Online Health Information Management Schools and Classes
An increasing number of health records are managed electronically, which has led to a need for health information managers. Get information about degree and class options along with certifications.
What You Need to Know
Several options exist to pursue education in health information management online, from associate's degree programs to bachelor's and master's degrees in the field. If you have your degree or once you obtain it, you can then get certified through the American Health Information Management Association.
|Online||Many choices available online|
|Programs||Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees|
|Courses||Statistics, accounting, natural science, medical terminology, human anatomy, medical data collection and storage, electronic medical records, medical coding, law and ethics, health information systems development, management and security|
What Should I Look for in a Health Information Management School?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the number of health information management (HIM) jobs is expected to rise faster than average from 2016 through 2026. A variety of undergraduate and graduate programs are available to accommodate this rapid growth. Online bachelor's and master's degree programs in HIM are available if you're currently employed in the field or if you're an information technology professional preparing for a consulting position in the HIM industry. If you're just starting out, an associate degree in health information management will qualify you for entry-level positions.
Make sure that the school or degree program you are considering is recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (www.cahiim.org) or you won't be eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator certification exam. While you may take all of your coursework online, most programs require a practicum or internship for completion. For this reason, you might consider whether the timing and location of the fieldwork component suits your schedule and travel budget.
Which Schools Offer Online Health Information Management Programs?
Various colleges and universities throughout the U.S. offer online health information management degree programs. With so many online schools to choose from, you can find a program that fits your schedule and budget. Some schools offering these programs include:
- Herzing University (Associate's)
- University of Cincinnati (Bachelor's)
- Purdue University (Bachelor's)
- Indiana University (Bachelor's)
- Texas State University (Master's)
What Classes Are in an Online Degree Program?
As an undergraduate, you will receive a strong background in computers, math - especially statistics and accounting - and natural science in order to gain the skills necessary for entry-level work. You will also need to become versed in medical terminology and human anatomy. Associate'sf and bachelor's degree programs focus on:
- Medical terminology
- Computer systems for health care
- Electronic medical records
- Medical coding for diagnosis and procedures
- Medical service coding
- Medical finance and accounting
- Reimbursement management for health care
- Fundamentals of health information management
- Health law and ethics
You may elect to pursue a graduate degree in information technology with a specialization in health information management if you're an IT consultant or HIM professional with a strong technical background. Master's degree programs in health informatics are becoming more relevant with increasing privacy regulations on electronic data storage. Coursework covers such topics as:
- Development of health information databases
- Health informatics
- Information assurance
- Data analytics
- Health information system security
Will I Need to Become Certified?
Once you've completed an accredited bachelor's or master's degree program, you can take the Registered Health Information Administrator certification exam given by the American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org). While certification is voluntary, it increases your chances of being hired and promoted because it demonstrates that you possess the level of knowledge prescribed by national education standards. Certification also represents your professional commitment since you must keep current with technological advances in order to be re-certified.