5 Steps to Becoming a Health Information Manager

5 Steps to Becoming a Health Information Manager

Becoming a Health Information Manager (HIM) is a rewarding and challenging career path that requires a combination of education, certification, and experience. If you are interested in working in the healthcare industry and have a passion for managing and organizing health information, then this may be the perfect career for you.

To become a Health Information Manager, you must first complete an educational program in health information management. These programs are offered by many universities and colleges, both online and in-person. They provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this field, including courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, coding and classification systems, and healthcare laws and regulations.



Once you have completed your educational program, you must then become certified as a Health Information Manager. There are several certifications available, including the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification, which is the official certification offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To become certified, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, including completing an AHIMA-approved program and passing an examination.

After becoming certified, you are ready to enter the workforce as a Health Information Manager. The job outlook for HIM professionals is positive, with a wide range of job opportunities available in hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and other healthcare organizations. The salary for Health Information Managers can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and education, but the average salary is higher than many other healthcare professions.

As a Health Information Manager, your scope of functions is wide and varied. You will be responsible for managing and ensuring the accuracy and security of patient health information, as well as overseeing the implementation and maintenance of health information systems. You will also be involved in the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to health information management.

Step 1: Research Health Information Management Careers

Before becoming a health information manager, it is important to research and learn about the various career opportunities available in the field of health information management. This step will help you understand the work environment, job responsibilities, and educational requirements needed to pursue a career in this field.



Health information management professionals work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and insurance companies. They are responsible for managing and organizing patient health information, ensuring its accuracy and confidentiality, and using it to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

To learn more about health information management careers, you can start by exploring the website of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). AHIMA offers many resources and information about the profession, including job outlook, certification requirements, and educational programs.

By researching health information management careers, you will gain a better understanding of the field and determine if it is the right career path for you. It will also help you identify the educational requirements and certifications needed to become a health information manager.



Exploring Career Opportunities in Health Information Management

Health information management (HIM) is a rapidly growing field with a wide range of career opportunities. If you are interested in a career that combines healthcare, technology, and data management, then HIM might be the perfect fit for you. In this article, we will explore the various career paths available in HIM and how you can reach your goals in this exciting field.

Why Choose a Career in Health Information Management?

Health information managers play a crucial role in the healthcare industry by ensuring that patient data is accurately recorded, stored, and protected. They are responsible for managing electronic health records (EHRs), analyzing health data, and ensuring compliance with privacy and security regulations.

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As a health information manager, you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and insurance companies. You can also specialize in areas such as coding, data analysis, or health informatics.

Researching Health Information Management Careers

Before embarking on a career in HIM, it is important to research the different career paths available and determine which one aligns with your interests and goals. There are many resources available online, including professional associations and industry websites, where you can find information about the various roles and responsibilities of health information managers.

It is also helpful to reach out to professionals already working in the field to learn more about their experiences and get advice on how to pursue a career in HIM. They can provide valuable insights into the day-to-day tasks, salary expectations, and educational requirements for different HIM roles.

Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management

To become a health information manager, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in health information management or a related field. Many universities and colleges offer HIM programs that provide the necessary education and training for this profession.

During your studies, you will learn about topics such as medical coding and billing, health information systems, healthcare ethics, and data analysis. You will also have the opportunity to gain practical experience through internships or work placements, which will enhance your resume and give you a taste of what it’s like to work in the field.

Pursuing Health Information Manager Certification

While certification is not always required to work as a health information manager, it can greatly enhance your career prospects and earning potential. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) certification, which demonstrates your proficiency in health data analysis.

To become certified, you will need to meet certain education and experience requirements and pass an exam. Certification is a way to validate your knowledge and skills in the field and show employers that you are committed to professional development and ethical practice.

Step 4: Pursue Health Information Manager Certification

Once you have obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management, you are ready to pursue certification as a Health Information Manager (HIM). This certification is offered by various professional associations and demonstrates your expertise in the field.

To become a registered Health Information Manager, you must meet certain educational and work experience requirements. The specific requirements may vary depending on the association you choose to pursue certification through, so it is important to explore the resources and guidelines provided by each association.

