What are the steps for launching a health information management career?


Quick Answer

Begin a career in health information management by participating in a two- or four-year training program to earn a degree in the field and then obtaining credentials to work as a Registered Health Information Administrator or a Registered Health Information Technician. It may also help to find work in a health care setting during the education process to build practical work experience.

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Full Answer

Health information management involves tracking and maintaining patient data through an electronic system, which replaces the traditional paper filing methods and allows for an immediate flow of information within a health care facility. A career in the field typically requires an associates or bachelor's degree from an institution with accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. This includes training in information technology to cover the use of the data management programs and the methods for ensuring data security as well as health care courses to explain the needs of doctors and nurses and create familiarity with operational structures.

Some students in the field may benefit from working in a hospital or other health care facility while working on the degree to learn how such an environment functions. Many facilities employ data entry workers or customer service representatives that do not have specific medical training and still provide practical work experience. After graduating, students need to earn certification as a manager or agent in health information to verify knowledge of the field.

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