Learn more about what it would be like to be a health information management professional.

Where can I work after I obtain this degree?

HIMS professionals work in a variety of healthcare, business, and/or government-related settings. They work closely with physicians, nurses, researchers, administrators, and other professionals involved in the delivery of healthcare. Management and staff positions are available in all sectors of the healthcare industry as noted below. As experience is gained, additional employment settings and career opportunities are open to the graduate.
  • Hospitals
  • Sub-acute and ambulatory care facilities
  • Consulting companies
  • Home health agencies
  • Vendors of health-related services
  • Physician group practices
  • Managed care organizations
  • State and federal government entities
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Behavioral healthcare
  • Insurance or commercial companies

What are some of the possible job titles I could acquire?

Job titles for the graduate will vary depending on the place of employment and the responsibilities of the position. Common titles are: department director, manager, systems coordinator, privacy officer, compliance officer, clinical data manager or analyst, senior consultant, team leader, project manager, etc. Job possibilities and opportunities are expanding in all sectors of the healthcare industry given the need to protect the privacy and safety of patients.

What is an entry-level starting salary with a degree in HIMS?

Health Information Management is a dynamic constantly changing field. Entry level RHIA-credentialed professionals can earn from $40,000 to $60,000. Salary is heavily dependent on geographic location and the type of employer. Healthcare consulting firms may offer significantly higher salaries. AHIMA performs a salary survey that reports up-to-date information about salaries for various settings and credentials: AHIMA Salary Survey

Is it possible to get certified after I graduate?

Yes! In the final semester of the HIMS program of study, students are are eligible to sit for the professional certification exam to become a registered health information administrator (RHIA), a credential that is recognized throughout the healthcare industry. Only graduates from an accredited program are entitled to take the national certification examination. Successful completion of the exam entitles graduate to use the credential RHIA.  Students in their last term of study in the HIMS program at The Ohio State University will sit for the RHIA exam as part of their required coursework.

In addition, the knowledge and skills gained through the HIMS curriculum along with practical work experience makes the graduate eligible for additional certifications in specialty areas such as clinical coding, and healthcare privacy and security. Such certifications add to the professionalism and employability of the graduate as the graduate moves through his or her career. A credential has been found to increase the earning power of an individual over time. 
More information on credentials offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). 

Health Information Management Careers

HIM professionals enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth. Based on your skills, education, and interests, here are some positions available to you:

With a bachelor's degree:
  • HIM Department Director
  • HIM System Manager
  • Data Quality Manager
  • Chief Privacy Officer
  • HIM College Instructor
  • Consultant
HIM professionals work in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry, from hospitals to insurance agencies.

HIM professionals in the workplace

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) developed an excellent website to help current and future HIM students explore career options.  Click here to visit that site: http://hicareers.com/ 

HIM professionals hold many diverse roles, yet all share a common purpose: providing reliable and valid information that drives the healthcare industry. They are specialists in administering information systems, managing medical records, and coding information for reimbursement and research. Health information management professionals are uniquely qualified to:

Ensure health information is complete and available to legitimate users
  • Code and classify data for reimbursement
  • Analyze information necessary for decision support
  • Protect patient privacy and provide information security
  • Enhance the quality and uses for data within healthcare
  • Administer health information computer systems
  • Comply with standards and regulations regarding health information 
  • Prepare health data for accreditation surveys
  • Analyze clinical data for research and public policy
Not only do they have diverse roles, AHIMA members also work throughout the entire healthcare industry in provider settings that span the continuum of care, as well as in non-provider settings. In fact, Association members are employed in any organization that uses health information, including:
  • Hospitals
  • Managed care organizations
  • Long term care facilities
  • Behavioral health facilities
  • Consulting and law firms
  • Information system vendors
  • Ambulatory care facilities
  • Rehabilitation center
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Home care providers
  • Government agencies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Physician practices
  • Insurance companies

Professional Growth and Income

HIM professionals can expect to be in high demand as the health sector expands into the next century. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites health information technology as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US.

On top of strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await HIM graduates. More than half of new HIM graduates with a bachelor's degree start with salaries in the $40,000 to $60,000 range. By five years out, one can earn upwards of $70,000 - $90,000 annually.
AHIMA performs an annual salary survey that reports up-to-date information about salaries for various settings and credentials: AHIMA Salary Survey.

Job Hunting

Below are several career websites designed to help HIM professionals find new opportunities to advance their careers. 
 
Career Websites Career Magazines
Career Guides

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