Dreambound
Blog

Sterile Processing Technician

Healthcare Information Technology vs Sterile Processing Technician

Healthcare Information Technology vs Sterile Processing Technician

Want personalized recommendations?

Let's match you to the right program

Talk to Skipper
coach

In the healthcare industry, there are various career paths that individuals can pursue. Two of these paths are healthcare information technology (HIT) and sterile processing technician (SPT). While both of these careers are in the healthcare field, they differ in terms of job responsibilities, education and training requirements, and career outlook. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two careers to help you determine which one may be the best fit for you.

Article continues after recommendations

Recommended for you

What is Healthcare Information Technology and Sterile Processing Technician?

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT): Healthcare Information Technology professionals play a crucial role in the management and organization of healthcare data. They are responsible for maintaining and securing patient information, as well as implementing and managing electronic health record systems. HIT professionals work with healthcare providers and other stakeholders to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is available for patient care, research, and billing purposes. They also analyze data to identify trends and improve the quality of care.

Sterile Processing Technician (SPT): Sterile Processing Technicians are essential members of the healthcare team who ensure that medical instruments and equipment are properly cleaned, sterilized, and prepared for use in medical procedures. They work in sterile processing departments or central supply departments of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and clinics. SPTs are responsible for decontaminating instruments, assembling instrument trays, and performing quality control checks to ensure that instruments are functioning properly. They also maintain inventory and order supplies as needed.

Difference between Healthcare Information Technology and Sterile Processing Technician

The main difference between HIT and SPT lies in the nature of their job responsibilities and the skills required to perform those tasks effectively.

Job Responsibilities:

  • HIT: Healthcare Information Technology professionals focus on managing and analyzing healthcare data. Their job responsibilities may include:

    • Implementing and maintaining electronic health record systems
    • Ensuring the security and privacy of patient information
    • Analyzing data to identify trends and improve patient care
    • Collaborating with healthcare providers to optimize the use of technology in healthcare delivery
  • SPT: Sterile Processing Technicians, on the other hand, are responsible for the decontamination, sterilization, and preparation of medical instruments and equipment. Their job responsibilities may include:

    • Cleaning and decontaminating instruments using specialized equipment
    • Assembling instrument trays and ensuring that all necessary instruments are included
    • Performing quality control checks to ensure that instruments are functioning properly
    • Maintaining inventory and ordering supplies as needed

Required Skills:

  • HIT: In order to be successful in the field of Healthcare Information Technology, individuals should possess the following skills:

    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Knowledge of healthcare regulations and privacy laws
    • Proficiency in computer systems and electronic health record software
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • SPT: Sterile Processing Technicians should have the following skills to excel in their role:

    • Attention to detail and the ability to follow strict protocols
    • Knowledge of infection control practices and sterilization techniques
    • Manual dexterity and the ability to handle delicate instruments
    • Physical stamina to stand for long periods and lift heavy instrument trays

Healthcare Information Technology vs Sterile Processing Technician: Job Description

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT): As mentioned earlier, HIT professionals are responsible for managing and analyzing healthcare data. They work closely with healthcare providers and other stakeholders to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is available for patient care, research, and billing purposes. Some of the specific job roles in the field of HIT include:

  • Health Information Manager: These professionals oversee the management of patient health information and ensure compliance with healthcare regulations and privacy laws. They may also be responsible for implementing and managing electronic health record systems.

  • Clinical Informatics Specialist: Clinical informatics specialists work with healthcare providers to optimize the use of technology in healthcare delivery. They analyze data to identify trends and develop strategies to improve patient care and outcomes.

Sterile Processing Technician (SPT): The primary role of a Sterile Processing Technician is to ensure that medical instruments and equipment are properly cleaned, sterilized, and prepared for medical procedures. SPTs work in sterile processing departments or central supply departments of healthcare facilities. Some of the specific job roles in the field of SPT include:

  • Sterile Processing Technician: These professionals are responsible for the decontamination and sterilization of instruments using specialized equipment. They assemble instrument trays and perform quality control checks to ensure that instruments are functioning properly.

  • Central Supply Technician: Central supply technicians are responsible for maintaining inventory and ordering supplies for the sterile processing department. They ensure that all necessary instruments and equipment are available for medical procedures.

Healthcare Information Technology vs Sterile Processing Technician: Education and Training

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT): To pursue a career in Healthcare Information Technology, individuals typically need to complete a formal education program. The most common educational pathway is earning a bachelor's degree in health information management or a related field. Some HIT professionals may also hold an associate's degree or a certificate in health information technology. In addition to formal education, HIT professionals may need to obtain professional certifications, such as the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) or the Certified Professional in Health Informatics (CPHI) credential.

Sterile Processing Technician (SPT): The education and training requirements for Sterile Processing Technicians vary depending on the employer and the state. Some employers may require a high school diploma or equivalent, while others may prefer candidates with postsecondary education. There are certificate and diploma programs available that provide training in sterile processing and central supply. These programs typically include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. SPTs may also pursue professional certification, such as the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential.

Get courses selected just for you

Try our powerful search engine

Try it now

Article continues after recommendations

More recommendations for you

Healthcare Information Technology vs Sterile Processing Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT): The demand for Healthcare Information Technology professionals is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The increasing use of electronic health record systems and the need for data analysis in healthcare delivery are driving the demand for HIT professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical and health services managers, which includes health information managers, was $104,280 in May 2020.

Sterile Processing Technician (SPT): The job outlook for Sterile Processing Technicians is also promising. As healthcare facilities continue to emphasize infection control and patient safety, the demand for SPTs is expected to increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical equipment preparers, which includes SPTs, was $39,390 in May 2020.

Final Thoughts

Both Healthcare Information Technology and Sterile Processing Technician are essential roles in the healthcare industry. While HIT professionals focus on managing and analyzing healthcare data, SPTs ensure that medical instruments and equipment are properly cleaned and sterilized. The choice between these two careers ultimately depends on your interests, skills, and career goals. Consider the job responsibilities, education and training requirements, and career outlook discussed in this blog post to determine which path may be the best fit for you.

Ensuring accessibility for individuals seeking growth, Dreambound strategically places its educational programs in various locations. Delve into a more comprehensive understanding of the exciting opportunities within these two vocations by visiting:

Marce Arnejo
Written by
Marce Arnejo

Marce Arnejo is part of the Sales team at Dreambound. Her role involves seeking out schools and institutions to provide valuable opportunities for students seeking a career in the healthcare sector. Beyond her professional life, Marce is passionate about music and gaming. She finds joy in exploring various genres of music and using gaming to unwind and immerse herself in virtual worlds. Her diverse interests enrich her personal life and contribute to her work by bringing new ideas and creativity.

Share this post: