Jobs to Get with a Health Information Management Degree

Woman Reviewing Medical Records

In the past, doctor’s offices kept a physical paper file for each patient’s health history. Today, millions of patient records are stored digitally and maintained by health information managers. While health information managers do not work directly with patients, their jobs are crucial for coordinating care and protecting patient rights to privacy. Northwestern College is based in Oak Lawn, IL, and serves the greater Chicago area. Here, we share some insights into the roles and responsibilities within the world of health information management.

What Is Health Information Management?

Health information management is the process of collecting, storing, and safely managing healthcare data. Health information management professionals work in a variety of medical settings to protect patient information. Health information managers may:

  • Store print and digital patient information
  • Set policies and procedures for documenting patient information
  • Ensure compliance with state and federal regulations surrounding data privacy
  • Analyze data to inform improvements to service delivery

Health information managers may work in partnership with administrative staff, risk managers, executive leadership, and information technology (IT) employees.

Career Pathways in Health Information Management

The healthcare industry is a rapidly growing field – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare jobs are expected to grow by 16% between 2020 and 2030, adding up to more than 2 million job openings each year. There are many different career opportunities in the field of health information management, such as:

Medical Coder

Medical coding specialists translate records of healthcare services and procedures into standardized alphanumeric codes that are used to bill insurance providers. They use electronic medical records software to analyze patient data and ensure the confidentiality of patient records. A medical coding specialist may work with nurses, doctors, administrative staff, and insurance companies to ensure that reimbursement and billing processes are efficient and accurate. Students in our Health Information Technology degree program can earn a medical coding certificate.

Privacy Officer

The United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that protects patient privacy and sets regulations for managing healthcare data. Privacy officers are charged with ensuring that the systems and procedures for handling patient data are HIPAA-compliant. They can work in hospitals, nursing homes, health clinics, or surgery centers. Privacy officers may develop policies to prevent data breaches, monitor compliance with information security protocols, or train staff members on proper procedures to collect and store patient data.

Health Information Manager

Health information managers oversee medical records and patient data. They are tasked with staying up-to-date on all state and federal regulations surrounding data privacy and security. These managers may be in charge of training and supervising information specialists, ensuring the proper use of electronic health records. They also may work with outside vendors such as cybersecurity experts or IT professionals.

Data Analyst

Data analysts organize and analyze medical information. They may help use medical data to improve healthcare services, assess the effectiveness of certain processes or procedures, and identify areas for potential cost savings. Analysts may work for healthcare providers or other healthcare industry stakeholders such as insurance companies.

Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

Often, hiring managers look for information management professionals with postsecondary degrees. Luckily, you can earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Information Management (HIM) online through Northwestern College. This program builds on our Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology to prepare students for the growing number of information management roles in the healthcare industry. Students in the HIM program gain key industry competencies through coursework that includes:

  • Healthcare Communications
  • Biomedical Research Support & Ethics
  • Database Architecture & Queries
  • Healthcare Financial Administration
  • Coding Classifications Systems Theory
  • Regulatory Reporting
  • Statistics
  • Risk Management and Compliance in Healthcare

Students who complete the HIM bachelor’s degree are eligible to take the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam. Those who successfully pass the exam become certified as Registered Health Information Administrators, obtaining an industry certification that helps your resume stand out when applying for jobs.

Learn More From Northwestern College

If you are passionate about improving healthcare and enjoy working with large sets of data, a degree in Health Information Management from Northwestern College may be the right fit for you. Northwestern College is in Oak Lawn, IL, and serves students in the greater Chicago area. To learn more about our career-focused programs, flexible course schedules, and financial aid opportunities, request info from our team today.