(Manila, Philippines, August 24, 2012)—Early this year, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz encouraged jobseekers with background in the healthcare profession to seek career opportunities in healthcare information management (HIM) outsourcing, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the IT-BPO industry. With its competitive salaries and benefits, healthcare BPO is a viable option for the 400,000 unemployed nurses as of February this year.

The Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP) reported that 24,700 individuals were hired in 2011 for healthcare outsourcing alone. HIMOAP aims to have 43,000 full-time employees by the end of this year. By 2016, the organization hopes to increase the number to 100,000.

“Increasing healthcare spending is driving countries to create health reforms that will not only ensure additional coverage to members but also introduce technology solutions such as electronic health records,” said Myla Reyes, managing director of TTSI. “These trends are now offering a wide range of opportunities as well as challenges for HIM outsourcing firms.”

Why HIM outsourcing

HIM outsourcing generally involves organization, maintenance, documentation and analytics of health information in order to facilitate real-time healthcare delivery and critical health-related decision making for multiple purposes across diverse organizations, settings and disciplines. Medical institutions are saving on costs and showing better efficiency in their services after outsourcing these requirements.

“Graduates of medical-related courses can put their medical knowledge to good use in HIM outsourcing while satisfying their investment on education,” said Katheryne Gutierrez, vice president for Clinical Quality and Compliance at MediCall Philippines Inc. “In healthcare outsourcing, you are not limited to the patients you see as when you’re working in hospitals. You reach out to the world, and that makes the job more gratifying.”

While Gutierrez, a registered nurse, says Filipino healthcare professionals can be successful in the industry, opportunities are also available to those who have no background in the medical field.

HIMOAP, a non-stock, non-profit organization that aims to make the Philippines the leading destination for healthcare  outsourcing, conducts career development programs and workshops alongside government agencies to help boost the talent pool for this sector. In November, HIMOAP will gather industry stakeholders for the 3rd Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Services Congress (HIMOSC) to highlight career opportunities and the enormous potential of the sector.

HIMOAP works with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), government, and academe to integrate HIM services in nursing curricula as a preparation for this career path. BPAP’s career portal?“Work Abroad. Live Here”?was launched this year to raise awareness and encourage an estimated 517,000 college graduates and other professionals to a dynamic BPO career. Currently, the IT-BPO workforce stands at 640,000. This project is part of an entire campaign to generate 1.3 million jobs in the IT-BPO industry by 2016.

“HIM professionals must be equipped with a fusion of healthcare and IT skills. This is a great opportunity especially for our allied healthcare professionals to look into what HIM can offer in terms of a long-term career,” Reyes added.