Health information management programs at the bachelor's degree level teach students the basics of medical record-keeping through courses in information management technology, medical terminology and privacy laws. For acceptance into a bachelor's degree program, a high school diploma and strong standardized test scores are required.
A master's degree program in health information management focuses on advanced methods of data and information management in the healthcare field. Graduates of these programs can qualify for professional certification in several areas. Program applicants need to hold a bachelor's degree in healthcare information management or information technology. They also submit letters of recommendation and graduate record examination (GRE) scores.
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
A bachelor's degree program in health information management is often an interdisciplinary program, drawing from the subjects of health science, business management and information technology. Students are expected to learn about basic information technology systems and records administration, while at the same time learning about medical terminology, the classification of various illnesses and patient confidentiality guidelines.
While enrolled in a health information management bachelor's program, students will complete courses related to specific record-keeping systems and management principles. Some examples of coursework may include health informatics and pathophysiology in addition to the following:
- Introduction to the healthcare system
- Information systems for the healthcare field
- Analyzing healthcare data
- Management of human resources
- Healthcare coding systems
Master of Science in Health Information Management
It teaches students about new and efficient record-keeping systems, data resources administration methods and up-to-date security systems. Such a degree program is meant for experienced professionals looking to advance in the industry of health information management and those just entering the management field.
The courses found within a graduate degree program in healthcare information management focus on specific management and administration skills, as well as advanced technologies in the field. Some of these courses include statistics and project management in addition to the following:
- Clinical data management
- Principles of quality management
- Financial management
- Healthcare data management and law
- Healthcare information infrastructure
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Medical records and health information technicians work in general medical and surgical hospitals, physicians' offices, outpatient facilities and long-term care facilities. They held 189,930 jobs in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The annual median wage for the profession in that year was $37,110. Aspiring health information managers may consider seeking an additional degree, such as a Master of Science in Health Information Management.
According to the BLS, medical and health services managers in general held 333,000 positions in 2015. While the organization does not report wage distinctions for health information managers specifically, it does report that medical and health service managers made an annual median wage of $94,500 as of May 2015. District of Columbia, New York and Connecticut were a few of the highest-paying states in the field in that year.
Four-year bachelor's programs in health information management cover technology, business and healthcare topics. These programs can prepare students for entry-level health info technician roles. Two-year master's programs in the field are often designed for experienced healthcare professionals.