Anybody in the Healthcare IT field?

SylabicumaSylabicuma CASP, CEHv9, CCNA R&S, Sec+Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
I just recently learned that my hometown is building a new hospital and will be completed in about 3 years. I would think hard about applying there, because I would like to go back home. Anybody have any insight as a job in the Healthcare IT field? Specifically networking? I'm currently a network engineer, have Sec+ and CCNA.

What's the duties of a job like that? I always hear "healthcare IT" and no specific area of IT. Is it a jack of all trades type of job? What certifications would I need? I want to stay in networking if possible.

Comments

  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,033Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Do some studying-up on "HIPAA", the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. art of that is security and privacy requirements for healthcare records. For instance, with the Yahoo hacking, how many doctors offices were using Yahoo addresses? Were they in compliance with HIPAA? Showing that you know about the concerns of the industry is the fastest way to get a job. You might say "but I want to do networking, not compliance" and that's fine but aren't IPSec tunnels a part of network security? SNMP v3? Show how you'll leverage your skill-set into something that supports their requirements.
  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Posts: 918Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have no idea what the regulations are in my industry, yet I am doing just fine. Compliance knows, and my boss knows - but I'm just a cog in the wheel. Tell me what the regulations are, and I'll make it happen. If you're going to be in management, you'll have to know I'd say. If you want to be a good employee, it helps it know. There's a difference there.

    I applied to a hospital recently. No idea about HIPAA. Have heard about it, would probably read about it to help me in the interview, but if you asked if I'm concerned about it - the answer would be no. It's not for a management position, and I'm not even close to that point. If it were, I would for sure think they would expect me to be totally in the loop and you would want to be, so your employees don't end up costing you your job. If I get that job and it looks like the area I would stay in, I would begin to learn the regulations.
  • mgeoffriaumgeoffriau Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    EANx is correct.

    Healthcare IT is just like IT in any other field, it's just that basically everything you do has to be compliant with HIPAA and HITECH guidelines. And while you might think those issues would be limited to a compliance or security department, it really touches almost every part of IT operations -- network, endpoints, mobile devices, printers, user account policies, third party vendors or service providers. If you name a part of IT operations, I can tell you how HIPAA affects that same thing when it's done in a healthcare environment.

    Now, a lot of healthcare IT depts may not expect you to be an expert on HIPAA, depending on the role. They will probably have some onboarding training that will get you started. But if you can walk in with both your technical expertise as well as a good understanding of HIPAA issues, you'll be an attractive candidate.
    CISSP || A+ || Network+ || Security+ || Project+ || Linux+ || Healthcare IT Technician || ITIL Foundation v3 || CEH || CHFI
    M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, WGU
  • IT-FellaIT-Fella Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Most likely you might need to learn Citrix and some mass deployment/management platform such as SCCM or at least MDT. Also, knowing wireless technologies/products would be beneficial. I'd say it will depend on what your position will be and how they split the responsibilities. They might have a team of "jacks of all trades" and call it a "network team" or IT dept. All members of such team will know a little bit of everything and have one or two specializations.
  • ITBotITBot Senior Member Posts: 114Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've been working at a hospital as a network specialist for 3 years. They brought me in to be the backup for our main Citrix guy. I work with Citirx, VMware and AD the most. I also configure and replace switches, troubleshoot our wireless and do some server maintenance as well. As IT-Fella said, I really have to be a jack of all trades here which makes it a bit tough to specialize in just one field. For instance, I don't get to work on switches and routers as much as I would like.

    One downside is that we have an enormous amount of different programs here in use at the hospital and it can be a real pain when you get a call at 1am about a program you don't know and then have to hunt down the person who knows it best. Supposedly, we will be dropping to one provider for most of these programs soon so that should get better.

    I work on-call for 1 week per month. Usually, not too busy but sometimes it will drive you nuts.

    Working with the doctors and stressed out nurses will drive you a bit mad. Some are great but others will just complain non-stop that they have to work on paper while a network application is down. I always hear, "this affects patient safety!" when one of their programs goes down.

    Wireless is also pretty tough. We have a large amount of wireless Cisco phones and many different devices that connect to the wireless and are constantly getting tickets from users who drop connections.

