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Health Information Management Degree (HIM)

Health Information Management is a growing career field!

What is Health Management?

Health Information Management (HIM), also known as medical information management, is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting this digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. Healthcare providers are now required to keep secure, electronic patient records. It is a combination of business, science, and information technology used within the healthcare delivery cycle. Health information management plays a major role in streamlining healthcare costs while providing better access to records and data.

Patients may have the ability to access much of this information through electronic health record portals where they can view their health history, schedule appointments, and refill prescriptions. Because electronic patient records are now a requirement, this has led to an increase in demand for health information managers.

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.

Opportunities abound for those who not only have a background in business and accounting practices but also understand medical terminology and coding procedures. 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. A health information management degree helps prepare graduates to succeed in this growing field.

Herzing University’s HIM programs, including the online HIM degree, provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the management of medical information. It offers students access to state-of-the-art virtual labs and a variety of health information management systems, such as drchrono, HealthPort, eSmartLog, QuadraMed MPI, and Tableau. Our curriculum is compliant with the CAHIIM 2014 AHIMA/CEE Academic Competencies requirements.

In addition, Herzing students fulfill a capstone project in partnership with the healthcare organization they are interning at under the supervision of a current RHIT or RHIA certified employee.

Earn your Health Information Management degree online

Studying health information management online is a great way to learn new skills on your own schedule. Successful health information managers are 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
  • Knowledgeable about the human anatomy and physiology
  • Work equally well alone or in a group

Enrolling in the health information management program online with Herzing University is a great way to start.

Health Information Management Career Paths

Individuals trained in Health Information Management (HIM) 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 hospitals, clinics, long-term care settings, consulting firms, government agencies, health insurance companies, and software vendors.

Health Information Management (HIM) Associate Degree Graduates

Those entering the field with a health information management associate degree from Herzing University will be eligible to take AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam. (Visit http://www.ahima.org/certificatoin/RHIT for more information.) They will be prepared for employment in occupations such as:

  • Quality Improvement Specialist
  • Abstractor
  • Health Information Technician
  • Charge Master Auditor
  • Information Access/Disclosure Specialist

Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management (HIM) Graduates

Graduates of Herzing's Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program will not only master 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 health information documentation. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in health information management will be eligible to take AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam. Visit http://www.ahima.org/certification/RHIA for more information.

Individuals with a bachelor's in Health Information Management may gain entry-level employment in one of the following areas:

  •  HIM Director – Assist the HIM Director in daily duties and special projects. May include supervision of other department employees.
  • 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.

Health Information Management Career Advancement Opportunities

After receiving a degree in health information management and 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.

Work Environment

Health Information Managers typically work in a clean, comfortable office environment and may 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.

Career Advancement

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.

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 Information

Program availability varies by location.

ProgramsCreditsMonths*
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management12436
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management6320
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist6120
Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist4412
*Average number of months for students to complete program

Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

Graduates of the bachelor program with a bachelor in health information management 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 online courses, graduates of this program are qualified to take AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam. 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. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam. 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

Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist

This diploma program is the first step in launching your HIM 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

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).

Eligibility:

Only those who successfully

  1. Complete a bachelor's degree in a 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
    OR
  2. Graduate from a HIM program that is approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement.

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).

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