As part of the federal stimulus package, health information technology (health IT) projects nationwide received significant funding and incentives. Most states, major healthcare providers, community based clinics and physicians' groups are grappling with not only adopting electronic health record technology, or Electronic Medical Records (EMR), but also making sure the technology improves patient care. If you have about 8 minutes, listen to a podcast from the Burrill Report (2/14/11) about the process of moving paper records to digital ones, an the improvements in healthcare that might be possible as a result.
As a result current health IT job openings in California are mostly focused on implementing electronic solutions in healthcare and clinical settings (visit this link to get a cross section of job openings). For a California-specific view see Health Career Connection's job board (where you can also post a resume).
Health IT and biotechnologies that enable individualized treatments or targeted therapies are inevitably linked as we move toward personalized medicine. Science Careers (January 2010) has a nice review of career paths in this area, along with useful links for professional development. For instance the FDA and NIH recently funded a private-public partnership to stratify populations of breast cancer patients using biomarkers - a project that points towards the increasing overlap in mission between healthcare, biotechnologies, and clinical data management. Further some are predicting a new industry based on 'wireless health' that takes the idea of wireless monitoring, personal health and clinical information to the next level. You can read about "big data" projects here.
The workforce for this emerging interface of the life sciences and healthcare will involve computer scientists, project managers, software engineers, healthcare workers, clinicians, biostatisticians, geneticists, device engineers, and others.
California Health and Human Services Agency's California eHealth Initiative
Cosumnes River College (Sacramento) - Health Information Technology program
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMSS). See also the HIMSS JobMine website to see job openings.
Health Information Careers (from AHIMA)
Orange Coast College - Health Information Technology Training funded by federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Master's of Science in Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics
The BMI program at SDSU offers a graduate level multidisciplinary education to students with a background in chemistry, biology, computer science, mathematics, physics or engineering. The first year is spent on the student's specialization. The program includes an internship and courses in business and management to better prepare graduates for leadership roles in industry. This program is designated as a Professional Science Master's (PSM) program.