5 Key IT Certifications to Stand Out in the Healthcare Industry

If you want to advance your healthcare IT career, obtaining these five certifications could give you an edge.

Christopher Tozzi, Technology analyst

June 3, 2024

4 Min Read
stethoscope on a keyboard

IT jobs in healthcare aren't fundamentally different in most respects from IT jobs in any other sector. But healthcare technology does pose some unique challenges, and IT pros who hold certifications related to them are likely to stand apart from the crowd if they choose to pursue IT jobs in the healthcare industry.

So, if you want to work in an IT role in healthcare, obtaining relevant certifications may be a wise investment. Here's a look at IT certifications for healthcare worth pursuing.

Special IT Requirements in the Healthcare Industry

In general, IT roles in healthcare focus on the same technologies and processes as IT jobs in any other sector. IT teams are responsible for setting up and monitoring hardware, deploying and managing software, supporting end users, and so on.

However, the IT industry is subject to some special requirements that affect IT workers, including:

  • Unique technologies: To a greater degree than many other industries, healthcare uses specialized technologies, such as medical internet of things (IoT) devices. Healthcare providers also depend on health information systems that are designed specifically for healthcare.

  • Compliance needs: Most healthcare companies are subject to compliance mandates, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), that don't apply to other industries.

  • Constant change: Change is a constant in most industries, but innovation happens especially fast in healthcare, where new technologies emerge on a frequent basis.

Related:How Healthcare Giant Uses Data Storage Tiers for PBs of Data

Challenges such as these require IT pros in the healthcare industry to possess some special skills that would be less important for IT roles in most other sectors. For instance, knowing how to support health information software from vendors like Epic is critical for many IT teams, whereas outside of the healthcare industry, few IT professionals ever work with that software.

Certifications for IT Jobs in Healthcare

Most IT jobs in healthcare don't require specific certifications. Nonetheless, obtaining certifications that demonstrate your ability to excel in an IT role in the industry is a great way to gain an upper hand on the job market.

And while there is no single certification that will prove your expertise in healthcare-centric IT technology and processes, there are several certifications that are relevant in this context.

Here's a look at top IT certifications for healthcare.


The Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) certification, offered by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, attests to expertise in IT systems designed for the healthcare industry. It shows that you know the unique requirements associated with supporting health information systems.

Related:How One Healthcare System Bolstered Third-Party Security

You can't take the CPHIMS exam until you've completed at least a few years of work in the healthcare industry (or more if you don't hold a college degree), so it's not a good certification to start with if you're brand-new to healthcare. But if you already have some experience in the industry and want to advance, consider CPHIMS.


Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is similar to CPHIMS in that it also demonstrates understanding of health information systems and related IT processes. However, you can pursue RHIT certification without prior work experience in healthcare (although you do need at least an associate's degree), making it an easier entry point into IT jobs in healthcare for those who don't already work in the industry.

HIPAA Security Compliance

HIPAA Associates offers a training program tailored for IT professionals, who receive a certificate upon successful completion. There are no eligibility requirements, and the exam is relatively short. This program is not as widely recognized in the industry as certifications like CPHIMS and RHIT, but for IT pros looking to prove they understand HIPAA and its implications for IT systems, obtaining this certificate may be a smart move.


For a deeper dive into HIPAA and other security and privacy topics, consider the Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) certification. HCISPP doesn't focus on IT systems exclusively — it's designed to address data security, privacy, and regulatory requirements for healthcare roles of all types — but it covers more ground than the HIPAA IT training mentioned above.

If you really want to prove that you know the ins and outs of data security and privacy for healthcare seriously — and if you meet the eligibility requirements, which include two years of work experience — consider HCISPP.

IoT Fundamentals

Given the important role that IoT plays in many medical settings, IT pros who can show that they know how to support IoT devices are likely to stand out from the crowd. Although there are no certifications for medical IoT devices specifically, generic IoT certificate programs, like IoT Fundamentals from ISACA, demonstrate understanding of IoT basics, which may appeal to healthcare employers who need IT teams capable of supporting IoT technology.


No matter which types of skills you want to emphasize — from a general familiarity with healthcare IT systems, to HIPAA expertise, to an understanding of IoT devices and beyond — you can find an IT certification tailored to your healthcare career plans. The fact that many certifications require some prior work experience and/or university degrees means that you can't become certified in these skill areas overnight, but they're within reach of anyone committed to an IT career in healthcare.

About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Technology analyst, Fixate.IO

Christopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with subject matter expertise in cloud computing, application development, open source software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a major university in the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.

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