Health Information Management Info Center
Learn About Health Information Management (HIM)
Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care.
Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles. They often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions. These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touch point in the healthcare delivery cycle.
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HIM Education Options
There are multiple career paths available for individuals interested in the field of health information management.
- Associate degree: When received from a CAHIIM-accredited university, graduates are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
- Baccalaureate degree: When received from a CAHIIM-accredited university, graduates are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
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Steps to Starting a Health Information Career
Outlined below you will find some basic steps to assist you in beginning a career in HIM.
Step 1: Research programs that are CAHIIM-accredited at http://www.cahiim.org/accredpgms.asp.
Step 2: Request information from your top choices regarding program length, cost, credit transfer policies, etc.
Step 3: Work with the school’s admissions advisor to complete the application process.
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Importance of Choosing an Accredited School for HIM Degree
Accreditation ensures a college or university meets academic quality and rigor for its programs of study. Institutions that are accredited are eligible for Federal Financial Aid. Regional accreditation allows for ease of transfer of credits and tuition reimbursement opportunities by employers. If considering graduate programs, regional accreditation is an important aspect to consider when deciding upon a career plan.
Accreditation information can be found on an institution’s website. The school’s accreditation statement will look something like this: Example University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The Higher Learning Commission can be contacted at www.ncahlc.org or 800.621.7440.
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How to Find a Job in Health Information Management
While health information is a rapidly growing field, finding the right entry-level position can be a challenge in any profession. The difficulty often lies not in acquiring the necessary skills or credentials, but rather integrating yourself into the professional community. To become a health information management (HIM) or health informatics professional, you’ll have to think like one, and work with the collaborative nature of the industry.
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Where Do HIM Professionals Work?
Job opportunities for RHIAs exist in multiple setting throughout the healthcare industry. These include the continuum of care delivery organizations, including hospitals, multispecialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. The professional has seen significant expansion in non-patient care settings, with careers in managed care and insurance3
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