This is a great opportunity to get in on a new and growing career field!
Health information technology will play a major role in streamlining healthcare costs while providing better access to records and data. Opportunities abound for those who not only have a background in business and accounting practices but also understand medical terminology and coding procedures.
Under the new healthcare initiative, hospitals, doctors and other healthcare facilities are creating electronic health information networks and exchanges. To accomplish this, there is a growing demand for specialists who can code, digitize and create electronic patient records. Other professionals will be needed to manage the entire process, check for accuracy and secure the information as required by law.
Employment will grow the fastest in practitioners’ offices and in home healthcare agencies. As medical technologies continue to improve, many healthcare services previously provided in hospitals will shift to these providers. Demand in medical group practice management will grow as these organizations become larger and more complex.
Are you interested in getting into this growing career field?
Successful health information managers are very well organized, flexible and embrace change. A career as a health information manager could be right for you if you:
- Value accuracy and organization
- Are interested in both healthcare and technology
- Enjoy learning about the human body
- Work equally well alone or in a group
- Like to follow clear guidelines
- Value common sense
- Trust facts
What are the career opportunities in this field?
Health Information Management Career Paths
Individuals trained in Health Information Management can choose from many different career paths since they have knowledge in science, business and information technology. HIM professionals work in a variety of settings including: healthcare facilities, consulting firms, government agencies, insurance companies, healthcare IS/IT vendors, and pharmaceutical companies.
Associate Degree Graduates
Those entering the field with an associate degree from Herzing University will be eligible to take AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential. They will be prepared for employment in occupations such as:
- Quality Improvement Specialist
- Medical Coder
- Health Information Technician
- Charge Master Auditor
- Documentation Specialist
- Cancer Registrar
- Information Access/Disclosure Specialist
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management Graduates
Graduates of Herzing's Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program will not only master the core coding, health sciences and general education requirements, they will also possess a solid understanding of business and management principles and how those are applied to the healthcare field, specifically in the area of medical records and health information documentation. Graduates will be eligible to take AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Associate (RHIA) credential.
Individuals with a bachelor's degree in Health Information Management may gain entry-level employment in one of the following areas:
- Assistant HIM Director – Assist the HIM Director in daily duties and special projects. May include supervision of other department employees.
- Coding Specialist – Assign codes to procedures and diagnosis performed on patients. Requires strong knowledge of medical science, medical terminology, and industry classification systems and coding languages.
- Health Information Specialist or Technician – Verify patient records are complete and accurate. Compile and analyze patient data to help improve patient care and cost structures. Provide documentation for legal actions or research studies.
- Patient Information Coordinator – A new role in this field, patient information coordinators help people manage their health information (such as health history, release of health information) and understand their healthcare provider options.
- HIM Project Manager – Coordinate, implement and supervise projects related to the management of patient data. Example of projects include: transition from paper to electronic filing, change of HIM software, compile and analyze patient data for a clinical trial.
- Consultant – Assist facilities with their HIM needs on a contract or temporary basis. The consultant may be self-employed or work for an HIM consulting agency. Smaller organizations may hire a consultant for basic/general HIM help, while larger organizations may require help to complete a special project or beat a deadline.
- Clinical Data Analyst or Specialist – Perform data management or analyst functions is one or many areas such as medical coding, database research, and specialty registries.
- Research and Decision Support Analyst – Gather data to assist executive management in decision making. Includes research on products, regulations, policies, pricing, and legal cases.
Career Advancement Opportunities
After receiving some experience in the field, career advancement opportunities include:
- HIM Department Director – Manage all operations and personnel in the HIM department. Work with executive management from various departments to provide efficient and secure access to quality patient data. This position may also be called Health Information Administrator or Manager.
- HIM Systems Manager – Guiding, directing and monitoring the day to day operations of patient medical records including: retrieval, assembly, delivery, abstracting/analyzing, coding, completion, transcriptions, release of information, and vital statistics registration. Assist with project planning, implementation, testing and maintenance of HIM applications. Oversee the auditing and correction of database errors as it relates to coding and abstracting.
