As long as we’ve had health care, ongoing efforts have been made to improve and streamline the record-keeping process. While it may have been an administrative job in the past, technological advancements have catapulted this growing field into a career of its own. Records that were once on paper housed in massive rooms full of files are now digital and easy to access from any location. These changes have created a need for health information management specialists. Technological improvements will only improve, and jobs in health services management are expected to grow by 23 percent through 2022. Claim your spot in this in-demand field with the education credentials to get you started.
[Pursue your career in health information management.]
What is health information management?
Health information management is a relatively new career, specializing in collecting, analyzing, and protecting vital patient details. Environments such as hospitals, physician’s offices, government agencies, insurance companies, consulting firms, and even companies that provide software and IT products need people who are well versed in health information management. With the push toward technology, medical providers of all types are replacing their paper record systems with digital formats. Unlike boxes of files in a back office, though, digital files need to be protected. It’s not like storing pictures on Facebook or emails in your inbox—these files need to be integrated into a safe system. That’s where you come in!
To work in health information management, you’ll need similar qualities to those that make a good nurse or other health care provider. Since your job will still involve working with people, you’ll need to be friendly, compassionate, empathetic, and patient. Dedication to privacy is tantamount to a career in health information management, so being respectful of others is a must. Because your job will also require administrative tasks, you’ll need to be detail oriented, analytical, and computer proficient.
[Nursing is a great career option, too.]
How do I start a career in health information management?
This is simple. Earn a bachelor’s degree in health information management. Because the demand for people to fill these positions has increased in the past decade, colleges are now offering specialized degrees in the subject.
In courses for health information management, you’ll learn everything it takes to get ahead in this growing career. You’ll learn how to plan for, design, manage, and evaluate both electronic health information and the data systems that house that information. As a health information manager, you’re responsible for the safeguarding of records such as medical history, test results, diagnosis, all medications, and the notes of doctors and nurses—all this information has to be easy to access in neat format so patients can get the care they need tailored to fit them. Your degree program then, will be tailored to meet all these needs.
By the time you receive your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be well prepared for the requirements of being a critical link between doctors, insurance and payment providers, and patients in ways that are consistent with legal and ethical requirements in the industry. Some key skills you’ll learn in school are quality patient care, how to handle reimbursements, medical research, health planning, and health care evaluation. Being equipped with the skill and knowledge to handle these factors will take you far—there’s even a master’s in health information management when you’re ready to see your career reach new heights. With a more advanced degree, you can look forward to career enhancements like increased salary, more responsibility, and greater overall success.