    I do feel my job is secure though. My town has been hit pretty hard economically and a lot of folks have lost jobs recently. That hasn't hit the hospital at all so far.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,958Mod Mod
    unless you're doing compliance sort of work (HIPAA) then it's just IT.
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • Moon ChildMoon Child Posts: 182Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I myself have thought about investing in some healthcare certs and/or training to broaden IT skills. I thought about getting a medical coder certification in addition to the IT certs.
    ... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • alias454alias454 Posts: 648Member
    I work for a hospital and the big take away is hospitals are 24/7 environments so you will be on call in some shape or form most likely. Our network and server teams are on-call 24/7x365. As others have said, IT is IT for the most part. packets flow through a switch deployed in a hospital the same way as one in a factory. I will second the statement about the number of applications that need to be supported. Just about every department has some sort of specialized application. There is bio-med stuff, imaging, lab, etc, etc, all of which are there own little worlds. Depending on the size of the org, there might be folks dedicated to that task but smaller places, won't have the resources to dedicate like that..
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Posts: 1,860Member
    I'm in healthcare IT and I have been for a few years now, and HIPAA will be important, even if you dont do compliance or whatever. If nothing else, you can bet your interview will be interesting in knowing you know at least something about PHI.

    One caveat or drawback of Healthcare IT is that IT is not the business. Healthcare is the business, so they dont necessarily care about the latest and greatest tech. They care about patients (as they should). So sometimes the infrastructure can be a nightmare. Sometimes they can be resistant to change.


    edit to add - as stated several times above, it can blow your mind with how much random stuff there is, everyone has some specific application that you never heard of and don't understand, but they need it, it wont work with A/V and it needs way more permissions than you are comfortable with, and your opinion doesn't matter because a doctor needs it ASAP
    Currently Working On

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  • SylabicumaSylabicuma CASP, CEHv9, CCNA R&S, Sec+ Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Being on call 24x7, is there a distinguishable amount in pay to compensate for that? All I hear is headache, headache, headache so far.
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Posts: 1,860Member
    i dont know that one person would be on call 24x7. The business is running 24/7, so someone is always on call. At my job we do a two week rotation. So I'm on call for 2 weeks and then it goes to the next guy on the list.

    Now during that 2 weeks, you could get a call at 3 am, since obviously the hospital is running at that time. Generally there is pay for on call, nothing to blow you away, but a couple extra bucks never hurts
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
  • mgeoffriaumgeoffriau Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sylabicuma wrote: »
    Being on call 24x7, is there a distinguishable amount in pay to compensate for that? All I hear is headache, headache, headache so far.

    Some of this just depends too much on the individual business. You can't necessarily assume it will be true of all or even most situations.

    In my case, I work for a home health provider. We have an on-call rotation, so I take on-call 1 week out of every 5 or 6 weeks typically. Call volume is fairly low, maybe an average of 2-4 calls per week.

    Obviously, if I am the point person for a particular system, I am kind of "on call" all the time. But we try to make sure that each critical system has at least 2 people that can do high level support so that we don't have all our eggs in one basket.
    CISSP || A+ || Network+ || Security+ || Project+ || Linux+ || Healthcare IT Technician || ITIL Foundation v3 || CEH || CHFI
    M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, WGU
  • ITBotITBot Senior Member Posts: 114Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    On call pay where I work is pretty generous. We get a base amount of on call pay which is something like 3.50 an hour while on call. If we get a call and we can fix it from home within 5 minutes, it's an automatic 1 hour of pay. (that's on top of the base amount) If we have to go into the hospital, it's an automatic 2 hours of pay even if it takes you 10 mins to fix the issue. We also get a bit extra to cover driving costs. There's additional pay if the call is after 10 PM and holiday pay is double. I've averaged about 6k in on-call pay every year.

    As far as call volume, it's usually not so bad but it can be tough when you're just starting out and you don't know all the programs and the last thing you want to do is call your team leader at 1am. This week since Monday, I've only had 1 call so far which was an easy fix.
  • mgeoffriaumgeoffriau Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    noahp34 wrote: »
    On call pay where I work is pretty generous. We get a base amount of on call pay which is something like 3.50 an hour while on call. If we get a call and we can fix it from home within 5 minutes, it's an automatic 1 hour of pay. (that's on top of the base amount) If we have to go into the hospital, it's an automatic 2 hours of pay even if it takes you 10 mins to fix the issue. We also get a bit extra to cover driving costs. There's additional pay if the call is after 10 PM and holiday pay is double. I've averaged about 6k in on-call pay every year.

    That's pretty nice, much better than I get. Our structure is like this:

    * $100 flat bonus per one week on-call
    * Clock in and out for any actual time spent taking calls/working
    * We do get mileage but are not expected to to drive for on-call unless it's a critical emergency
    * No additional pay for late or holiday on-call

    So, where you get $448 for the 128 after-hours per week, I only get $100. And, while my work is paid at 1.5x time (because it's on top of my normal 40 hour work week), I'm only getting paid for the actual time worked, no minimum 1 hour or anything like that.
    CISSP || A+ || Network+ || Security+ || Project+ || Linux+ || Healthcare IT Technician || ITIL Foundation v3 || CEH || CHFI
    M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, WGU
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project Posts: 2,448Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't personally work in health care, but a close friend of mine does. He is ramping up on wireless technologies and IoT in the healthcare space. Not sure if that provides you any insight, but it's what he tells me......

