Reasons Health Information Management Graduates Should Take the RHIA Exam

Health Information Management Graduate

Are you interested in pursuing a degree in health information management? Health information management professionals ensure that patient data is accurately recorded and securely stored. They may develop policies and procedures for working with electronic health records or ensure compliance with state and federal privacy laws. Health information administrators can be found in all kinds of medical environments, from small family practices to large hospital systems. They can certify as Registered Health Information Administrators by taking an exam offered by American Health Information Management Association. Northwestern College is based in Oak Lawn, IL, and serves the greater Chicago area. Here, we discuss the benefits of taking the RHIA exam.

What Is the American Health Information Management Association?

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is a nonprofit association of health information professionals. AHIMA’s members work at the intersection of healthcare, business, and technology and are dedicated to ensuring that patient health information is protected, accurate, accessible, and complete. Founded as the Association of Record Librarians of North America in 1928, AHIMA now has component state organizations in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

What Is a Registered Health Information Administrator?

Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIAs) fill an important role that serves medical professionals, patients, and insurance providers. They manage sensitive patient information, administer digital systems for data storage and privacy, and analyze data to inform patient care. RHIAs can work in many different healthcare settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Ambulatory care centers
  • Medical practices
  • Government agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Consulting services

To set standards for excellence and core competencies in the health information administrator profession, AHIMA offers an RHIA certification.

Who Is Eligible to Take the RHIA Exam?

To become an AHIMA-accredited RHIA, you must complete the RHIA certification exam. Students must meet one of the following requirements to be eligible to take the RHIA exam:

  • Successful completion of a Health Information Management (HIM) program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Successful completion of the Master’s-level academic requirements of an HIM program accredited by CAHIIM
  • Successful completion of the academic requirements of an HIM Certificate of the Degree (Post-Baccalaureate) program approved by CAHIIM
  • Graduation from an HIM program approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA holds a reciprocity agreement
  • Hold an RHIT certification and meet the conditions approved by the 2017 Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management

Students must pay a fee to take the exam, which is timed and computer-based. The exam tests student knowledge in five areas of health information management competency:

  • Information governance
  • Compliance with uses and disclosures of protected health information
  • Data analytics and informatics
  • Revenue management
  • Management and leadership

Students who earn a passing score on the exam qualify for a two-year RHIA certification. They may recertify by completing continuing education requirements.

What Are the Benefits?

There are many advantages to becoming an official Registered Health Information Administrator. The benefits of earning your RHIA certification include:

  • Networking: As an accredited member of AHIMA, you will have access to a network of like-minded professionals who can help connect you with professional development opportunities in your field. Plus, you’ll benefit from career services, such as AHIMA’s job board, and get priority listing in employer searches.
  • Marketability: Becoming an RHIA is a key certification that you can list on your resume to stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs after graduation. RHIA certification communicates your competencies to potential employers.
  • Leadership experience: Once you’re an AHIMA member, you are eligible to run for leadership roles on various boards and committees within the organization, giving your resume an additional boost.

Earn a Degree in Health Information Management from Northwestern College

If you’re excited about diving into a career in health information management, look no further than Northwestern College. We offer an online Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Information Management (HIM) to prepare students for fulfilling roles in the modern medical system. HIM graduates are eligible to sit for AHIMA’s RHIA certification exam. Located in Oak Lawn, IL, Northwestern College serves students throughout the greater Chicago area. To learn more, request info from our team today.