Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles. They 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 pointin the healthcare delivery cycle. Having skilled HIM professionals on staff ensures that 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.
Constantly evolving regulations and technologies result in a need for lifelong learning and continued professional development. As healthcare advances, health information provides the patient data needed to successfully navigate the changes. As a result, health information professionals can expect to be in high demand as the health sector continues to expand. Demand is on the rise at all levels of education and credentialing. On top of strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await graduates.
Learn about careers in HIM.
A career in HIM may be right for you if you:
see yourself in a career that offers diverse opportunities.
would like to work in healthcare, but not directly with patients.
have an aptitude for science, but also like management, law, and computers.
enjoy working with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives.
want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or some of both.
In December 2012, the Ministry of Health launched the Citizen’s Health Portal, where all citizens have secure and private access to their medical records from public institutions, as well as registration information and relevant healthcare information. HIM professionals will also be key players in ensuring that the system remains secure and reassuring that the public keeps its trust in the system.
Brasil has focused on creating a state-of-the-art electronic health system and national data collection of health information has grown in importance in Brasil over the last decade. The Brasilian Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, has a bold challenge in implementing its CNS project, i.e. the National Health Card. Its goal is to have all its citizens’ records stored in a single national database by the end of 2015.
Initiatives like the National Health Card have encouraged new technologies, competition between organizations, and globalization of activities, and have revealed the need for more professional qualification in healthcare management, specifically in health information management. With further development of HIM/HIT skills in Brasil, the healthcare system can be drastically improved to benefit patient care, reduce costs, and increase access.
Specific training and preparation to face the challenges typical to health information management activity will grow in demand in Brasil. As Brasil’s national eHealth system moves toward free healthcare to citizens under the principles of universality, integrality, and equality, HIM professionals will play an integral part to ensure the efficient management of health information to ensure interoperability and data integrity for the country’s citizens.
As health information technology (HIT) becomes more prevalent, health information practitioners will continue to be critical components of the electronic health record (EHR) workforce.
Across the world, health care systems are recognizing the need for innovation and health data management to make the most of their systems. Industries with an increased demand for health information professionals include academic institutions, consulting agencies, government agencies, and healthcare software companies. The technology-enabled, transforming health care system is producing an immense volume of information and, more specifically, how to interpret and use that data will be important. Much rides upon its availability, integrity, and confidentiality, which opens up opportunities for new support positions including mobile support adoption positions, public health informatics, implementation support specialists, and information management redesign specialists.
Competencies help HIM programs ensure that HIM students have skills that are appropriately aligned to the needs of the labor market. Professionals in health information management (HIM), industry leaders, and educators develop these maps as a guide to adequately prepare students in HIM. As a result, the curriculum competency maps are built to reflect changes in the workforce. Industry leaders who ensure that their staff meet HIM competencies understand that these competencies:
Build a strong, dedicated team that is committed to high standards of care and quality
Promote ongoing enhancement of knowledge and skills
Improve the quality of information and care
Minimize errors and reduce exposure to fraud and abuse charges
Increase efficiency and reduce cost
AHIMA certification represents a high level of achievement, proving that individuals have demonstrated proficiency in these competencies and have a broad base of knowledge. AHIMA certified professionals pass a rigorous exam and commit to ongoing professional development and recertification. When a person becomes AHIMA-certified, it reflects a deep personal commitment and sense of accountability, inspiring credibility and confidence in an individual's professional knowledge.
AHIMA recently renewed the competency maps for students in the United States. And while there are currently no competency maps for international students, AHIMA is working with the GHWC as they oversee building on the AHIMA Foundation’s curricula competency, adding other countries curricula models, releasing a draft for public comment, editing to include the comments, and then releasing a final version at the end of the year. Programs are encouraged to begin self assessing their curriculum using these documents to align with industry and workforce needs. http://www.ahimafoundation.org/education/curricula.aspx
The competency development is a complex process based on a system model of Input -> Process -> Output -> Feedback. The curriculum development process is an example of the sources of input, how the input was processed and transformed into the new curriculum maps and how feedback was demonstrated through the steps taken to vet the outcomes.
Many students from Brazil are among the 600,000 international students who study in the United States, often through an educational exchange program. Attending one of the more than 4,200 accredited post-secondary institutions in the United States may help to advance career opportunities and provide experience for future employment.
Over 300 academic institutions in the United States offer programs in health information management (HIM), health informatics (HI), and health information technology (HIT). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HIM is one of the 15 fastest growing occupations in the U.S., and employment in the field is expected to increase by 22 percent through 2022.
It is anticipated that the need for skilled health information professionals will continue to increase worldwide. Healthcare spending in Brazil is expected to increase annually by an average of 6.8 percent between 2013 and 2017. To meet the needs of this growing healthcare sector, highly-skilled HIM/HI/HIT professionals are needed.
Studying HIM, HI, and HIT technology offers students the opportunity to explore these exciting fields and be a part of the healthcare team. HIM/HI/HIT professionals play a critical role in ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare by maintaining, collecting and analyzing the data that doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers rely on. Job opportunities for HIM/HI/HIT professionals exist throughout the healthcare industry- from hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities to insurance companies, government agencies, and software and pharmaceutical companies.
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Studying in the U.S.
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