Since computers first started popping up in hospitals in the 1980s, the rules and regulations governing technology in healthcare have been continuously rewritten.
The latest changes come in the form of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act mandates the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems that meet meaningful use standards.
As a result, a host of information must now be recorded electronically, including all of the following:
- Nurse’s Notes
- Physician Progress Notes
- Lab Results
- Radiology Reports
- Medication Records
New Opportunities As Nursing Standards Change
As paper records are being replaced by EHRs, thanks to HITECH, the Department of Health and Human Services is mandating yet another change. Since 1979, patients have received a special code related to their diagnosis called an ICD-9 code. But as of October 2014, these long-standing codes will be replaced by ICD-10 standards.
Though these changes bring with them tremendous challenges, they also create huge opportunities for Informational Technology (IT) and Health Information Management (HIM) workers who are certified in ICD-10 coding and nurses with strong backgrounds in Informatics. Thousands of temporary positions for IT/HIM, and RNs in these fields will be created while the rest of the workforce gets up to speed.
New Positions And High Salaries For Nurses
Nurses with the proper skills will be able to earn extremely competitive salaries. For example, in Virginia, the average salary for tech nursing temps is $40-45 an hour, which translates to more than $100,000 over the course of the year. IT and HIM temporary workers can make approximately $35-40$/hour — which means you could make up to $80,000 a year!
As 2014 approaches, thousands of lucrative temporary IT nursing job opportunities will be created across all nursing departments, including medical, surgical, intensive care, telemetry, oncology, maternity and pediatrics. If you want to cash in, start preparing today by achieving the proper certifications and training. The American Health Information Management Associations (AHIMA) website has detailed information on how to earn certifications in your field.
EHRs and ICD-10 represent a sea change for the nursing profession.
Are you ready to ride the wave?