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Health Information Management: Education, Certification & Careers

Find out about health information management training, careers, and salary.

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Home » Specialties » Health Information Management

Start a Career in Health Information Management

A career in health information management puts you at the center of the exploding fields of healthcare and technology. As a health information management professional, you are the expert on patient data that doctors, nurses, and other health-care providers rely on to perform their jobs. By maintaining, collecting and analyzing health information, your work makes an important contribution to the delivery of high quality care.

The Basics

  • What you’ll do: Design and oversee health information systems to ensure that they meet medical, legal, and ethical standards. As a health information management professional, you’re the expert on patient data that doctors, nurses, and other health care providers rely on to perform their jobs. You’ll manage databases and design, generate, and analyze reports.
  • Where you’ll work: Hospitals, physicians’ offices, home health care agencies, nursing homes, public health offices, and insurance companies
  • Degree you’ll need: Associate’s or bachelor’s degree
  • Average annual salary: $115,160*

What You’ll Do in a Health Information Management Career

Health information managers design and manage health information systems to ensure they meet medical, legal, and ethical standards. Depending on their title or work setting, specific job responsibilities vary. Some typical responsibilities include the following:

  • Collecting and analyzing patient data
  • Ensuring that patients’ medical records are complete and accurate
  • Ensuring records are only available to those directly involved with a patient’s care
  • Managing and maintaining databases
  • Designing, generating, and analyzing reports for administrators and physicians

Job Titles

Based on their skills, level of education and interests, health information managers may hold a variety of titles. With a bachelor’s degree, these may include the following:

  • Department director
  • System manager
  • Data quality manager
  • Chief privacy officer
  • Consultant or teacher

With an associate’s degree, titles may include the following:

  • Health data analyst
  • Insurance claims analyst
  • Records technician specialist
  • Clinical coding specialist
  • Physician practice manager
  • Patient information coordinator.

Accredited health information managers enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth.

Health Information Management Workplace

Health information managers work in a multitude of settings throughout the health-care industry:

  • Hospitals
  • Physician’s offices
  • Home health agencies
  • Nursing homes
  • Public health offices
  • Insurance companies

Education and Training

Accredited health information management programs are offered at more than 200 colleges and universities across the U.S., and many programs offer online health information management degrees. Health information managers must complete either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

Licensing and Certification

After completing a two- or four-year program, candidates for employment will need to successfully complete a certification exam to validate their competence. Depending on education level, candidates can seek one of two credentials in the field:

  • Those who have completed a bachelor’s degree program typically pursue the Registered Health Information Administrator or RHIA credential. In addition to a four-year degree, this certification requires successful performance on the RHIA certification exam.
  • Those who have completed an associate’s degree program pursue the Registered Health Information Technician or RHIT credential, which also requires passing an exam. RHITs are health information technicians who ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy and proper entry into computer systems. RHITs often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research.

Salary and Job Growth

Average Annual Salary

$115,160

Job Growth
32% through 2029, much faster than average

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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