    HTH
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,958Mod Mod
    you can't pay me enough to do on call. I've done in the past, and did it in my last job - Thanks but no thanks. It ruins my lifestyle
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • umarbhattiumarbhatti Posts: 67Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I work in the IT HealthCare industry.

    Before i started working in the industry i never knew how big it is. I work mainly with Radiology and we also support Hospitals.

    Like most posters have said its a 24/7/365 day job. I was on call a couple of months ago and received a call at 1am about the Hospital Radiology Dept not being able to send Radiology images to get reported on. Worked on the issue until 5am and eventually gave up.

    You will be dealing with all different skills levels in relation to IT knowledge, some Drs/Nurses etc will be switched on while some of them will call you several times just to get their username for certain applications. For them IT should be a seamless interaction as all they care about is patient care (and rightfully so).


    Most of the networking issues we get is the modality (device that takes you images) cannot send images to PACS (Picture Archive Server, server that holds your images).
  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,439Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    In healthcare you just have to learn to keep your mouth shut more than other industries and be prepared to be treated like crap by clinicals as your there to support patient care not be an exemplary member of the IT community.

    - b/eads
  • PocketLumberjackPocketLumberjack Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    beads wrote: »
    In healthcare you just have to learn to keep your mouth shut more than other industries and be prepared to be treated like crap by clinicals as your there to support patient care not be an exemplary member of the IT community.

    - b/eads


    I could not agree more with this statement. If you like being a mindless cog in a machine it is the right field for you. If you like going the extra mile and actually enjoy working with tech don't go into health care. I am pretty sure I got more respect as a contract cable guy then I do as a workstation support. And I am saying all of this after a good day at work...
    Learn some thing new every day, but don’t forget to review things you know.
  • mgeoffriaumgeoffriau Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Again, it just depends on the situation. I wouldn't try to draw broad conclusions from individual experiences. (Or maybe that's just more true of large hospital situations, but that could also be true of any large corporation.)

    I'm part of a small IT team that supports a home health corporation of around 900 people. We have our "problem customers" like anyone does, but for the most part we have really good relationships with our users, and our CIO makes sure that the IT Dept has the resources it needs to succeed.
    CISSP || A+ || Network+ || Security+ || Project+ || Linux+ || Healthcare IT Technician || ITIL Foundation v3 || CEH || CHFI
    M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, WGU
  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,439Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I am basing my personal experience on a decade of clinical experience with many different clients and organizations. This really is typical of healthcare in general. Believe me when I say I have heard all the excuses from physicians, nurses, aides and anyone else in healthcare. You have to sides that treat each other like they are at constant war with one another: Clinicians and business. Hardly the harmonious rainbow of a work environment you must work. LOL.

    Some of these battles are just that - battles. Really not uncommon.

    - b/eads
  • alias454alias454 Posts: 648Member
    Ya that has not been my experience either and I have worked where I am at for 6 years. We are a smaller hospital though, which means we probably have longer leashes.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • Nightflier101BLNightflier101BL Posts: 134Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I did have a job as a Network Engineer for a large healthcare organization recently. I was only there for a short time before I realized that I wouldn't enjoy the environment. The technology and experience was great but the stress was getting to me only after a few months. You're always working, always fighting with some vendor telling you it's your network that's broken, very political. Rules/security practices don't apply to X doctor but do to another. This doctor wants this, he gets it.

    I didn't like having to work once-a-month maintenance windows between 12am-4am, that have to be approved by certain doctor. Doctor. I routinely sat in 3 or 4 meetings per day. Sometimes, I didn't even get any work done for that reason.

    I just decided it wasn't for me, along with pairing it with some additional personal issues I deal with. I left to go back to government work.
  • jrisbrookjrisbrook Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    So much great insight on this thread. I am trying to break into I.T. , my longterm goal is info sec but im hoping to start out in healthcare. I've passed my net+ and I'm studying for sec+ and ccna simultaneously. Can anyone offer me advice that could get my foot in the door? I know some organizations value the itil v3 cert. Is there anything I can do to jumpstart my career?
    Currently working on : BS I.T. Security - WGU
    Security+
    CCNA R&S

    Just trying to be better today, than I was yesterday...
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