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What Does a Career in Health Information Management Look Like?

By: Lindsay McKay

Published On: March 29, 2022

What Does a Career in Health Information Management Look Like?

Health information management (HIM) explores the intersection of healthcare, data management, administration, and technology. A career in health information management is vast and varied, becoming a health information manager is only one of many opportunities in the industry. 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. But what can that look like, what are some of your options? Read on to learn more about entry-level roles and intermediate roles.

Different Pathways

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. HIM Standards: these roles focus on implementing, maintaining, and testing HIM standards across all entities.
  4. 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.
  5. Health Information Analytics and Research: These roles focus on researching, analyzing, interpreting, and testing health data.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
What Does a Career in Health Information Management Look Like?

Begin Your Career Journey

You have graduated with a Diploma in Health Management and have become Certified in Health Information Management through CCHIM, a voluntary but beneficial certification to get after completing your HIM program. Some entry-level HIM career opportunities in accordance with the above core competency pathways include:

  1. Data Resource Administrator, Junior Coder, Registry Unit Analyst, Cancer Registrar
  2. Privacy Analyst, Release Information Analyst/Auditor
  3. Help Desk Coordinator, Integration Analyst, Testing Analyst
  4. Training Assistant, Trainer
  5. Junior Data Analyst, Research Assistant (Clinical Trials), Health Policy Analyst, Health Records Abstractor
  6. Information Governance Analyst
  7. Junior Business Analyst, Health Information Analyst – Junior, Evaluation and Measurement Analyst

3 – 7+ Years into Your Career Journey

You have spent a significant time learning and mastering your entry-level role, you may have experienced some lateral career movement but are ready to gain more responsibility and become more focused in a specialization. Some intermediate level opportunities in accordance with the above core competency pathways include:

  1. Health Data Administrator, Site Manager – Cancer Registry, Clinical Data Specialist, Coding Specialist
  2. Privacy Specialist, Information Access & Privacy Coordinator, HIM Privacy Officer
  3. Content Management Specialist, Terminology Specialist, Lead – eHealth, Information Officer
  4. HIM Coding Trainer Coordinator, Curriculum Developer, Manager eLearning, HIM Instructor
  5. Data Integrity Specialist, Decision Support Analyst, Program Lead – Health Analytics, Population Health Analyst
  6. Information Standards Specialist, Information/Data Steward, Information Management Policy Analyst, Information Management Auditor
  7. Business System Analyst, Clinical Reporting Consultant, Senior Health Information Analyst, Process Improvement Specialist / Manager

Take note that some of these positions may require additional certifications. Also, the certification you got through CCHIM will need to be maintained through active membership, upholding the professional code of ethics, and completing required CPE credits. Depending on the career path you have chosen, you may want to earn the Certified Terminology Standards Specialist or the Certified Classification and Coding Specialist.

Coming Up

The health information management industry is exciting and constantly evolving, apply to a program to get started on this exhilarating journey. To learn about senior and director-level career opportunities, check out my blog Next Level Career Options in Health Information Management.

 

Disclaimer

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.

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