systems, EMR systems and in-house security systems. They also come up with ways to update and improve facility operations.

Depending on the facility, the systems administrator often handles:

  • Managing the IT department budget

  • Training and supervising IT employees.

  • Reporting on IT functions to facility leadership

  • Planning the transition away from legacy healthcare systems

  • Overseeing IT compliance

9. Chief information officer

The chief information officer (CIO) is the highest-ranking IT professional in your healthcare organization. Compared to other healthcare IT jobs, which are primarily concerned with day-to-day operations, the CIO provides high-level leadership for all IT functions. They might determine the overall IT strategy, make IT purchasing decisions with input from the systems administrator and work with the other members of the leadership team to set the IT budget.

A healthcare CIO might also take on responsibilities, including:

  • Coordinating with high-level IT employees

  • Allocating resources for technology projects

  • Representing IT in organizational strategy discussions

  • Leading digital transformation efforts

  • Staying current on relevant government programs and regulations

  • Managing vendor relationships and contract negotiations

Hiring for healthcare IT jobs: Useful tips

If you’re not an IT specialist, hiring for a healthcare setting may require a bit of extra legwork. Use these tips to streamline the process and identify high-quality candidates.

Understand position responsibilities

Before you start the hiring process for healthcare IT jobs, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the role. Tech jobs can vary between facilities, particularly when it comes to the scope of responsibility. Hospital IT jobs might focus on a narrow area of operations; workers at a small clinic might take on a wider range of tasks. Your existing IT managers are a good resource—work with them to understand the nuances of the job.

Evaluate soft skills

It’s easy to focus on hard skills such as programming and networking when you’re hiring for healthcare IT jobs. Don’t forget about soft skills; after all, some IT roles involve a great deal of interaction with healthcare providers, technology vendors, hospital administrators and patients. As you’re assessing and interviewing candidates, make sure to consider their communication, problem solving and conflict resolution abilities.

Consider healthcare experience

Healthcare IT professionals deal with sensitive patient information, which means that they must adhere to specific data security, confidentiality and compliance requirements. Candidates with a background in healthcare—even if it’s not in IT—often bring a deep understanding of the challenges and unique demands of the industry.

Healthcare IT jobs FAQs

What is the role of IT in healthcare?

The IT department ensures that your healthcare facility’s technology infrastructure functions smoothly, protects sensitive medical data and meets compliance requirements. IT professionals maintain software and hardware, support hospital staff and resolve problems in a timely manner. They also collect, protect and analyze IT data to ensure that each aspect of the facility is optimized to help create positive patient outcomes.

Are healthcare IT professionals in demand?

As healthcare organizations take advantage of new technologies, they’re likely to require a larger IT staff. This means that competition for top candidates may be stiff. A thorough hiring process and attractive compensation packages can help you find the right people for your IT department.

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