Health Information Management Jobs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that one of the quickest growing careers in the United States is a health information management or HIM professional. By the year 2020, these health information management job opportunities are expected to show an increase of twenty percent.
This is due to the focus of management in the areas of healthcare data and information. This pertains to the role of delivering cost-effective and quality healthcare, and has changed the role of HIM from record-keeping to a vital analytical responsibility. Just as in numerous other industries, a health information management job has shifted from paper to becoming electronically-based.
These changes signify that the knowledge and skills required for working in HIM have changed from what they were a few years back. The employers in this field want employees with strong analytical and technical skills, along with a strong understanding of the way information fits in with healthcare’s overall delivery. Although there are still some positions available at an entry-level, with the only requirement being some training and a high school diploma, this will not be enough to succeed in the industry. An individual will require more important skills, and advanced training and education.
It is important to understand the right way to read the chart of a patient so information can be pulled for coding. The ability to access real time information is relied upon by patients and physicians. This makes striving to become a standard-setter important in this area. The focus must remain on accurate data management, quality, and the individual must be familiar with all the tools necessary to reach their goals.
Getting that First Health Information Management Job
As an HIM professional, there is no substitute for experience, and an excellent way to build skills in this area is by becoming a volunteer. The willingness to give up free time to aid a medical facility or a provider’s office will show the commitment of the individual to the provider, and can be a major factor in career development. Even if the person is already employed, when time is spent volunteering with new projects, or the person comes up with ideas capable of solving a problem in the office, this individual will move forward in their field.
One of the main priorities of AHIMA regarding the immediate future is the expansion of the role of the HIM professionals. They want to see more long-term roles for professionals created with a focus on analysis and data management, while maintaining the security and the quality of the information. This means there will likely be expanded and new roles for professionals in this area as the industry moves forward. This will range from roles in consumer advocacy to help an individual patient with an understanding and control of their personal medical records, to a more technical role where new technology will be managed and implemented by HIM professionals.
Another specialty in the field that will expand is data analysis. Physicians and leaders within this field will require the information found in medical records to help better develop plans that are more cost-effective, and make certain the outcome is quality. When an individual considers a career in HIM, they need to think about the different specializations, take the time to explore numerous roles, and find the area where their unique talents will provide the best possible fit. It is possible new software programs may be developed by some HIM professionals that will make the lives of others easier.
Health information management only represents one small piece of the general landscape of healthcare, although this piece has significant importance. As significant changes occur in the field, the importance of remaining current regarding the pulse of healthcare, and understanding how HIM is important to the big picture becomes critical to an individual’s role in delivering quality care. This understanding can enable a professional to use their skills, support the entirety of the ecosystem, and provide a distinct edge with the other candidates.
Healthcare continues to evolve and change due to numerous forces. As data and technology continue to increase in importance, the need for professional’s capable of managing and making sense of everything will continue to increase. As an individual looks for job opportunities within this field, they must think past the typical careers of medical billing or coding, and explore a career that will be satisfying, and long-term.