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Healthcare Information Technology vs Pharmacy Technician

Healthcare Information Technology vs Pharmacy Technician

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Key Points:

  • Healthcare IT professionals manage and maintain medical software and systems; Pharmacy Technicians assist pharmacists in filling prescriptions and providing customer service.
  • Healthcare IT jobs typically pay higher than Pharmacy Technician roles.
  • Both fields are expected to see growth.
  • Healthcare IT often requires a bachelor's degree, while Pharmacy Technicians can obtain certification through online or in-person programs.
  • Healthcare IT training can be more expensive and take longer, with a bachelor's degree program lasting 4 years, compared to Pharmacy Technician programs that can be completed in 1 year or less.

As the demand for healthcare professionals continues to grow, there are many career paths to consider. Two popular options are healthcare information technology and pharmacy technician. While both fields are in the healthcare industry, they have distinct differences in terms of job responsibilities, education and training requirements, and career outlook. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between healthcare information technology and pharmacy technician to help you determine which path may be the best fit for you.

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What is Healthcare Information Technology and Pharmacy Technician?

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT): Healthcare information technology professionals are responsible for managing and maintaining the electronic health records (EHR) systems used in healthcare settings. They ensure that patient data is accurate, secure, and accessible to authorized personnel. HIT professionals also analyze data to improve patient care and support decision-making processes.

Pharmacy Technician: Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists to assist in the preparation and dispensing of medications. They may also perform administrative tasks, such as managing inventory, processing insurance claims, and interacting with patients. Pharmacy technicians play a vital role in ensuring that medications are safely and efficiently provided to patients.

Difference between Healthcare Information Technology and Pharmacy Technician

Here are some key differences between healthcare information technology and pharmacy technician:

  • Job Responsibilities: While both fields are in the healthcare industry, the job responsibilities of healthcare information technology professionals and pharmacy technicians differ significantly. HIT professionals focus on managing and maintaining electronic health records systems, analyzing data, and supporting decision-making. On the other hand, pharmacy technicians primarily assist pharmacists in dispensing medications and managing administrative tasks related to medication delivery.

  • Work Environment: Healthcare information technology professionals typically work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. They may also work for technology companies that provide EHR systems. Pharmacy technicians can work in a variety of settings, including retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.

  • Skills Required: Healthcare information technology professionals need strong technical and analytical skills to effectively manage electronic health records systems and analyze data. They also need excellent communication skills to collaborate with healthcare providers and other stakeholders. Pharmacy technicians need a solid understanding of medications, dosages, and pharmaceutical calculations. They also need good organizational and customer service skills.

  • Certification and Licensure: While certification is not always required for employment, many healthcare information technology professionals choose to obtain certifications such as Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) or Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) to demonstrate their expertise and enhance their career prospects. Pharmacy technicians, on the other hand, must be licensed to practice in most states. Licensure requirements vary by state but typically involve completing an accredited pharmacy technician program and passing an exam.

Healthcare Information Technology vs Pharmacy Technician: Job Description

Let's take a closer look at the job descriptions of healthcare information technology professionals and pharmacy technicians:

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT):

  • Manage and maintain electronic health records (EHR) systems.
  • Ensure the accuracy, security, and accessibility of patient data.
  • Analyze data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.
  • Collaborate with healthcare providers and other stakeholders to optimize EHR systems and workflows.
  • Train healthcare staff on the use of EHR systems and best practices for data management.
  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends and regulatory requirements related to health information technology.

Pharmacy Technician:

  • Assist pharmacists in preparing and dispensing medications.
  • Manage inventory and ensure medication availability.
  • Process insurance claims and interact with patients.
  • Perform pharmaceutical calculations and ensure accurate dosages.
  • Maintain patient records and ensure confidentiality.
  • Follow safety protocols and adhere to pharmacy regulations.

Healthcare Information Technology vs Pharmacy Technician: Education and Training

The education and training requirements for healthcare information technology professionals and pharmacy technicians differ as well:

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT):

  • Most entry-level positions in healthcare information technology require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in health information management, health informatics, or a related field.
  • Some positions may require a master's degree in health informatics or a related field.
  • Certification, such as Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) or Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA), can enhance job prospects and demonstrate expertise.

Pharmacy Technician:

  • The educational requirements for pharmacy technicians vary by state. Some states require completion of an accredited pharmacy technician program, while others may only require a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Many pharmacy technician programs are offered at community colleges or vocational schools and can be completed in less than a year.
  • After completing the educational requirements, pharmacy technicians must pass a licensure exam in most states.

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Healthcare Information Technology vs Pharmacy Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

The career outlook and salary potential for healthcare information technology professionals and pharmacy technicians are influenced by various factors:

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT):

  • The demand for healthcare information technology professionals is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years due to increased reliance on electronic health records systems and the need for data analysis to improve patient care.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for medical and health services managers, which includes healthcare information technology professionals, was $104,280 in May 2020.

Pharmacy Technician:

  • The demand for pharmacy technicians is also projected to grow, albeit at a slower pace than healthcare information technology professionals, due to factors such as an aging population and increased access to healthcare services.
  • According to the BLS, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $34,020 in May 2020.

Final Thoughts

Both healthcare information technology and pharmacy technician are rewarding career paths in the healthcare industry. The choice between the two depends on your interests, skills, and career goals. If you have a passion for technology, data analysis, and improving healthcare systems, healthcare information technology may be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you have a strong interest in medications, attention to detail, and enjoy working directly with patients, pharmacy technician may be the better choice. Consider your strengths and preferences when making your decision and explore education and training options to embark on your chosen career path.

Dreambound has strategically placed its educational programs in various locations, making it easy for aspiring individuals to access valuable opportunities. For a thorough insight into the dynamic realms of these two vocations, we encourage you to delve into more detailed information by visiting:

Alyssa Jane
Written by
Alyssa Jane

Alyssa Jane is part of the customer success team at Dreambound. She works with students, training providers, and employers, helping them have a smooth customer journey. She is also an ESL tutor and Licensed Psychometrician. She is fond of traveling, photography, and discovering new restaurants.

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