I know of a couple of types of positions that combine both healthcare and computers:
1) A Clinical Trials Research Technologist or technicians assist in the initiation, administration, coordination, and management of clinical research studies for the development of new drugs, clinical products, and treatment regimens.
Clinical laboratory technologists usually have a bachelor’s degree with a major in medical technology or in one of the life sciences; clinical laboratory technicians generally need either an associate degree or a certificate.
Job opportunities are expected to be excellent, because the number of job openings is expected to continue to exceed the number of job seekers. Employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014, as the volume of laboratory tests continues to increase with both population growth and the development of new types of tests.
Median annual earnings of medical and clinical laboratory technologists were $45,730 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,740 and $54,310. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,120.
2) A Health Information Technician or Coder analyzes health information, assigns codes, and indexes diagnoses and procedures to support clinical care; to assist medical research in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other health care facilities; and to provide information for reimbursement purposes.
Job prospects should be very good. Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2014 because of rapid growth in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be increasingly scrutinized by health insurance companies, regulators, courts, and consumers. Also, technicians will be needed to enter patient information into computer databases to comply with Federal legislation mandating the use of electronic patient records.
Although employment growth in hospitals will not keep pace with growth in other health care industries, many new jobs will, nevertheless, be created. The majority of new jobs is expected in offices of physicians as a result of increasing demand for detailed records, especially in large group practices. Rapid growth also is expected in home health care services, outpatient care centers, and nursing and residential care facilities. Additional job openings will result from the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the occupation permanently.
Technicians with a strong background in medical coding will be in particularly high demand. Changing government regulations and the growth of managed care have increased the amount of paperwork involved in filing insurance claims. Additionally, health care facilities are having difficulty attracting qualified workers, primarily because of the lack of both formal training programs and sufficient resources to provide on-the-job training for coders. Job opportunities may be especially good for coders employed through temporary help agencies or by professional services firms.
Median annual earnings of medical records and health information technicians were $25,590 in 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $20,650 and $32,990. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,720, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $41,760.
If you are interested in a position requiring more of your computer skills:
3) Clinical Database Manager/Programmer Analyst
Works as part of a project team, or possibly as a team manager, to design and implement applications in support of clinical research Leads the analysis, design and implementation of client-server applications such as Oracle, SQL and forms of GUI-based products. Develops forms, menus and reports based on functional and design specifications. Documents all work fully according to Clinical Information Systems (CIS) standards. Actively promotes standards for the development and acquisition of systems. Participates in the evaluation and implementation of packaged systems. Communicates with the end-users.
Programmer/Analyst positions require BS in computer science or related field and 0-3 years' programming experience, preferably in the pharmaceutical or health care industry.
Computer scientists and database administrators are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations through 2014. Employment of these computer specialists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations as organizations continue to adopt and integrate increasingly sophisticated technologies
Median annual earnings of computer and information scientists, research, were $85,190 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $64,860 and $108,440. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,930, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $132,700. Median annual earnings of computer and information scientists employed in computer systems design and related services in May 2004 were $85,530.
Median annual earnings of database administrators were $60,650 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $44,490 and $81,140. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,380, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,450. In May 2004, median annual earnings of database administrators employed in computer systems design and related services were $70,530, and for those in management of companies and enterprises, earnings were $65,990.
Note: You could also train to work with healthcare related companies/employers as a computer systems anayst, software engineer, or support specialist, but database knowledge is still one of the most valued areas in computer science. These occupations are ones that have been outsourced in the last few years...though some companies are bringing back these departments to the US.
Answered By: edith clarke - 1/2/2007