Are you interested in becoming a health information manager? If you would like to enter a growing field that is predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 22%, the very first step is to learn what steps you must take to pursue the title. While there are a number of different paths that you can take to become a manager within the Health Informatics specialty, taking the most direct path is ideal for most. The right combination of training and professional experience will make you the perfect candidate for health information management, one of the up and coming specializations in the healthcare administration field.
Earning Your Degree From an Accredited University
A health information manager will supervise billing and coding staff, information systems, and IT departments in various types of medical facilities. Because professionals will need an in-depth knowledge of technical systems and legislation, earning a degree within Health Information Technology or a similar major is a requirement. Typically, individuals will start by earning a Bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration, Public Health, Health Services, or Healthcare Management. Once they have completed their undergraduate studies, they will move on to earning an advanced degree with a specialization in Health Informatics. It is not uncommon for Bachelor's degree holders to pursue an MBA in Health Informatics to fulfill certification requirements.
Becoming Registered through the Proper Associations
Once you earn your degree, the next step is to become a registered professional through the American Health Information Management Association. This association registers both technicians and administration professionals within healthcare information positions. Typically, a 4-year degree will fulfill the Registered Health Information Administration requirements. In some cases, you may have to complete additional credits before you will be eligible for the RHIA. Some professionals that are employed in smaller facilities may be qualified to work as a Health Information Manager by only earning their Registered Health Information Technician certification. You will need to check the requirements in the setting that you would like to work in, along with the average salaries reported in your region to decide which path is best for you.
Professional Work Experience Required
Once you earn your degree and you have become a RHIA or a RHIT, the next step is to gain professional work experience within the field. Most Health Information Managers have worked in the health setting at some level for several years. The more educational credentials that you have, the less professional experience that you will need to advance. After spending 4 to 6 years in school, expect to gain experience as an RHIT for at least 2 to 3 years before you can take advantage of opportunities for advancement. A majority of administrators in health information will work as health information technicians at some level before being promoted.
Job outlook within the health industry in on the rise, and as information systems advance, the need for health information specialists will continue to grow. If you have strong computer skills and management skills, use these skills to your advantage and pursue a career in health information or informatics. Review all of the different degrees that will prepare you for your certification, become registered, and then after you have the professional experience you can start competing for open health information manager positions in many different settings.