Health Information 101
Health information professionals care for patients by caring for their medical data. They ensure that all of a patient’s health information is complete, accurate, and protected, yet readily available for healthcare providers when needed. There are three professional and academic areas of health information that you can learn about below: Health Information Management, Health Information Technology, and Health Informatics.
What is Health Information Management?
Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care.
Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles. They often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions. These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touchpoint in the healthcare delivery cycle. Having skilled HIM professionals on staff ensures an organization has the right information on hand when and where it is needed while maintaining the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality, and security.
HIM professionals are highly trained in the latest information management technology applications and understand the workflow in any healthcare provider organization from large hospital systems to the private physician practice. They are vital to the daily operations management of health information and electronic health records.
A career in HIM is right for you if you:
- See yourself in a career that offers diverse opportunities.
- Would like to work in health care, but not directly with patients.
- Have an aptitude for science, but also like management, law, and computers.
- Enjoy working with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives.
- Want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or some of both.
HIM programs incorporate the disciplines of medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one curriculum. Because of this unique mixture, HIM graduates can choose from a variety of work settings across an array of healthcare environments.
What is Health Information Technology?
Health information technology refers to the framework used to manage health information, and the exchange of health information in a digital format. Professionals who work in health IT are focused on the technical side of managing health information, working with software and hardware used to manage and store patient data. HIT professionals are usually from Information Technology backgrounds, and provide support for electronic health records and other systems HIM professionals use to secure health information.