If you have an interest in healthcare and information technology, health information management (HIM) may be the right career choice for you. As one of the fastest growing occupations in one of the fastest growing industries, a HIM career places you right where the expanding arena of healthcare meets the cutting edge of technology.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor "Employment is expected to grow faster than average. Job prospects should be very good; technicians with a strong background in medical coding will be in particularly high demand." With the increased thrust of an interoperable electronic health record and health information exchange, more and more opportunities will arise for HIM professionals with a wide variety of specialties.
What is Health Information Management?
HIM professionals play a critical role in maintaining, collecting and analyzing the data that doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers rely on to deliver quality healthcare. They are experts in managing patient health information and medical records, administering computer information, including the Electronic Health Record.
Some health information technicians specialize in coding patients' medical information for insurance purposes. These technicians assign a code to each diagnosis and procedure, relying on their knowledge of disease processes and coding guidelines.
HIM professionals work in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry including hospitals, physician offices and clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance companies, government agencies and home care provider agencies.
Credentials for the HIT AAS Degree
Most employers prefer to hire Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT), who must pass a written examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To take the examination, a person must graduate from a 2-year associate degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
The Burlington County College Health Information Technology program has a 96% pass rate on the exam since the year 2000 for first time test takers.
What is Medical Coding?
Medical Coding is the use of numbers or alphanumeric codes to identify specific health interventions taken by medical professionals. Over the past few years, the medical field has undergone tremendous changes in the way medical claims need to be submitted. Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations because of its impact on revenues and description of health outcomes. Earning a nationally recognized coding credential from AHIMA or AAPC demonstrates one’s ability to meet this challenge.
Credentials for the Medical Coding Certificate Program
The Coding Certificate Program prepares individuals for the CCS, Certified Coding Specialist credential exam offered by AHIMA or the CPC, Certified Professional Coder credential exam offered by AAPC.
What is an Electronic Health Record?
According to the Health Information Management System Society, (HIMSS), an electronic health record (EHR) is a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. The EHR automates and streamlines the clinician’s workflow. The EHR has the ability to generate a complete record of a clinical patient encounter - as well as supporting other care-related activities directly or indirectly via interface, including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.
Credentials for the Electronic Health Record Program
The Health Information Technology Professional (HIT Pro) examination assesses basic competency of individuals who are seeking to demonstrate their proficiency in certain health IT workforce roles integral to the implementation and management of electronic health information. Burlington County College’s Electronic Health Record Certificate program helps prepare students to sit for the following HIT Pro examinations:
- HIT Pro Clinician/Practitioner Consultant: HIT Pro-CP credential *
- HIT Pro Implementation Manager: HIT Pro-IM credential
- HIT Pro Trainer: HIT Pro TR credential
*Suggested for individuals with a clinical license or public health professional
The HIT Pro is the exam of the Workforce Development program sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Additional details regarding the exams can be found at: