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Updated / Emerging Occupations

Health Information Technology Specialist

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or appeared in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

In general, health information technology specialists plan, develop, test and use software. They capture, manage and display health care-related records and databases. They study health care data.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 13,300
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Clinical Informatics Specialist, Clinical Information Systems Specialist, Health Information Analyst, Health Information Technician, Health Information Technologist, Medical Information Systems Specialist, Medical Information Systems Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

This occupation has not yet received an official NOC code. However, it is considered similar to the following historical NOC codes. CAUTION—As this occupation is only similar to these NOC codes, related details and labour market information may not be accurate:

  • 2006 NOC: Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management (1122);  Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (2171) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management (B022);  Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (C071) 
  • 2011 NOC: Professional occupations in business management consulting (1122);  Information systems analysts and consultants (2171) 
Skills Shortage*

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

4%
4%
*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation
Average Wage*
Starting
Overall
Top
*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Health Information Technology Specialist occupation
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Health information technology (HIT) specialists work with health care-related software and information technology (IT). This technology is designed to capture, manage, and display health-related records, databases, and information.

Health information applications can improve the level of care hospitals and clinics provide. They can also reduce administrative costs and provide records that may be needed in legal cases.

In general, HIT specialists perform the following duties:

  • help address IT requirements in the health care sector
  • provide clinical subject matter expertise throughout the design, planning, and roll-out phases of new and updated technologies
  • make sure software or IT solutions meet user needs
  • help acquire software or IT systems
  • work with stakeholders to identify, understand, and document required concepts and clinical care processes
  • develop, customize and test software or IT
  • use or install software or IT solutions and help clients or co-workers do the same
  • maintain software or IT systems
  • respond to requests for patient information and affidavits
  • maintain privacy and confidentiality of patient information
  • administer the health information system database
  • help develop education and training procedures
  • advise and train senior hospital management, physicians, and other health care workers
  • provide information to assist in sound decision making
  • follow standards (such as HL7 and DICOM) to ensure electronic health information systems are compatible.

HIT specialists use software or IT systems such as:

  • communication protocols for the secure transmission of health care data
  • electronic patient record systems (regionally, provincially, territorially, or nationally)
  • clinical and administrative decision support systems
  • classification systems using standardized terminology and coding
  • case management systems
  • access and referral systems for health care services
  • patient monitoring systems
  • digital imaging and image processing systems
  • Internet and mobile technologies to engage and assist patients in their own care
  • telehealth technologies to support remote diagnosis and treatment
  • public health surveillance and protection systems
  • methodologies and apps for data analysis, management, and mining
  • clinical and administrative data warehouse and reporting systems
  • performance management systems
  • business, financial, administration support, and logistics systems.

HIT specialists often work closely with Health Information Management Professionals and system developers (see the Computer Programmer occupational profile).

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Health information technology specialists work mainly in office settings. They spend most of their time working with computers. Hospitals and clinics tend to operate at a fast pace. Those working in and around hospitals or clinics may feel the increased stress levels of these settings. With shared information services departments between health care facilities, travel may be required.

  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Health information technology specialists need to possess:

  • creativity
  • the ability to think analytically
  • the ability to solve problems
  • the skills to work on their own and with a multidisciplinary team
  • the skills to organize and prioritize competing demands
  • speaking and writing skills
  • the ability to manage stress and maintain poise
  • a strong client focus.

They should enjoy answering questions and problem solving.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Most emerging occupations develop from more than one occupation, so health information technology specialists may come from a variety of education and training backgrounds. Prior to enrolling in an education program, prospective students should contact associations and employers in this field to investigate education options and employment possibilities.

In general, HIT specialists require a bachelor’s degree in a health-related discipline. They may also be hired with a health information management (HIM) diploma. For a list of schools offering accredited HIM programs, visit the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) website. Work experience in the following fields is an asset:

  • computer science
  • information technology
  • management
  • social sciences
  • health sciences

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Professional certification for health information technology specialists is available through Digital Health Canada. To earn certification as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems-Canada (CPHIMS-CA), candidates must:

  1. complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field
  2. complete 5 years of associated experience, including 3 years in health informatics, or complete a graduate degree plus 3 years of associated experience, including 2 years in health informatics
  3. complete and pass the CPHIMS and Canadian Supplemental exams.
Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Emerging occupations are typically the result of:

  • an increased human need (for example, alternate sources of energy)
  • technological advances
  • greater specialization within an occupation.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation but future demand for health information technology specialists is unknown.

Many health information technology specialists work in large consulting firms. They provide services to hospitals and individual physicians and their staff. Others work in information services in public or private health care institutions. These include hospitals, clinics and care homes.

In Alberta, health information technology specialists are part of two larger 2011 National Occupational Classifications: 1122 Professional occupations in business services to management and 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants.

75% of people employed in the Professional occupations in business services to management group work in the following industries:

76% of people employed in the Information systems analysts and consultants group work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors, including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the B022: Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 234 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

In Alberta, the C071: Information Systems Analysts and Consultants occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 212 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no current salary data is available for this occupation.


*The health information technology specialist is similar to this NOC group
Professional occupations in business management consulting

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.95 $61.43 $35.87 $33.29
Overall $28.51 $66.24 $46.65 $47.30
Top $29.40 $79.71 $58.15 $56.65

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

30%
30%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

4%
4%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

Vacancy Rate

2%

*The health information technology specialist is similar to this NOC group
Information systems analysts and consultants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.56 $48.59 $33.95 $34.65
Overall $23.68 $70.03 $43.70 $43.41
Top $29.34 $78.95 $52.30 $49.88

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Educational Services
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Information Processing
  • English Language Arts
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Community Care Services
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Alberta Network for Health Information eXchange website: www.anhix.com

Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) website: www.echima.ca

Digital Health Canada website: www.digitalhealthcanada.com

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) website: www.servicealberta.ca/foip

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

National Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI) website: www.nihi.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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