Health Information Management Profession

Description of the Profession 

Health Information Management (HIM) professional are a vital component of every medical setting. You will find them in hospitals, office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, public health agencies, as well as other organizations that use patient data or health information such as pharmaceutical companies, law firms, insurance companies or health product vendors.

As an HIM professional, you will be responsible for assuring that the health information is complete, accurate, and protected so that the data can be reported to insurance companies, government agencies, other third party reimbursement agencies, the patient, the provider, and for research and quality monitoring.  

Skills needed to work as a Health Information Management professional include: attention to detail, analytical skills, communication and teamwork, technical skills, problem solving, and the ability to work under pressure and observe deadlines. 

Dynamic Career Opportunities

Careers in health information management can expect to be in high demand as the healthcare industry continues to expand.

Possibilities with a career in HIM include the following:

  • Admitting/Patient Intake
  • Auditing
  • Case Mix Management
  • Clinical Documentation Improvement
  • Coding – Inpatient
  • Coding – Outpatient
  • Coding – Physician Services
  • Coding – Post Acute
  • Compliance
  • Customer Service
  • Data Analysis and Reporting
  • Data Collection
  • Database Management
  • Education
  • Electronic Health Record
  • Health IT
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Medical Billing
  • Medical Records Technician
  • Patient Accounts
  • Privacy Officer
  • Reimbursement
  • Release of Information
  • Revenue Cycle Management


Typical Duties 

Possible Duties depending on the career choice in HIM:

  • Patient admissions/registration and appointment scheduling
  • Analyzing information within the electronic health record.
  • Reviewing patient records to assess appropriateness of the level of care and medical necessity of treatment according to established standards by private and federal insurance regulations.
  • Implementing and maintaining an electronic health record within a healthcare organization.
  • Troubleshooting issues within the electronic health record.
  • Analyzing patient health care data for completeness and accuracy.
  • Responding to requests for specific patient information from attorneys, insurance companies, patients, physicians and other healthcare organizations.
  • Assure compliance of health records at state and federal regulation levels.
  • Coding and classifying inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and procedures for reimbursement and other data-reporting needs.
  • Auditing of medical coding and billing.
  • Abstracting outcome data for assessment of quality of care and preparing reports for medical staff and managed care opportunities.


Performance Standards 

The Health Information Management professional must have sufficient strength, motor coordination and manual dexterity to:

  • Sit for long periods of time at a computer workstation abstracting patient data into a computer database.
  • Sit for long periods of time at a computer workstation word-processing physician-dictated reports.

The Health Information Management professional must have the mental and intellectual capacity to:

  • Fully comprehend the responsibility for maintaining absolute patient confidentiality
  • Focus and concentrate on analyzing details in a fast-paced, multi-tasked environment.
  • Handle stressful situations related to patient, physician, or outside agency requests for information and clearly interpret procedural and regulatory standards.
  • Communicate verbally in an effective manner with physician, nursing and other administrative reviewers.
  • Be organized and efficient
  • Review and evaluate statistical data accurately for appropriate and pertinent quality of care

Professional Practice Experience Requirements

  • Current health physical with up to date immunization records. 
  • Complete background check – completed by college approved company.
  • Working on site at a healthcare organization under direct supervision of a Health Information Management professional. 


Health Requirements

Each allied health student must have an insurance plan to cover any injury or illness requiring hospital treatment or surgery. In addition, all students are required to submit evidence of good health through a physical examination and immunization form prior to registering for Practicum I.