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Clinical Documentation Certification and Certificate Program Info

A post-baccalaureate health information management certificate program can provide students with the advanced knowledge of coding, billing and classification systems needed to earn a position as a clinical documentation specialist.

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Essential Information

Post-baccalaureate health information management certificate programs are offered primarily through four-year universities. The programs help students gain an understanding of how medical information is recorded and shared within healthcare facilities. Such programs also focus on the management and improvement of health information documentation.


Post-Bachelor's Certificate Programs in Health Information Management

Before joining a post-bachelor's certificate program in health information management, students need to have a bachelor's degree with completed courses in anatomy, medical terminology and healthcare research. Certificate programs in health information management may last three semesters and are readily available online. Some examples of certificate program coursework includes:

  • Introduction to the healthcare system
  • Coding and classification
  • Health informatics
  • Healthcare documentation
  • Billing and reimbursement systems
  • Medical information management

Popular Career Options

Clinical documentation improvement specialists can come from several different professional backgrounds in the healthcare field and can work in several various locations. Some employers for clinical documentation specialists include:

  • Physicians' offices
  • General hospitals
  • Community health clinics
  • Long-term care facilities

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects faster-than-average growth of 15% for medical records and health information technicians over the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com reported in January 2016 that clinical documentation specialists earned a median annual wage of $66,229. The BLS also expects faster-than-average growth of 17% for medical and health services managers, including health information managers, from 2014-2024. The median annual wage for a health information manager was $51,354 in January 2016, according to PayScale.com.

Certification Options

The Association for Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists offers certification for professionals in the field. There are four different academic and professional routes available for professionals seeking certification, but all require professionals to have at least one year of experience acting as a clinical documentation specialist. To maintain certification, professionals must reapply every two years.

Post-bachelor's certificate programs in health information management provide clinical documentation specialists with the training they need to understand healthcare documents, code classified information and complete other procedures required for the storing and sharing of healthcare information.

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