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Health Information Management

What is health information management?

Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles.  They often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions.  These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touch point in the healthcare delivery cycle.  Having skilled HIM professionals on staff ensures an organization has the right information on hand when and where it is needed while maintaining the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality and security.

 

What is a health information manager? 

HIM professionals are highly trained in the latest information management technology applications and understand the workflow in any healthcare provider organization from large hospital systems to the private physician practice. Health information managers work in hospitals, ambulatory health care facilities, physician offices, industrial clinics, state and federal health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, insurance and consulting agencies, and in other areas where patient or health data is maintained. They perform technical functions, such as evaluating health records and reports for accuracy and completeness; compiling , interpreting, and utilizing hospital and health care statistics; coding, diseases, and operations according to a recognized classification system; assisting with medical facility committee procedures; releasing confidential information in accordance with legal requirements; processing patient claims and bills; abstracting and retrieving medical information; and often performing as first-line supervisors.  Students in the curriculum are required to earn a grade of " C" or better in each health information course before being allowed to proceed in the program.

Find out more about being a health information manager, click here

     

How does this program prepare me for a career? 

The associate of applied science program provides students with an opportunity to sit for the RHIT and/or CCS or CCA national accreditation exams. Students take lecture and lab courses as well as clinical courses in affiliated hospital and other health care health information departments in the metropolitan area. Students are able to seek employment during the day, since courses are offered in the evening and online.

A career in HIM is right for you if you:

  • See yourself in a career that offers diverse opportunities
  • Would like to work in health care, but not directly with patients
  • Have an aptitude for science, but also like management, law and computers
  • Enjoy working with professionals such as physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives
  • Want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or some of both

     

What professions can I expect to enter after completing this program? 

HIM professionals enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth.  Based on your skills, education and interests, job titles may include:

  • Health Data Analyst
  • Insurance Claims Specialist
  • Records Technician Specialist
  • Clinical Coding Specialist
  • Physician Practice Manager
  • Patient Information Coordinator
  • Cancer Registrar
  • HIM Department Supervisor
  • Data Quality Manager
  • HIM Systems Analyst

HIM professionals work in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry, from hospitals, to physician offices to insurance agencies.  For more information about HIM professionals in the workplace, click here: HIM Careers Map 

 

What is the employment outlook for the next decade?

HIM professionals can expect to be in high demand as the health sector expands into the next century.  In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites health information technology as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US.

On top of strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await health information management graduates.  More than half of new graduates with an associate’s degree start with salaries in the $35,000 to $45,000 range.  By five years out, a credentialed health information professional can earn upwards of $55,000 - $85,000 annually.  And these figures are just averages – many HIM professionals report salaries higher than average.  To see the results of AHIMA’s latest member salary and profile survey, click here.     

 

Is this program accredited or certified? 

The HIM associate degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education(CAHIIM).  Students successfully completing the Health Information Management Program are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Medical Coder/Biller/Abstractor Certificate Program and Health Information Management Program students are eligible to take the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exams offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

 

What are your program outcomes?

The Health Information Management Program completes an Annual Program Assessment Review (APAR) report for CAHIIM.  Outcomes from the most recent (2014) program review include:

  • 100% of respondents to an employer survey indicated they are satisfied with graduates of the Montgomery College Health Information Management Program
  • 98% of respondents to a graduate survey indicated they were able to find employment in the health care field within six months of RHIT certification..
  • The Montgomery College HIM Program RHIT pass rate for the class of 2014 was 80%, 10% higher than the national RHIT pass rate (70%).
      

Whom do I contact for more information? 

For more information about the Health Information Management or Coder/Abstractor/Biller Certificate Program contact:

Corinne Smith, MBA RHIA CCS CDIP

Health Information Management Program Coordinator

corinne.smith@montgomerycollege.edu

(240) 567-5521

Takoma Park



Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD

240-567-5000

©2015, Montgomery College