Health Information Management

Health information professionals help patients through caring for medical data. These working professionals make sure a patient’s health information is accurate and complete. They maintain patient records in the strictest of all confidences making sure these records remain securely protected. However, information is readily available for healthcare providers when called upon. There are three distinct career-oriented areas concerning health information all professionals seeking careers in this field should examine that include health information management, health information technology and health informatics.

What is Health Information Management?
Health information management (HIM) activity focuses upon acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information. This activity is essential for proper quality patient care. Health information management professionals can be found in a vast array of work settings acting under several distinct titles. Protection – as well as access – to patient health information needs to be present at each and every point in the delivery cycle. Healthcare providers need information specialists to make sure the organization has the correct patient information readily accessible. These professional managers must maintain records according to the highest standards protecting data integrity, patient confidentiality and storage security.

What is Health Information Technology?
Information technology is a crucial element involving the management of health data, specifically in today’s high-tech digital format exchange and storage systems. Professionals working in healthcare IT focus strictly on the technical aspects concerning information management. These are the pros working with both new and innovative hardware and software employed to manage and store patient health information. Typically, individuals entering this area of health information management have formidable IT backgrounds. Advance education opportunities allow these professionals to focus upon specific knowledge and skill acquirement dedicated toward providing support for computer-based health record management as well as other systems designed to aid the working medical café provider.

What is Health Informatics?
Health Informatics defines just how patient information is technically received, stored, transmitted and used. The focus is upon care provider information systems, its operating principles and the technology involved in every day delivery application. This is an integrated discipline. Elements of management – science, engineering principals, service delivery, public health principles, safety, information science and computer technology are involved. Informatics is an area in healthcare information management that offers a variety of different options when it is applied to whether a medical practice or research activity.

Where Do Opportunities Exist?
Opportunities exist in four major research areas where professionals can gain career rewards including:
• Medical Bio – A physician-based research focus that attracts medical students to this field
• Nursing – RN-based clinical and research focused that attracts nursing school graduates
• Public Health – Various scenarios involving the monitoring, research reporting and managing of public-related health issues that attract student graduates in public health administration
• Application Informatics – This is the field of endeavor where professionals focus on the flow of information in a digital environment. These professionals deal with processes, policies and the technology needed to arrive at information management solutions

What Makes a Health Information Management Career a Good Choice?
A Health Information management professional is highly trained keeping current with the latest technology applications, policies and procedures affecting healthcare provider workflow. Careers are available in small medical practices all the way through to large hospital systems with many locations. Health information management professionals perform vitally essential operations needed to be executed in the daily healthcare provider environment. A career in this exciting, sought-after profession may just fit the bill if:

• Individual can view participation in an extremely diverse career with extensive opportunities
• Like healthcare working environment without patient contact
• Comfortable with areas such as science, law, management as well as computer technology
• Enjoy a thoroughly professional landscape working with nurses, physicians, administrators, lawyers and healthcare executives
• Looking for a career presenting many non-supervised settings or possibly becoming a team leader

An exciting and challenging career in health information management awaits the individual willing to gain the specific education leading to great personal and professional rewards in this very sought-after profession.