Thursday, 14 November 2013

Healthcare IT – Current scenario and Career prospects

If it is said that healthcare IT is the most promising area in terms of career growth there are valid reasons for this. In recent years healthcare IT has shown tremendous investments and growth. Also it is among the few fields which are free from the impact of the recession. Earlier the healthcare professionals were skeptical about the career growth and prospects in Healthcare  IT  but the now  the scenario has changed.

The greatest boom is because of the adoption of  EMR. Talking globally  , most of the hospitals in US demonstrate significant use of the electronic health records. This includes implementation ,use of e prescription and ability of the IT systems to send EMR data  electronically to public health agencies. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act set aside $19 billion for hospitals and physicians who demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records.  The Indian healthcare providers plan to spend Rs. 5700 Crore ($ 897.64 million) on IT in 2013, a 7% rise over 2012 revenues of Rs. 5300 Crore ($ 834.65 Million) as per a report by Gartner.

The second significant thrust behind healthcare IT growth is the tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD-10. ICD -10 affects coding for everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). ICD-10 codes are to be used on all HIPAA transactions. Preparing for ICD-10 is a lot of work for most health organizations: the potential of updated software to install, staff training, changes in business operations, internal and external testing, reprinting of manuals to make this transition happen, the healthcare industry needs skilled healthcare IT people.

For healthcare managers a career in healthcare IT can be financially lucrative. But one should be ready to adapt to the continuous change particularly in the area of technology. The entry level position offered by various IT companies is that of a healthcare business analyst. Business analyst should possess a strong knowledge of Healthcare domain (claims, contracts, health insurance). Analysts gather data and conduct researches. After the research is complete, groups of healthcare business analysts may reconvene, review findings and investigate potential solutions. The growth trajectory is followed by the positions of Associate consultants , consultant and Principle consultant. Also there are prospects of working onsite.
Health care industry is gearing up really fast to proceed to the next level of technology with the improvised use of IT. Choosing a career in healthcare IT provides opportunity to grow individually along with the growing industry.

Ms . Neha Bhagatkar
Assistant Professor



Thursday, 7 November 2013

Healthcare Management as a Career Option

For decades, having a doctor’s degree is considered to the biggest achievement. The tradition is to do post-graduation  and then establish practice . But Gen Y of doctors is open to  other options as well. One such option available for a medicine graduate is MBA in  healthcare management  The Post graduate degree in Healthcare Management  that suits ones   temperament and skills and where one can  successfully utilize my medical background as well.

Coming from ancient school of thoughts, most of the medicine graduates feel that the clinical knowledge would go waste. The fact is that MBA is not a change of profession but a medical degree will act as a basic platform to explore wide opportunities in globally evolving healthcare.

After MBA HHM  the opportunities are not only limited to the hospitals but it entails one to choose a career between various other verticals like healthcare IT, health Insurance, healthcare Consultancies , Pharmaceuticals & wellness. The initial position offered by the companies is at the mid-level management.  Even the opportunities in Public sector have increased tremendously. One can get an opportunity to work with WHO, NRHM, RNTCP, and UNICEF etc. Public sector companies prefer Doctors with MBA who are able to understand and solve the problems associated with healthcare delivery. Also one gets the opportunity to do research in Public health. 

The curriculum  in health care management provides courses  on organisational behaviour, health economics, organisational research, health plan, strategic management, how to design a hospital, requirements of a hospital, , national health programme, medico-legal acts, waste management, international health regulations, comparative health systems, accountancy , HR and so on. The program touches all the verticals of healthcare and gives an opportunity to choose work area as per ones interest.

The route to entry is via MBA entrance ( E.g. For Symbiosis: SNAP Test).  The aptitude test involves questions on logical reasoning, data interpretation and analytical skills. Medicos have a constant fear of Mathematics. But the aptitude test is more of applicability of the basics learnt during schooling. And when one can crack the toughest medical entrance test then why not an MBA entrance Test. 

The healthcare Managers need to be flexible, creative, analytical and organized in putting policy changes into practice. Healthcare managers must be able to effectively communicate with people at all professional levels. But what is treasured the most is the vast scope in all domains of health care and fast paced professional growth. The attractive compensation is also a significant part but not the entire part of the story. To sum up with, if you have the passion to learn, curiosity to explore and courage to lead then this is the right field.

Ms. Neha Bhagatkar
Asst. Professor