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Introduction to healthcare information technology
Ciampa M., Revels M., Course Technology Press, Boston, MA, 2013. 352 pp. Type: Book (978-1-133787-77-8)
Date Reviewed: Jun 25 2013

According to recent employment projections from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare and information technology (IT) continue to be industries of rapid growth, in which skilled professionals will remain in great demand through 2020 [1]. This textbook opens with a discussion of the importance of IT in the field of healthcare and why the demand for this combined expertise is expected to continue to grow. The authors make no assumptions about a reader’s background beyond a basic understanding of computers and networks, and thoroughly cover the fundamentals of healthcare IT in eight chapters spanning roughly 300 pages.

In the opening chapter, the authors explain why certification is a useful credential for the healthcare IT professional, and note that their book is aligned with one of the better-known foundational certifications in the industry, the Healthcare IT (HIT) Technician from CompTIA. Using the HIT Technician exam objectives as a framework, the authors describe the technologies used in healthcare, and show how the healthcare industry implements and utilizes these technologies to improve the management and manipulation of data and information. Following an overview of electronic medical records and electronic health records, the text turns to various computing and network systems typically deployed in healthcare settings. The authors take up the role and implementation of document imaging, and close with an explanation and analysis of the security measures and mechanisms employed to maintain data integrity and confidentiality. The rest of the book focuses in detail on the business of healthcare as it relates to IT, discussing the nontechnical aspects of the field that healthcare professionals must understand fluently in order to effectively support medical business operations. The authors survey the role of various regulatory agencies and regulations applicable to HIT, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). They also explore various types of healthcare-related organizations and operations, and review medical business terminology and processes.

The presence of chapter summaries, key terms, review questions, and case projects makes the book a good fit for classroom environments. For those readers interested in earning the HIT Technician certificate, the authors have included a unique code for registered access to CertBlaster test preparation questions designed to simulate the actual exam format and composition. The result is a text that is suitable for preparing readers for the HIT Technician certification exam and for priming IT professionals for entry-level employment in healthcare IT.

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Reviewer:  Antonio Pita Review #: CR141309 (1309-0794)
1) Henderson, R. Industry employment and output projections to 2020. Monthly Labor Review 135, 1(2012), 65–83.
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