- Data Quality Manager – Provide continuous quality improvement (CQI) for information integrity through policy development, information audits, and quality monitoring.
- Information Security Officer – Manage the security of all electronic data. Examples of duties: assign user security levels, audit security performance, comply with security regulations and policies. This is a new occupation and may require addition technology training.
- Privacy Officer – Provide guidance, training, monitoring and evaluation for the employer’s privacy program to maintain privacy assurance and protection healthcare information in compliance with federal and state laws and the organization's information privacy practices.
- Compliance Officer - Responsible for creating and/or maintaining a compliance program. Ensures development and implementation of auditing/monitoring programs to measure performance against compliance obligations. Identifies issues that may pose compliance risk.
- Regional HIM Director – Oversee HIM managers and operations for a particular geographic region to ensure quality and accuracy of performance throughout an organization.
For Health Information Management professionals, salaries depend on the individual’s level of education, time and type of experience in the field, credentials earned, and geographic location.
The American Health Information Management Association posted the results of their member salary survey from 2008. Review their findings at AHIMA Salary Survey.
Health Information Managers typically work in a clean, comfortable office environment and receive a comprehensive benefit package that includes health insurance, paid vacation, and a retirement savings plan such as profit-sharing or 401(k). However, some Health Information Management professionals choose to work as a consultant for many different organizations, in which case benefits packages vary.
As this position carries a lot of responsibility, work weeks may often extend beyond 40 hours without overtime pay. Some travel may be required to satellite facilities.
Health Information Management professionals advance in this field by gaining experience, moving to a larger organization where responsibilities are increased, obtaining a higher degree, or earning additional industry certifications.
What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?
Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA)
Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA) exam through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Only those who successfully
- Complete a bachelor's degree in an HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) or are enrolled in their last term of study
- Graduate from an HIM program that is approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement.
Herzing University Online is accredited by CAHIIM* so graduates of the BSHIM are eligible to sit for this exclusive credential.
For more information on RHIA certification, review the Candidate Handbook from AHIMA.
Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)
Graduates of the Associate of Science in Health Information Management are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
What is the program title, length, and content?
For students interested in Health Information Management, Herzing University provides several paths to enter this growing career field. The diploma program in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist lays the foundation for entry-level positions in the field. Diploma graduates who want to further their education and career opportunities can easily go on to the associate degree program. Associate degree graduates can seamlessly transfer their coursework and skills into the bachelor’s degree program. Or, students can start in the bachelor’s right away and work to graduate in just three years!
Health Information Management Program Comparison Chart
Program availability varies by location.
|Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist||44||12|
|Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist||61||20|
|Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management||63||20|
|Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management||124||36|
DIPLOMA IN INSURANCE BILLING AND CODING SPECIALIST
This diploma program is the first step in launching your career in medical billing and coding. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions as medical billing specialists, medical coders, and insurance claims analysts.Download Program Course Sheet
ASSOCIATE AND ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE IN INSURANCE BILLING AND CODING SPECIALIST
This program takes what you learned in the diploma program and adds the general education classes needed for an associate degree. This provides more career flexibility and better chances for advancement. Download Program Course Sheet
ASSOCIATE AND ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE IN HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Students in the ASHIM program will learn entry-level skills related to those areas of the Health Information Management profession. All of the courses in this program are offered in an online format, and some courses are also available in a traditional classroom format - see your local campus for availability of traditional classroom courses. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam. Download Program Course Sheet
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Graduates of the bachelor program will have the most career opportunity as well as the best chances for advancement. Not only do they have all the basics of coding, health sciences and general education, they also have business, accounting and management skills. They know how to apply these specifically in the area of medical records and health information documentation. Taught in a combination of on campus and online courses, graduates of this program are qualified to take AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam. Download Program Course Sheet