Next Level Career Options in Health Information Management
By: Lindsay McKay
March 29, 2022
Healthcare information management (HIM) is the synthesis of health care, data management, administration, and technology. The health information management industry offers a wide variety of career options, becoming a health information manager is just one of many. While your first step is the same, completing a Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM) Accredited Program such as Ashton College’s Health Information Management Program. After that, you are in for an exciting career in health information management. To learn more about entry-level roles and intermediate roles check out my previous blog What Does a Career in Health Information Management Look Like? Today, we are discussing HIM roles at the advanced and master level, or 7+ years in the field and 10+ years in the field.
According to CHIMA’s health information management career matrix, there are seven different pathways you can take – one for each core competency. The seven competencies include:
- Record Quality and Management: these roles focus on the maintenance, access and disclosure, storage and retrieval, coding, classification and risk management of health records from a record content perspective.
- Privacy and Security: these roles focus on the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards that heath care organizations utilize to avoid accidental or purposeful access and disclosure of health data.
- HIM Standards: these roles focus on implementing, maintaining, and testing HIM standards across all entities.
- HIM Education: these roles focus on educating others about HIM or Health Informatics (HI) from the development of courses to overseeing HIM departments as a dean at a university.
- Health Information Analytics and Research: These roles focus on researching, analyzing, interpreting, and testing health data.
- Information Governance: these roles focus on ensuring compliance while supporting organization-wide frameworks of managing data through its life cycle and supporting the organization's goals.
- Business Intelligence and Sustainability: these roles focus on keeping healthcare sustainable in Canada through providing the necessary information to balance and monitor the health needs of various populations against the cost of delivering care. The goal is to have an efficient health system at the most effective cost.
7+ Years into Your Career Journey
You have spent 7+ years in health management, you have found your specialty and you continue to rise higher and higher in your career. Many people at this level look at earning a master's degree as they are encouraged for many of the advanced-level careers in the industry. Some advanced-level opportunities in accordance with the above core competency pathways include:
- Director of Health Information, Chief Quality Officer, Registry Manager, Director Coding & Health Informatics, Provincial Lead Cancer Registry
- Manager, Privacy & Security / Privacy & Risk / Access & Disclosure, Senior Specialist, Information Audit and Stewardship
- Data Exchange Standards Lead, Manager of Health Information Standards, Clinical Terminology Standards Specialist
- Program Coordinator HIM
- Senior Policy Analyst, Director of Population Health, Lead Decision Support, Senior Methodologists
- IMG Liaison, IM Standards Specialist
- Project Manager, Executive Coordinator, Manager Knowledge Translation & Policy, Senior Business Analyst
10+ Years into Your Career Journey
You have spent 10+ years in higher-level health executive leadership positions and HIM experience. If you have not earned your master's degree yet, you will need to if you want to continue up the leadership ladder. While a PhD is required for top-level research and education roles. Some master-level opportunities in accordance with the above core competency pathways include:
- Vice President HIM, Chief Information Officer, VP in Information Services/Technology
- Chief Privacy Officer, Director Information Stewardship, Access, and Privacy
- Director Terminology Standards, Senior Director Clinical Information Systems, Director Provincial HIM Standards
- Dean/Assistant Dean, Professor of HIM or Health Informatics
- VP Population Health & Research, VP Analytics & Information, VP Research & Analytics
- Chief Information Governance Officer
- Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Director Planning & Quality, Director of Business Intelligence & Patient Flow, Senior Manager Enhancing Health Services
You should be aware that most of these positions require additional certifications. Additionally, you need to maintain your CCHIM certification through active membership, adhering to the professional code of ethics, and obtaining the required CPE credits.
Health information management is an exciting field that is always evolving; apply to a program to get started on this rewarding journey.
The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog.