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HIM Programs

What is a Health Information Management Program?

A health information management program will educate a student in how information management works in a health care setting. Medical records require special handling due to the sensitive nature of the information as well as laws and regulations surrounding them. The student learns about computers, programming, and databases on the technical side. They also learn medical terminology and disease classifications on the medical side. These come together in the classes specifically focused on health information management. Typically, students come from either a medical profession such as nursing or from the IT world.

How to Enter a Health Information Management Program

There are two distinct levels in health information management. A certificate program can train a person to work with patient information in a medical office. A degree program will teach a student to handle health information in an IT setting.

A certificate program for health information management will require the student to have a high school diploma or a GED. They complete a one year program before receiving their certificate.

Students who enter a health information management degree program usually complete basic college courses before enrolling in the health informatics courses. Many of these programs are designed for the third and fourth year of a bachelor's degree.

Jobs available in Health Information Management

A health information management student who gains a certificate can find work in many medical offices. They work with gathering, entering, verifying, and securing patient data.

For those with a bachelor's degree in health information management, jobs can be found in programming, database management, and networking. These jobs are often in hospitals, medical facilities, or other health care organizations.

Overall, growth in the area of health information management is higher than average. The changing world of health care means that this field is growing and changing quite quickly.

Salaries in Health Information Management

The median salary for a health information technician was around $32,000 in 2010. Those with degrees in health information management can expect to make salaries starting around $65,000 per year. Salaries in these positions will vary by location, job experience, and employer.

Health information is different from other sorts of data. The information on a patient can include data on their health, their genetics, and their mortality. This information is deemed private and requires special attention and care. The field of health information management is what takes care of this information.