Health Information Systems Management Degrees
Health information management (HIM) professionals compile, code, analyze, and prepare health information. Patients, health care facilities, agencies that pay claims, physicians, the public, and other members of healthcare teams, are all different people who need this information.
HIM professionals work in hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, behavioral health institutes, insurance companies, and for consulting agencies. They also work for vendors, in private physician offices, in specialty hospitals, and in managed care facilities.
To become health information systems manager, you must have a Bachelor of Science degree in health information science or a degree in medical records technology. To apply to either program, you must be computer savvy and you must be familiar with word processing programs and spreadsheets.
Aspiring HIM professionals may enroll in an on-campus or online program. However, many students prefer to study online so they can work in the field to gain experience and valuable contacts. Many traditional colleges offer health information systems management or medical records technology programs online. A number of online schools offer these degrees as well.
Whichever format you choose, there are a number of things to look for in a quality health information systems management program. First, the program must be accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The following agencies are the top accrediting agencies for traditional schools, online schools, and regional schools.
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Besides verifying accreditation, you should examine the school’s curriculum. The health information systems management curriculum will include general education courses such as college algebra, anatomy & physiology, English, U.S. history, psychology, sociology, speech, and computer science.
Major courses include:
- Applied Reimbursement Methods
- Clinical Data Management
- Clinical Terminologies and Classification Systems
- Computer Systems in Healthcare
- Contemporary Issues in HIM
- Electronic Health Records
- Financial and Resource Management
- Health Data Management
- Human Resources Management
- Issues in Healthcare Delivery
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare
- Professional Computer Practicum
- Professional HIM Practicum
- Professionalism and Leadership
- Project and Operations Management
- Quality Management and Performance Improvement
- Statistics and Research Methods
- Strategic Planning and Organizational Development
Admissions requirements for health information systems management programs should include a transcript request, test scores, recommendation letters, and a application essay. The school should also require other supporting materials that demonstrate leadership or management ability and the desire to succeed.
When you are ready to begin looking for traditional or online health information systems management programs, try searching through directories and college review sites such as the Princeton Review. You may also search through comprehensive online directories such as Online Colleges USA.
Tip: After completing the health information management or medical record technology degree program, students become eligible to take the National Certification Examination of the American Health Information Management Association. Upon successful completion of the examination, the student will receive the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential.