Health information management focuses on the managing of information relating
to health care. Students work on their diploma studies the
practices and principles relating to the field. They look at the way doctors and
medical professionals acquire information from their patients, and how to
analyze the information. They also learn about protecting the private
information of all those patients.
There are two types of degrees
available in this field. The first is an Associate’sof
Science degree, typically with a minor in health information management.
Students with this diploma usually continue
their education at a four-year institution, though there are some who work
directly in the field after graduation. The second type of degree is the Bachelor’s
in health information management. Employers prefer students with their
Bachelor’s degree because of their higher level of experience and training.
Those with an Associate’s
degree can still find employment also. A Bachelor’s
degree takes four years to complete, while an Associate’s
degree takes only two years.
There’s a strong rise in the need for
individuals with Health Information Management training. As technology continues
to grow and change, doctors and medical professionals are incorporating those
changes into their office. Patient files were once kept in real files, but now
many hospitals and offices are switching to a computer format. Doctors add notes
about their patients after an appointment and incorporate the new information
into the patient’s file. The protection of this private information is of the
Students who receive a college diploma in health
information management learn practices relating to the protection of this
information. Students learn quite a bit about technology and how it relates to a
medical setting. Students also learn how to organize the information they
receive and search through their records quickly including processing the
information on the computer.
A health information management degree
focuses on all forms of health information, and those that don’t rely on the
computer. The students learn about paper documents, scanned documents, and
handwritten documents. They learn the process of analyzing this data and
incorporating it into the larger records. Another part of this degree focuses on
the ethical standards and legal standards of medical practices. In the working
world, they’re essentially held to the same standards as a practicing physician.
Meaning they can’t discuss the information of a patient or pass along
information to anyone else.
An increasingly large number of students are
now studying this field in an online format. This appears to be the perfect fit
as it gives students immediate experience in computer basics. The advantage to
this type of program is the student sets their schedule and works when time
permits. There’s no need to sit in a traditional classroom setting.
There are now twelve schools in the US offering Master’s
degree programs in the field. Those with an advanced degree earn more than
those with a two or four-year degree. Experts estimate as this field continues
to grow; a Master’s
degree may be the main requirement for entry level workers.