Coding in Healthcare

Hello Coding Community!

I’m thinking about learning the skill of coding and would really appreciate any insight I can get from you all! I think this field is so interesting and hope that it could give me a specific skill that could add greatly to my current experience.

So far I’ve worked in the healthcare field for several years in operations (non-clinical). I have my master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and have always been interested in the IT side of things. My hope is that learning this skill could help put me in a unique position given my years in operations. I have worked with multiple EHR systems, but mostly Epic and I believe it is going to be main EHR for most healthcare facilities. I assume learning to code for a system like EPIC would be a great asset and what I’ve read so far there are several languages used in the system. Does anybody have experience with coding in this field and can share their insight on the job prospects?

I know you can teach yourself the skills, but I am seriously debating joining a bootcamp because I know I would work better with having the structure of it since I have a young family, hence why I would also love to be able to work remotely in the future. Does anybody have any recommendations on bootcamps that teach the skills needed for most jobs and especially ones for healthcare systems? I also want to say that I am totally open to jobs outside of healthcare, but I just assume coding in healthcare would give me the best chance to land a job. Also, I really love helping people and would like to continue to do that even if it is through coding. I also have a lot of customer service experiencing having to deal with patients, doctors, and managing support staff.

Sorry for the long post! Any feedback is much appreciated!

  • Jocelyn
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Hi Jocelyn, welcome to the forums!

I do not have any experience in the healthcare industry…but, I wanted to be clearer on what you’re asking so perhaps people can chime in. I think you’re talking about healthcare informatics maybe?

Or, are you interested in building software or websites or maintaining/managing computer systems from the backend? Software engineering? Or, are you interested in the engineering or the data side of healthcare at say, an insurance company?

I would think a good place to start is to look at a hospital’s careers page and see what type of technology jobs are available and that would help narrow down what type of skillset they’re looking for–coding languages, etc.

Hi Jocelyn,

I also have no experience in healthcare however just from a general hospital point of view there is a lot of data gathered from me anytime I go in for treatmeant so data science is a very relevent course if you were taking a course on codecadmy. Languages like python and SQL tie into this very highly. But like in any industry at all the range of jobs connected are so vast ,like @lisalisaj has said , that in reality any coding language can become relevent in helping you land a job in the healthcare industry if you have no specific area in mind.

Here is a relevant article from someone who does work in a health enviroment

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I work in healthcare, there is no specific language that stands out. I’ve mentioned in other posts that there are many ways to do something, nobody can tell you if Python or JAVA is better for healthcare or not, it all depends on the company, the team, and the application at hand. If you’re interested in working for a company like EPIC, then look at their job postings so you can gleam what stack they use.

We use Angular, TypeScript, Node, Docker, Kubernetes, SQL. I suggested we use Postgres 2 years ago but I was overruled, I’m making the case once again to drop SQL and move to Postgres. The healthcare billing software we plan to integrate with is coded entirely in JAVA.

I’ve said in other posts, as a developer you need to be flexible. You should not specialize in 1 language, you need to know about many languages because you never know what will be more useful for the project. Just because you know Javascript doesn’t mean everything can\should be done in Javascript. It takes time and experience.

The other thing to consider is the application itself and the end goal: does it need to be mobile-friendly, is it mobile exclusive, does it need to be compatible with a particular piece of hardware? The stack used depends heavily on the application, availability, reliability, and budget.

What you can do is learn about:

  • FHIR
  • SQL
  • NoSQL (Postgres and MONGO)
  • APIs
  • Security

Managing the data is the most important part of a healthcare application, having general API knowledge will be extremely useful. Given government regulations, being familiar with the FHIR standard is a must to ensure interoperability. And since you never know how the data will be stored, knowledge of SQL and NoSQL is also important. The rest, as I’ve said, you should be able to pick up. If you know JAVA, picking up Javascript is fairly easy.

Security is extremely important, healthcare data is very sensitive. You need to know how to prevent SQL injection attacks and many other things, any healthcare application will have to go through a security audit, and knowing how to prevent or fix issues is a must. This is not language-related, these are practices that need to be applied to the code.

You should already be familiar with HL7, if you’re not then you can learn about that as well.

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Thank you all for such a warm welcome. The feedback and information you all have shared have already helped me so much. I check my own company’s current job postings for these types of position and it had a lot of useful information. I am totally up for being flexible and am just so in the beginning stages I’m trying to figure out where to even start! :slight_smile:

I have a lot to learn still for sure. I am curious about feedback regarding specific real life projects or overall job descriptions and daily tasks to help me get a better understanding of the real life job duties.

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There might be some health care tech meetups in your city. Check out meetup.com
(they’d be virtual now though). Also maybe check on LinkedIn as I’m pretty sure there might be professional groups to join there where you can connect w/likeminded people in the field.

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I wrote this based on your question.

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we need one thread of all your helpful, detailed and excellent replies. Next time I’m just going to @ you like the Bat Signal. :bat: :slight_smile:

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