Certified Health Data Analyst Certification and Career Facts

Find out what education and experience you need to earn the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) designation. See what the certification exam covers, and learn how this professional certification can help you advance in your career. Schools offering Computer Support Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

The CHDA credential can be beneficial for clinical analyst, data abstractor or healthcare information technician positions. Qualifying for the exam requires you to complete a bachelor's degree as well as some amount of work experience. There are classes available to help you prepare for the exam itself, and you are allowed to re-take it if you need to.

Online Training for the test is available online
Programs AHIMA offers preparatory programs
Courses Data management, data analytics and reporting

How Can I Become Eligible for the Certified Health Data Analyst Credential?

In order to sit for the advanced CHDA certification exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), you must have some combination of education and professional work experience. You'll need a bachelor's degree to qualify for any certification test available through the organization (www.ahima.org). Earning AHIMA's basic Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification necessitates gaining one year of experience before testing for the CHDA credential. Without the RHIA certification, you'll need five years' experience in the field to qualify for the test.

What Topics Does the Certification Exam Cover?

On the exam, you'll encounter over 150 multiple-choice questions covering three areas, including data management, data analytics and reporting. The exam is timed, and you can retake it after 91 days if you don't pass. Questions involve a wide range of healthcare- and data-related topics, including the following:

  • Database platforms and query languages
  • Reference and terminology systems
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Data collecting
  • Healthcare reimbursement methods

What Classes Can I Take to Prepare?

If you want more preparation beyond career or college experience, AHIMA offers three online courses for test-takers covering each testing area. You'll have access to course materials for an 8-week period, though you can study at your own pace during that time. Members of AHIMA receive discounted pricing for online courses. They include topics in the following areas:

  • Data model evaluation
  • Analysis methods
  • Data presentation

Does the CHDA Certification Help Me in Other Healthcare Careers?

After certification, you might also qualify for variety of high-level healthcare information positions that include data collection from patients or insurers, implementation of collection models and database design.

The CHDA is considered an advanced credential, and hospitals or healthcare organizations don't usually require it for employment. However, you may be able to use the designation for professional recognition or career advancement, possibly leading to a position as a healthcare information manager.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information and medical records technicians made a median annual salary of $39,180 as of May 2017, while medical and health services managers, including health information managers, earned $98,350 annually. The job growth for technicians was expected to be faster than average at 13% between 2016-2026, while managers were projected to see even faster growth of 20% across that decade.

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