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Remember What Happened to the Cat...

Dec 19, 2014

thPJCEI1HDA Becker's Hospital Review blogger had an interesting post recently about a troubling phenomenon. In an article entitled "Curiosity killed the cat--and got the hospital employee fired," Heather Punke tells of reading the blog PostSecrets--a site where people post their darkest secrets, anonymously--and seeing the following: "I work for a major hospital system in Ohio. When I'm bored, I look through my Facebook friends, my family and my coworkers' Electronic Medical Records."

How NOT to Get a Job

Dec 17, 2014

thThe web is filled with advice on how to get a job. But what about advice on how NOT to get a job? Because maybe you're just making token job search efforts in order to keep those unemployment checks rolling in. Or maybe you're biding time until that massive trust fund kicks in at age 30. Whatever the case, it turns out there's plenty of guidance out there for job-avoiders, too.

Don't Obsess: What not to Sweat in a Job Interview

Dec 15, 2014

thH1TICOF4If there's one thing job seekers like to do, it's worry. About what to wear to a job interview; what to say to the interviewer; whether they made a good impression; whether, and how, to follow up...

In a (probably fruitless) effort to help job hunters worry a little less, blogger Maureen Dempsey published a list of "Things job candidates obsess over—but hiring managers don't" on the financial planning site LearnVest.

Healthcare: Bull Market, or Bear?

Dec 12, 2014

thR34PJBFQ Predictions about job prospects in the healthcare industry have been almost overwhelmingly optimistic in recent years. Yet somehow, not all of the numbers seem to bear out that optimism. The year 2014, for instance, kicked off with news that health industry hiring dropped to its lowest level in decades.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry lost 6,000 positions in December 2013, and added a mere 271,000 for the year, falling nearly two percent below the annual average for the first time since 1990.

The Shift to Patient-Centered Care

Dec 10, 2014

thThere's a good deal of talk nowadays—especially with the advent of the Affordable Care Act—about concepts such as "outcomes-based healthcare," or even "patient-centered care." A recent Becker's Hospital Review post discusses how these ideas translate into yet another strangely new concept for the healthcare industry, that of "customer service."

Says Becker's, "The advent of value-based purchasing and the need to keep patients in accountable care networks finds many hospitals and medical practices spending more time qualifying and training their people to deliver quality customer service."

Medical Secretary: A Very Administrative Assistant

Dec 5, 2014

thC998WB40What’s the difference between a medical secretary and an everyday, garden-variety secretary—the kind generally referred to as an “administrative assistant”? One difference is that the anticipated demand for new medical secretaries in the coming years—about 36 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—is about three times that expected in all other secretarial categories. With demand for new physicians and new practices on the rise in the face of a growing, and aging, population, so too is there new demand for people to manage the patient flow. Another key difference is that medical secretaries need solid grounding in medical terminology, healthcare operations and office procedures; a high school education and a couple of years of college probably won’t suffice.

Words of Advice

Dec 3, 2014

th2SN10HQ2Becker’s Hospital Review ran a recent article surveying 25 healthcare leaders, asking them to share their best advice. And while much of their wisdom was intended for high-level health administrators and physicians already working in the industry, a good deal of it had applicability to healthcare job-seekers—job-seekers in all sectors and levels of healthcare. Joel Allison, CEO of Dallas’ Baylor Scott and White Health, advises to “always have mentors in your life”—though he adds a caveat emptor, of sorts, noting that you should “choose wisely.” A 2012 piece in Forbes magazine particularizes that advice for job-seekers, noting that “just as mentorship within a company can boost careers, mentorship during a job search can significantly shorten search timelines.”

Becoming a Medical Assistant

Dec 1, 2014

0034Healthcare-related jobs are expected to be among the nation’s fastest growing career choices in the coming years. And yet the demand for medical assistants is expected to grow at a rate that will outpace even most other positions in health. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for new medical assistants will increase by 29 percent between 2012 and 2022. And given that there were 560,800 medical assistants in 2012, says the BLS, that bodes a net jobs increase of more than 160,000. The medical assistant’s job includes a mix of administrative and clinical duties. Some of the tasks that MAs may be called upon to perform include greeting patients; updating and filing patient records; scheduling appointments; explaining procedures to patients; collecting lab specimens; administering medications; changing dressings and sutures; drawing blood.

ICD-10: A New Generation of Medical Coders

Nov 28, 2014

  th974WFFR5Medical coding promises to be one of the most in-demand specialties in healthcare in the coming years—so much so that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ earlier predictions of 22 percent job growth between 2012 and 2022 now look to be on the conservative side. The factor playing havoc with the numbers is the long-delayed transition to ICD-10. Medical coders look at clinical reports and assign numbers to diagnoses and treatments for the purpose of billing and record-keeping. Since 1977, the U.S. has used ICD-9, the last version of the international medical classification system designed by the World Health Organization. But for many years, other nations around the world have been using the newer ICD-10, a more complicated system that allows for more detailed medical descriptions. The U.S. transition to ICD-10 has been planned, then put off several times since 2009. The latest deadline calls for U.S. healthcare providers to complete the transition to ICD-10 by October of 2015.

Emerging Roles in Healthcare: Care Coordinator

Nov 26, 2014

th258BGEDBThe landscape of healthcare in the U.S. is about to change—fast—due to tectonic shifts in demographics (aging population = increased demand for care) and legislation (Hello, ACA!) And many healthcare organizations are reacting by creating new job roles to better serve patients in changing times. One of those new job roles is that of care coordinator. The website Education Portal gives a pretty succinct explanation of the position: “A patient care coordinator’s job is to ensure that a medical facility is providing high quality care services.” They work with both patients and healthcare facility staff, seeing to it that everyone is working from the same page. Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge adds that “care coordinator” is not simply another name for a case manager, nor a dressed-up way of saying “health coach”—although care coordinators may do some of the same things that people in those positions do.  The journal adds that, “Care coordinators are in for the long haul; care coordinators manage patients over a lifetime. [They] expand the traditional case management and disease management roles.”  The path to becoming a care coordinator can vary a good deal, depending on where you plan to live, who you plan to work for, and what type of clinical/medical specialty you plan to enter. Many care coordinators are registered nurses, though this is by no means a requirement in all areas.