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Health Information Management

What do Health Information Management Technicians do?

Health Information Management professionals study the principles and practices of acquiring, analyzing, maintaining, releasing and protecting medical information vital to providing quality patient care. These professionals are linked to physicians, technology designers and information technology. They play an essential role bridging patients’ health information and payors, such as insurance companies, government and regulating agencies, and are a critical component of the electronic health record (EHR) workforce.

There are two levels of health information management professionals. Health Information Technicians (HIT) work in healthcare, however they do not generally work directly with patients. A Health Information Technician (HIT) assembles patient health information including medical history, symptoms, examination results, diagnostic tests, treatment methods, and all other healthcare provider services. They organize and manage health information data by ensuring its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security. They may work as medical coders who specialize in coding patient information for reimbursement purposes. They communicate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to clarify diagnoses or to obtain additional information. Entry-level health information technicians usually have an associate degree with a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential.

The Health Information Manager (HIM) has a baccalaureate degree with a Registered Health Information Management (RHIM) credential. These individuals function in management positions, responsible for ensuring the availability, accuracy, and protection of the clinical information that is needed to deliver health care services and to make appropriate healthcare related decisions. They also design, implement, and maintain health information technology systems.

Types of Work Environment

  • Hospitals
  • Physician offices
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Insurance companies
  • Correctional facilities
  • Mental health facilities
  • IT companies
  • Law offices
  • Consultants

Education and Training Requirements

Associate’s Degree
  • Two year degree
  • General overview of the profession – technical focus
  • Traditional classroom and distance learning available
  • Evening programs available
  • Obtain RHIT (Registered Health Information Technician) credential after successfully passing national exam
  • Requirement of 20 continuing education units every 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree
  • Four year degree
  • Two years of general education courses, entering professional coursework in junior year – management focus
  • Traditional classroom and distance learning available
  • Some RHIT to RHIA programs available
  • Obtain RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator) credential after successfully passing national exam
  • Requirement of 30 continuing education units every 2 years

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for a medical and health information technician is approximately $32,350 per year.

Professional Organization

The American Health Information Management Association

 

Meet a Professional Clinical Documentation (CDI) Specialist: Telena

Meet a Document Integrity Specialist (DIS): Bruna

Meet an Electronic Health Records (EHR) Analyst: Marquita