One widely recognized certification for Health Information Managers is the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification. This certification is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

To earn the RHIA certification, you’ll need to pass an examination that tests your knowledge and skills in various areas of health information management. The examination covers a wide range of topics, including the management and organization of health information, the functions of health information systems, and the legal and ethical considerations of health information management.

In addition to passing the examination, you may also need to complete certain educational courses or work experience hours to meet the eligibility requirements for the RHIA certification. These requirements may vary, so it is important to carefully review the guidelines provided by AHIMA.

By becoming a certified Health Information Manager, you will have the necessary credentials to work in a variety of healthcare settings. This includes hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and insurance companies, among others.

The outlook for health information management careers is promising, with a growing demand for professionals who can effectively manage and protect patient health information. As healthcare organizations continue to transition to electronic health records and decentralized information systems, the need for skilled Health Information Managers will only increase.

If you are interested in becoming a Health Information Manager, take the time to explore the various educational and career opportunities available. Research different programs and courses to find one that aligns with your interests and goals. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management and gain practical experience through internships or work opportunities. Finally, pursue certification as a Health Information Manager to further enhance your credentials and increase your job prospects in this rewarding field.

Step 5: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a health information manager, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in health information management is essential. This degree program will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this profession.

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There are a wide range of educational programs available that offer degrees in health information management. It is important to research and choose a program that meets your specific needs and career goals. Ensure that the program you choose is accredited by the appropriate associations to ensure that you receive a quality education.

During your studies, you will learn about various aspects of health information management, including the scope of the profession, ethical considerations, and the use of technology in healthcare settings. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships or work placements, which will further enhance your skills and knowledge.

Upon completion of your bachelor’s degree, you will be well-equipped to enter the field of health information management. You’ll have a deep understanding of how healthcare organizations operate and the role that health information managers play in ensuring the accuracy and security of patient records.

With a bachelor’s degree in health information management, you’ll have a wide range of career opportunities available to you. You can work in hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and other healthcare organizations. You may also choose to work in the field of healthcare technology, where you can use your knowledge of health information management to develop and implement electronic health record systems.

Complete an Internship or Work Experience

Gaining practical experience in the field of health information management (HIM) is an essential step towards becoming a certified health information manager (CHIM). By completing an internship or work experience, you will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have learned in your degree program to real-world situations.

Internships or work experiences in HIM offer a variety of benefits. First and foremost, they allow you to work directly with patients and healthcare professionals, giving you firsthand experience in managing health information. This hands-on experience will help you develop the necessary skills to effectively handle medical records, patient data, and other important health information.

During your internship or work experience, you may be involved in tasks such as organizing and maintaining medical records, compiling reports and statistics, and ensuring compliance with privacy regulations. This practical experience will not only enhance your resume but also demonstrate your ability to handle the responsibilities of a health information manager.

Furthermore, completing an internship or work experience can also help you make valuable professional connections in the field. You may have the opportunity to work with experienced health information managers who can provide guidance and mentorship. These connections can be invaluable as you navigate your career in health information management.

It is important to note that some employers may require or prefer candidates with previous work experience in HIM. By taking advantage of internships or work experiences, you can gain a competitive edge in the job market and increase your chances of securing a position as a health information manager.

Once you have completed your internship or work experience, you can then proceed to pursue health information manager certification. This official certification is offered by various organizations, including the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM). Becoming a certified health information manager demonstrates your commitment to the profession and validates your knowledge and skills in HIM.

Gaining Practical Experience as a Health Information Manager

As you pursue a career in health information management, gaining practical experience through internships or work opportunities is crucial. This hands-on experience allows you to apply the knowledge and skills you have gained in your academic studies to a real-world work environment.

Internships or work experiences provide valuable opportunities for you to work alongside experienced health information managers and learn from their expertise. They also offer a chance to work with a wide range of health information resources and systems, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the field.

One organization that offers internship opportunities for aspiring health information managers is the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). AHIMA provides a variety of internships and work experiences in different healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and research institutions.

