HIM Careers

The health information management (HIM) profession combines the fields of medicine, management, information systems and technology, finance, and health law. HIM professionals collect, maintain, analyze, and protect personal health information within a variety of settings. Not only has the HIM profession historically been able to weather economic downturns, thousands of new openings are expected to be created by 2014.

President Obama expressed a commitment to allocate billions of dollars over the next five years in health information technology systems capable of providing electronic records for all U.S. residents. According to a CNNMoney.com report, the government estimated approximately 212,000 new jobs could be created for qualified health information technology professionals through this transition period. Refer to the following CNN article for additional information on the President’s plan mentioned briefly here: http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/12/technology/stimulus_health_care.

Career Options

Various career opportunities are available across different work settings, with traditional settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Physician Offices
  • Physician Offices
  • Ambulatory Surgery Centers
  • Behavioral or Mental Health Care
  • Home Health or Hospice

The HIM profession is continually evolving, opening the door for expanding roles. Traditional positions have included coding professionals, health information technicians and specialists, trauma and cancer registrars, compliance officers, information security officers, health information privacy officers, health information managers, and health information directors

A variety of positions is also available within nontraditional settings such as:

  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Software Vendors
  • Public Health Agencies
  • Academic Institutions
  • Consulting Firms
  • Research Companies
  • Insurance Companies
  • Correction Facilities
  • Academic Institutions

Information Technology
Another area within HIM that is rapidly expanding, creating more job opportunities is information technology. As information technology becomes a more significant part of the HIM field, positions are becoming available for information systems analysts, application analysts, terminology analysts, clinical mapping analysts, data analysts, database administrators, as well as other roles within information technology.

Forging the Path to a New Career

Historically, the HIM field has been able to weather economic downturns, and with the demand exceeding the supply of qualified candidates for positions across the country, new positions will likely continue to be available now and upon graduation. However, the path can be forged to gain a step above other candidates upon graduation. Some health care organizations have been hiring students prior to college graduation in entry-level positions, which would provide valuable experience for promotion into higher-level positions once appropriate degrees and credentials have been earned. Weber State University (WSU) in Ogden, Utah offers health information technology and health information administration programs that would allow you to gain a foothold in this thriving industry. Please refer the Academic Programs tab for information on health information technology (HIT) and health information administration (HIA) programs in nearby states.

HIM Careers Links

Please visit the following link for additional information on health information management careers, including an overview of the profession, academic pathways, and profiles of HIM professionals: http://himcareers.ahima.org.

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