The advent of electronic health records (EHR) significantly changed the way hospitals and healthcare organizations manage patient data. EHR adoption has more than doubled in the last decade, and today 95% of hospitals and nearly 90% of office-based physicians have adopted an EHR system.
As EHR adoption has ramped up, so has the need for skilled health information professionals to input, organize and analyze important patient data.
For those interested in beginning or advancing their healthcare career, the field of health information management (HIM) offers many exciting employment and advancement opportunities.
Here’s why changing your career to HIM is worth it:
1. Break into a fast-growing field
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical records and health information technicians is projected to grow 13% through 2026, adding more than 27,000 new jobs.
Those are only a fraction of the opportunities within the HIM field – there is also demand for HIM professionals at management and executive management levels. Data from BLS also shows that employment for medical and health services managers is expected to increase by 20% through 2026, adding more than 72,000 new jobs. A key driver of growth will be the widespread use of EHR systems, and the growing need for managers to oversee the implementation and integration of health information systems across various areas of the healthcare industry.
2. Advance in your current career
Medical billing and coding professionals can advance their current career by earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in health information management. These degree programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the management of medical information, and prepare them for managing and consulting, health education, supervisory and director roles in HIM.
“I decided to pursue a degree in health information management because I wanted to be able to open myself up to more job opportunities,” says Herzing University student Alicia Wright, who currently works as a certified medical coder. She plans to continue advancing her education and pursue positions in healthcare management.
An MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Management can position current HIM professionals for advanced leadership roles. Students in Herzing University's HIM bachelor’s degree program can take advantage of a dual credit option to earn up to 12 graduate credits as an undergrad, saving time and money on both degrees.
3. Boost your earning potential
The median annual salary for health information technicians was $40,350 in 2018, with the highest 10% earning more than $66,260, according to BLS data. HIM professionals can boost their earning potential even further by advancing their education with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, which position graduates to pursue management and leadership roles. The median annual salary for medical and health services managers was $99,730 in 2018, with the highest 10% earning more than $182,600. Learn more about the average salary in health information management positions.
4. Help advance the future of healthcare
Technology continues to play a central role in helping healthcare organizations accommodate a growing patient population. Implementing HIM systems can help organizations create new efficiencies while ensuring greater security and access for patients’ medical histories.
As an HIM professional, you are not only a critical part of the healthcare team, you are essential to the successful adoption of EHR systems and the advancement of health information technology. By continuing your education, you can advance your own potential to make a difference in the future of healthcare.
What kinds of jobs can I get with an HIM degree?
HIM offers a variety of different career paths– from technical work, such as coding and billing, to management and leadership roles. HIM professionals are employed by hospitals, physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, consulting firms, government agencies and even insurance companies.
Entry-level job titles might include:
- Medical records technician
- Medical coder
- Coding specialist
With experience and additional training and education, HIM professionals can advance to leadership roles such as HIM Director or Medical and Health Services Manager.
To learn more about these career tracks, check out our list of the fastest-growing jobs in health information management.
How long will it take to earn my degree in HIM?
HIM students can earn their associate degree in just 20 months, or their bachelor’s degree in as little as 36 months. The MBA in Healthcare Management program can be completed in as few as 12 months when attending full-time.
Herzing also offers a variety of pathways for those who are just beginning an HIM career, or looking for a faster path to the workforce. Our Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist programs are focused on providing graduates with the skills and capabilities they need to succeed as entry-level billers and coders in doctors’ offices, hospitals and other care facilities
Students can complete a Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding in just 12 months, or an associate in Insurance Billing and Coding in as few as 20 months.