What Degree Programs Are Available in Health Care Data Management?

Health care data management programs are available at associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Associate's degree programs allow graduates to work in positions that stress computer use, data capture and interpersonal communication in the health care environment. Advanced degrees can lead to management or supervisory positions. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Skills and Job Responsibilities of Health Care Data Managers

Health care data managers are tasked with keeping and organizing all patient records in electronic files that are whole, accessible, reliable and secure. They must be proficient in health-related sciences as well as information technology. Furthermore, they must often work with physicians, patients and office personnel to ensure that all administrative steps are met throughout the process of health care data management. Communication and interpersonal skills are essential. There are varying levels of positions available in the health care data management field, from technician to manager or director. Students interested in one of these roles should carefully examine which degree program can best help their career goals.

Important Facts About Degree Programs in Health Care Data Management

Online Availability Fully online options available at undergraduate and graduate levels
Common CoursesData security and privacy, health care total quality management, health care financial management, health care statistics and research, and management of health information functions and services
Possible CareersMedical and health service manager, database administrator, medical records and health information technician, medical coder
Continuing EducationRequired for professional certifications, such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential

Health Care Data Management Degree Programs

Health care data managers may hold associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees related to health care and computer science; however, many hospitals and doctors' offices will require candidates to possess at least four years of formal education on top of minimal experience. Doctorate degrees are also available, but this is not the common level of education for health care data managers. Those with a doctorate in health care data management may seek research, consultant, academic or advisory administrative positions.

Associate of Science in Health Information Management

A 2-year associate's degree in health information management introduces students to the functions performed by health care data management technicians and the technology required to successfully accomplish the duties. Those who complete this degree program are qualified for entry-level positions in medical offices. They may oversee patient communications, billing, records and insurance functions under the supervision of senior staff. With experience and training, they may be eligible to accept more health care data management responsibilities.

Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

The curriculum within a baccalaureate program for health care data management teaches students to apply principles of problem solving and critical thinking to the health care field. Courses provide advanced training in data storage and retrieval, computer science, information technology, allied health sciences and business proficiency. Specific, contemporary software related to the field may be featured. Bachelor's degrees consist of a core curriculum of health care data management supplemented by general education courses and electives. This may be offered as an interdisciplinary degree program hosted or supported by one or more schools or colleges within a university; it may also be offered as a specialty or concentration within a broader health care or science degree.

Master of Health Informatics and Information Management (MHIIM)

The primary focus of master's degree programs in health information technology is to improve patient health via careful management of information throughout the continuum of patient care. Students learn to conduct research on emerging technologies and remain current in the field to best store and protect patient records. An understanding of current trends in the medical field, existing database structures and legal regulations is paramount. Graduates may be eligible for senior-level positions, such as department head, program managers, research consultants and security specialists. They may also be eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam issues by the American Health Information Management Association. Online options for this degree level are available for working professionals.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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