How to Get Into Health Information Management: Your Complete Guide As a new occupation, health information management combines three fields – IT, science, and business. The rise of electronic health records has seen the importance of protecting a patient’s data from cybercriminals. Apart from data security, health informatics experts have a role in designing and managing computer systems. Interested in a Health Information Management career? Keep reading our complete guide to getting into health information management. Step One – Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree Enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management degree to fast track your career to health informatics. The degree program takes four years and some of the classes you will undertake include: Human Resources in healthcare Project management in health information management Automation of health information among others You will also have to complete research projects and even a practicum. Before getting started, it is wise to ensure that the degree program is accredited. Step Two – Get Your Certification While getting a certification is not a requirement for health information management jobs, having one helps you to stand out. With a certification, you improve your earning potential and career advancement. There are a few types of certifications for those interested in this career. They are: Registered Health information technician Registered health information administrator Certified Coding Specialist Certified Coding Specialist Physician To obtain any of the certification’s above, graduates have to submit an application to AHIMA. The candidate has to apply for exams through PearsonVUE. After the exams, results are normally listed on AHIMA’s website. Step Three – Job Searching There are several C-level roles that are perfect for a graduate with a Bachelor’s degrees. These positions vary with organizations and they include: Chief privacy officer Data quality manager Electronic health records coordinator/analyst Quality and performance improvement abstractor Director of health information management Health information management specialist Once you determine which specific job you are interested in, you can plan your next step. Networking is very crucial in any job search. As a powerful tool, it can help you land your first job. Start by notifying friends and professionals in the HIM industry. You can also check the student’s college career office and the internet for job listings. If you don’t have any contacts in the HIM industry, try volunteerism. While there is no monetary compensation, you get to build your skills and experience. Just so you know, the average health information management salary is $56,343. Step Four – Obtain Your Master’s Degree Want to advance your career in health informatics? Obtain a master’s degree. To get one, have experience in health care and a bachelor’s degree related to HIM. Classes at the master’s level include: IT management ethics Legal issues in Health Information Technology and systems Healthcare Data Analytics among others A final project is part of the program as well as a graduate seminar. Once you get your master’s degree, more opportunities will be open to you. How to Further Your Career in Health Information Management To further your career in Health Information Management, find a mentor. Not only will he or she help you develop professionally but he will challenge you. Remember, you are not constrained to one mentor. Want to kick start your career in Health Information Management? We at Parker University can help. Contact us today and, have your questions answered.