Health information management (HIM) is an allied health profession. It is the practice of acquiring, analyzing and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. HIM professionals are trained in the information management technology applications and are vital to the daily operations management of health information and electronic health records.
Health information management professionals often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational and administrative functions. These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touch point in the health care delivery cycle. Having skilled HIM professionals on staff ensures an organization has the right information on hand when and where it is needed while maintaining the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality and security.
Health information management professionals may be employed in various settings. Some of the most common job titles include director, supervisor, manager, privacy officer, coder, HIM systems analyst, cancer registrar, record analyst, scanner and HIM technician.
Employment of health information management professionals and HIM technicians is expected to increase by 22 percent through 2022 — much faster than the national average for all occupations — because of the aging of the baby boomer generation, as well as the rapid growth in the number of medical tests, treatments and procedures that will be increasingly scrutinized by health insurance companies, regulators, courts and consumers.
Also, technicians are needed to enter patient information into computer databases to comply with federal legislation mandating the use of electronic medical records.
Nationally, the median salary for health information management technician professionals is $34,160 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national average for HIM administrator professionals is $55,000 to $77,000 annually.
April 10, 2014