An unbelievable amount of patient data is generated within healthcare every single day, from test results to health histories. This data must be protected, easily accessible and accurate for the best patient outcomes. Health information management is the practice of doing just that.
HIM: The Management of Patient Health Data
According to American Health Information Management (AHIMA), “Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. It is a combination of business, science, and information technology.”
Patient health data may include anything from procedure notes to information about prescription medications. This data, found inside the electronic health record (EMR), is often accessed by a patient’s entire care team to ensure the highest quality care.
For example, a surgeon may open an EHR to read a patient’s previous medical history to assess risk. Or, a doctor may look at a patient’s allergies before prescribing medication. Without health information management, data could quickly become outdated and inaccurate, leading to dangerous consequences.
What Do Health Information Managers Do?
Health information managers ensure that the data found inside the EHR is up-to-date and accurate for each patient. Some of an HIM professional’s responsibilities may include:
- Entering patient information directly into the EHR
- Using CPT/HCPCS and ICD-10 coding procedures to document health conditions, procedures and diagnoses
- Performing EHR audits regularly to ensure accuracy
- Helping medical professionals access patient records
While some health information managers work for medical facilities such as hospitals, others work for companies such as health insurance carriers, consulting firms and even EHR software companies. HIM professionals have a lot of different options when it comes to their career paths.
How to Become a Health Information Manager
To become a health information manager, there are a couple of steps you must take. You’ll need to start by obtaining an Associate’s degree in Health Information Technology. Next, you’ll need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree to start your journey towards management.
After you receive your diploma, you’ll be eligible for Registered Health Information Technology (RHIT) certification through AHIMA. Cambridge offers both a two-year program and a four-year program, depending on your career goals.
Start Your Career in Health Information Management
Does a career in health information management sound like the perfect career for you? If so, Cambridge can help. To learn more about our Health Information Management programs or to apply today, give us a call at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.