Medical Assistant vs. Health Information Technology

Are you weighing your career options in the medical field? Find out how the medical assisting job differs from one in health information technology.

There are several career paths the health care industry offer. If you decide to choose a medical career, you should be prepared to perform all necessary tasks and responsibilities that go with it. Ensure that you have the proper education, training and certification to do the job.

Medical Assistant Job Description

Medical Assisting is one of the medical careers you can get into. It is a fast growing industry that promises better career opportunities, job security and good salary to those who are certified and went through training. A medical assistant works in a physician’s office, clinic or other health care facilities. You can either perform administrative or clinical tasks depending on your course and training. As an administrative medical assistant you act as a support system to the physician and medical team. You perform a variety of duties from welcoming patients, answering phone calls, setting up appointments, filling out of insurance forms and filling and updating patients’ records. Aside from this, you are expected to fulfill other tasks that may be designated to you from time to time.

A clinical medical assistant, on the other hand, works closely with the physician. Your duties include getting and recording the patient’s vitals and acquiring information from the patient regarding the purpose of the visit. You are also expected to draw blood, if needed; perform sutures, clean or change dressings and prepare the patient for laboratory tests. If the patient needs to be admitted, you are also in-charge of coordinating with the hospital for the admittance. Part of your medical assisting job is to instruct patients regarding their medicine intake and even filling out of prescription, with the knowledge of the physician of course.

What is Health Information Technology?

There is another field in the medical field that you can get into, the Health Information Technology. As a health information technologist, you don’t really interact with patients face-to-face. You must possess skills in computers and software since your tasks include the computerization of patients’ medical records and ensuring that all information are kept safe and confidential. Health Information Technology is also used to track research like cancer registries and quality improvement.

Should you wish to enter into health information technology, here are some of the duties you may be responsible for: use of coding software, retrieving data from the medical record system, and abiding by the health care laws and regulations relating to the release of medical records and information. You may be tasked to perform more duties aside from what are specified here.

A health information technologist can work in different health care institutions or facilities such as physician’s office or clinic, hospitals, nursing homes and community centers.