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how to break into health care it career

Looking for an industry with long-term stability for your IT career? There’s probably no safer bet than healthcare. Redwood City, Calif.-based recruiting firm Robert Half Technology tracked the top five fastest-growing industries in the United States in nine separate regions in 2012; in seven of the nine regions, healthcare ranked first or second, and it was third in the other two regions. And in four of those regions, the associated industry of medical technology showed up as well.

Of course, making the move into healthcare IT may not be as simple as picking up a phone to start interviewing. Healthcare IT is as complex as healthcare itself. In many cases, it requires special skills – and not all of them are technical. And the benefits are a little different from other IT jobs too. “The one thing I truly enjoy about my work is that I make a difference,” says Joel Thornhill, a regional IT test manager for Kaiser Permanente. “What we do in IT impacts people’s lives. That gives me a good sense of satisfaction.”

Ready for some feel-good vibes of your own? Read on to learn what kind of skills you need for healthcare IT, and the best way to break into this vibrant vertical industry

If you think IT is rife with acronyms, you ain’t seen nothing yet. In addition to having to master clinical lingo, healthcare IT professionals are currently struggling to implement jargon-heavy programs like Meaningful Use, ICD-10 and Accountable Care Organizations.