"The whole goal of meaningful use is to have improved health outcomes. They [clinical informatics] identify trends and then apply the data to real-life scenarios, "says Liann Brobst, a national healthcare IT recruiter with Modis.
Annual Average Salary: $89,000
3. ICD-10 Conversion Project Manager
These project managers are overseeing the conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10. "These workers will likely have experience in health information management and have worked as coders in the past. They will be in charge of coming up with a game plan for the ICD-10 conversion," says Anderson.
ICD-10 deals with all the necessary encoding of data that goes on in the hospital. For example, someone who visits the emergency room has a broken arm. That person sees a doctor and has a cast put on. All those interactions are then coded into a standardized billing language. It's what Gaboriault calls the "Care-to-Claim" process.
"Typically, hospitals want someone who has experience with these conversions so they can hit the ground running," says Brobst. ICD (International Classification of Diseases) is a medical classification code set used to record different ailments, procedures, surgeries and anything else you may have done to you at the hospital. The U.S. is one of the last countries to adopt ICD-10 and the conversion is set to happen October 2014.
In the meantime, hospitals and healthcare providers are all working furiously to meet the deadline. "Every organization has got to do this," says Gaboriault.
Annual Average Salary: $94,000
4. ICD-10 Testing Coordinators/Coders
On October 14th everyone is going to be live on the ICD-10 billing format. Consider that today there are roughly 4,000 codes for diagnosis and procedure, but once ICD-10 is implemented that number will mushroom to more than 70,000 codes, according to Gaboriault, allowing for a much more in-depth reporting and billing.
"The coders will be responsible for taking all the ICD-9 codes and transferring them over to ICD-10," says Anderson. They'll have a heavy workflow especially when they begin to go live, errors arise and adjustments need to be made.
The coordinators will work with the coders to ensure the new implementations are working correctly and that new codes are mapped to the correct locations.
Annual Average Salary: $65,000 (Coder)
5. HL7/Interface Analyst/ Developer
HL7 is a nonprofit organization that provides a common standard for all healthcare organizations to use to make sure every system implemented can talk to every other system. "It focuses on connecting one health system to another.
In order to make that work, you need a standards-based connection, that's HL7," says Dr. Martin Harris, CIO at the Cleveland Clinic. It's a highly technical and critical point of operation as you move into this space.