Taking Your IT Career into the Healthcare World: An Introduction to CompTIA's Healthcare IT Technician Certification
CompTIA’s HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification demonstrates that you have the basic knowledge needed to enter the Healthcare IT field. The healthcare IT (HIT) field is booming with development in technology and migration from paper records to electronic records. It is one of the fastest growing fields in IT today. Jobs are being created constantly, and the market is still trying to meet the demands.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The HITECH Act regulates how HIT computer systems interact with third parties and requires healthcare facilities to more toward electronic solutions to store patient data and to no longer use paper forms and charts for retaining patient records. Its purpose is to promote the meaningful use of technology in healthcare so that technology ultimately results in improved healthcare for the patient. This push into HIT increases the job demand for a better-trained workforce from the nurse using the computer in a surgery suite to the IT guy in the server room; everyone is affected. More information can be found about the HITECH Act at www.hhs.gov.
Various HIT Positions
With the increasing demand from job openings in healthcare IT, HITECH has funded a group of colleges across the nation to train students for these jobs at minimal cost to the student. These programs train students for the following positions:
- Practice workflow and information management redesign specialists
- Clinician/practitioner consultants
- Implementation support specialists
- Implementation managers
- Technical/software support specialists
The HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification by CompTIA focuses on verifying the training of a person for two of these jobs: implementation support specialists and technical/software support.
Is This Healthcare or IT?
It’s an honest question that many are struggling to decide. This is particularly difficult for an instructor who is trying to figure out where this certification belongs in his or her curriculum. My experience demonstrates that this is definitely a technology certification. Here are a few reasons why I know this an IT job in a healthcare world:
- Look at the objectives. You can download the objectives for the exam at certification.comptia.org. More than half the exam verifies IT skills, and the rest of the exam confirms that IT people know how to relate to the healthcare world. The five domains of the exam are:
- When CompTIA created the HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification, it intended the test taker to already have earned the A+ certification or have 500+ hours of hands-on IT technical experience. The A+ exam tests the following skills:
- Fundamentals of computer technology
- Installation and configuration of PCs, laptops, and related hardware
- Basic networking
- Skills required to install and configure PC operating systems
- Configure common features (such as network connectivity and email) for mobile operating systems Android and Apple iOS
- Look at the job applicants. When a job opening is placed for an HIT technician, the job applicants are IT people. Some if not most of these applicants have little to no healthcare knowledge. The few healthcare workers who switched from healthcare to IT are extremely valuable because they can explain to the rest of us IT folks about how the technology we are designing and supporting affect the end user.
Percentage of Exam
Medical business operations
Other IT Certifications
Earning other certifications can help you to achieve your goal of working in healthcare IT. The HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification covers many security concepts, but the CompTIA Security+ certification demonstrates deeper knowledge in:
- Network security
- Compliance and operational security
- Threats and vulnerabilities
- Application, data, and host security
- Access control and identity management
The CompTIA Network+ certification is helpful, also. While the HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification covers many networking concepts, the Network+ certification demonstrates deeper knowledge in:
- Network technologies
- Installation and configuration
- Media and topologies
- Network management
- Network security
The HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician certification establishes that you, as a job applicant for a new job or promotion, have the knowledge and skill set needed to be an HIT technician as an implementation support specialist or technical/software support specialist. The need to meet this job market demand continues to grow as healthcare facilities seek to meet HITECH Act requirements of meaningful use of HIT technology. To help you prepare for an IT job in a healthcare world, earn your certifications in A+, HIT-001 Healthcare IT Technician, Security+, and Network+.