During your internship or work experience, you may be involved in tasks such as:

  • Assisting with the management and organization of health information records
  • Participating in the implementation and maintenance of electronic health record systems
  • Conducting audits to ensure compliance with health information standards and regulations
  • Collaborating with healthcare professionals to ensure accurate and timely documentation
  • Analyzing health data to identify trends and patterns
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By completing an internship or work experience, you not only enhance your resume but also gain a deeper understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of a health information manager. This experience can also help you make connections in the industry and open doors to future job opportunities.

When searching for internships or work experiences, consider reaching out to local healthcare organizations, such as hospitals or medical clinics, to inquire about any available opportunities. You can also check with your academic institution, as they may have partnerships or resources to help you find relevant internships.

Remember, gaining practical experience as a health information manager is an important step in your career journey. It allows you to apply what you have learned in your academic studies and gain valuable insights into the field. So, take advantage of internship or work experience opportunities to further develop your skills and knowledge in health information management.

Step 4: Pursue Health Information Manager Certification

Once you have completed your degree in health information management, the next step towards becoming a health information manager is to pursue certification in the field. Certification is not mandatory for all health information management positions, but it can greatly enhance your job prospects and demonstrate your expertise in the field.

There are several certification options available for health information managers, including the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This certification is widely recognized and highly regarded in the industry.

To obtain the RHIA certification, you must meet certain requirements set by AHIMA. These requirements include completing an AHIMA-accredited educational program, such as a bachelor’s degree in health information management, and passing the RHIA certification exam.

The RHIA certification exam covers a wide range of topics related to health information management, including health data management, healthcare statistics, medical coding and classification systems, healthcare privacy and security, and healthcare reimbursement methods. It is important to thoroughly prepare for the exam by reviewing the exam content outline provided by AHIMA and studying relevant materials.

Once you have passed the RHIA certification exam, you will be officially recognized as a Registered Health Information Administrator. This certification will not only validate your knowledge and skills in health information management but also open up new career opportunities and increase your earning potential.

It is important to note that certification requirements may vary depending on your location and the specific job requirements. Therefore, it is essential to research and understand the certification requirements in your area before pursuing certification.

Benefits of Health Information Manager Certification

Obtaining certification as a health information manager offers several benefits:

  1. Enhanced job prospects: Certification demonstrates your commitment to the field and can make you a more competitive candidate for health information management positions.
  2. Increased earning potential: Certified health information managers often earn higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts.
  3. Validation of knowledge and skills: Certification provides external validation of your expertise in health information management and assures employers of your competence in the field.
  4. Professional networking opportunities: Certification allows you to connect with other certified health information managers through professional associations and networking events, expanding your professional network.

FAQ

What is a health information manager?

A health information manager is a professional who is responsible for managing and organizing health information in healthcare organizations. They ensure the accuracy, accessibility, and security of patient records and other healthcare data.

What are the qualifications required to become a health information manager?

To become a health information manager, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in health information management or a related field. Some employers may also require certification through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

What are the job responsibilities of a health information manager?

A health information manager is responsible for overseeing the collection, storage, and analysis of patient data. They ensure that patient records are accurate and complete, and they manage the implementation and use of electronic health record systems. They also ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations regarding patient privacy and data security.

What skills are important for a health information manager?

Important skills for a health information manager include strong organizational and analytical skills, attention to detail, and knowledge of healthcare laws and regulations. They should also have excellent communication and leadership skills, as they often work with other healthcare professionals and manage a team of employees.

What is the job outlook for health information managers?

The job outlook for health information managers is positive. The demand for professionals in this field is expected to grow as healthcare organizations continue to adopt electronic health record systems and as the need for accurate and secure patient data increases. Additionally, the aging population is expected to lead to an increased need for healthcare services and, consequently, a need for more health information managers.

What is a Health Information Manager?

A Health Information Manager is a professional who is responsible for managing and organizing health information data. They ensure that patient records are accurate, complete, and secure. They also analyze data to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

What are the educational requirements to become a Health Information Manager?

To become a Health Information Manager, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in health information management or a related field. Some employers may also require certification, such as the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.