What Is the Difference Between Health Information Management & Health Information Technology?

When most people think of healthcare careers, they immediately consider nursing or becoming a doctor. However, there are plenty of other healthcare-focused careers that don’t involve direct patient care but are critical to quality care. Two of these career paths include health information management and health information technology.

What’s the difference? Is there any difference at all? Here, we compare and contrast the career paths so you can decide which one is right for you.

What Is Health Information Management?

Health information management is the most complex of the two career paths. It involves improving patient outcomes through medical records. Health information managers create, collect and analyze health records, use software to improve outcomes, manage the quality of recordkeeping processes and more.

Because health information management is a complex career that requires both business and healthcare knowledge, most careers will require a Bachelor’s degree.

What Is Health Information Technology?

Health information technology is a bit different and slightly more focused than health information management. Health IT specialists are responsible for simply tracking patient information such as their medical histories, systems and test results inside EMRs. 

Many will also use specialized coding such as CPT/HCPCS and ICD-10 to enter health conditions, procedures and diagnoses. Their main responsibility is to ensure patient health records are accurate at all times.

Another key difference is that health IT only requires an Associate’s degree, which will take two years to complete instead of four.

Which Career Path Is Right for You?

If you want to work in healthcare but don’t believe you would enjoy direct patient care, you can’t go wrong with either of these career paths. Both are critical behind-the-scenes roles that move patient care forward.

You should consider how fast you want to start your new career. If you want to get started fairly quickly, health information technology might be best as it requires an Associate’s degree. If you want to take your time when it comes to education, health information management might be a great choice as it requires a Bachelor’s degree.

Join the Medical Field With Support From Cambridge

If you’re ready to join the field of health information management or health information technology, we’re here to support you. We offer an Associate’s degree in health information technology and a Bachelor’s degree in health information management. To learn more about the programs or to apply today, give us a call at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.