A medical records director oversees the clinical, coding, data filing and financial aspects of a healthcare facility. Undergraduate and graduate programs in healthcare or medical administration, along with significant healthcare experience, can help students prepare for the profession.
10 Schools with Medical Information Management Programs
The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer medical information management or health administration programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2015-2016)|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state Graduate $20,638; Out-of-state Graduate $41,688|
|University of Alabama - Birmingham||Birmingham, AL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state Undergraduate $7,766; Out-of-state Undergraduate $17,654|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state Undergraduate $13,790; Out-of-state Undergraduate $22,210; In-state Graduate $15,844; Out-of-state Graduate $24,508|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||In-state Graduate $10,710; Out-of-state Graduate $21,933|
|Rush University||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private||Master's||Graduate $32,608|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state Undergraduate $8,591; Out-of-state Undergraduate $33,673; In-state Graduate $9,143; Out-of-state Graduate $26,354|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||Graduate $48,710|
|Saint Louis University||Saint Louis, MO||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||Undergraduate $39,226|
|Baylor University||Waco, TX||4-year, Private||Master's||Graduate $27,270|
|Ohio State University||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state Undergraduate $10,037; Out-of-state Undergraduate $27,365|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
How to Select a Medical Records Director School
A listing of accredited undergraduate and graduate programs in healthcare and medical administration can be found on the official CAHIIM website. Some important things to consider when selecting a school include:
- Students should look for programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Completion of such a program is a requirement for Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification.
- While associate's degrees are available, students should be aware that a bachelor's degree is the common minimum education requirement for healthcare administrator roles in general.
- Employed students may want to consider online or hybrid programs, which could offer greater scheduling flexibility.
- The responsibilities of a medical records director are diverse, and students are encouraged to review the course offerings of all prospective programs to ensure that the curriculum covers substantial medical management topics.
Associate degree programs are typically designed to qualify students to become certified as RHITs, which can lead to employment as medical records directors. Internships are commonly required in these programs.
A bachelor's degree program in health information management is commonly the preferred level of education for medical record director positions. Several hundred hours of professional experiences in multiple clinical settings may be required.
Certificate programs for aspiring medical records directors may be completed in two years, are commonly designed as post-baccalaureate opportunities and when properly accredited by the CAHIIM, can qualify students to become RHIAs.
Accredited master's degree programs for medical records directors can commonly be completed in two years and may appeal to students who already hold a bachelor's degree but cannot yet earn RHIA certification. Research opportunities and internships may be required, as well as a master's thesis or capstone project.
The most important consideration when selecting a healthcare or medical administration program is to ensure it's accredited by the CAHIIM. Although some institutions offer associate's degrees, most aspiring medical records directors hold a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree.