The first step in your career planning process is to discover your interests and then match them to careers. If you have an interest in healthcare and information technology, health information management (HIM) may be the right career choice for you. As one of the fastest growing occupations in one of the fastest growing industries, a HIM career places you right where the expanding arena of healthcare meets the cutting edge of technology.
What is Health Information Management?
By studying health information, students will acquire a versatile yet focused skill set incorporating clinical, information technology, leadership, and management skills. Health information professionals use their knowledge of information technology and records management to form the link between clinicians, administrators, technology designers, and information technology professionals. Health information programs incorporate the disciplines of medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one curriculum. Because of this unique mixture, health information graduates can choose from a variety of work settings across an array of healthcare environments.
Growth and Income
Demand is on the rise at all levels of education and credentialing. There are approximately 12,000 to 50,000 new jobs anticipated by 2017, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites medical records and health information technicians as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US. More than half of new health information graduates with bachelor's degrees start with salaries in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. By five years out, one can earn upwards of $50,000 to $75,000 annually. Most new health information graduates with associate's degrees jump right in and earn $20,000 to $30,000 annually. These figures are just averages—many professionals report higher salaries.
How to Get Started on Your HIM Career
Coppin State University offers a Bachelor's of Science in Health Information. This program prepares you for the credential Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and an exciting career in Health Information Management. If you've already earned an associate's degree in HIM and are a credentialed Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and are interested in completing the requirements for the bachelor's degree, Coppin is the place for you as well.
High school students considering a HIM career can begin a foundation with the following courses: business, computer science, English, math, and biology.
Financial assistance is available to qualified students through the AHIMA Foundation, Maryland Health Information Management Association (MDHIMA) and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). For more information, email the AHIMA scholarship firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.ahimafoundation.org/Scholarships/Scholarships.aspx. For information on federally sponsored programs call Federal Student Financial Aid Information Center at -800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1-319-337-5665.
Health information encompasses a wide range of job functions and settings. Among these are medical records management, privacy officer, risk management, medical coding, corporate compliance, and data analysis and reporting.
Industries with an increased demand for health information professionals include academic institutions, consulting agencies, government agencies, and healthcare software companies. As health information technology (HIT) becomes more prevalent, health information practitioners will continue to be critical components of the electronic health record (EHR) workforce. According to the US Department of Labor, HIT will grow to encompass new support positions, including mobile support adoption positions, public health informatics, implementation support specialists, and information management redesign specialists.
For more information contact:
Mona Calhoun, MS, RHIA,
2500 West North Ave.
Health and Human Services Building, Rm. 125
Baltimore, MD 21216-3698
Phone: (410) 951-6200