Why choose a career in health information?
1. Versatile Education
By studying health information, students will acquire a versatile yet focused skill set incorporating clinical, information technology, leadership, and management skills. Health information professionals use their knowledge of information technology and records management to form the link between clinicians, administrators, technology designers, and information technology professionals. Health information programs incorporate the disciplines of medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one curriculum. Because of this unique mixture, health information graduates can choose from a variety of work settings across an array of healthcare environments.
2. Dynamic Career Opportunities
Constantly evolving regulations and technologies allow for lifelong learning and continued professional development. As healthcare advances, health information provides the patient data needed to successfully navigate the changes. As a result, health information professionals can expect to be in high demand as the health sector continues to expand. Demand is on the rise at all levels of education and credentialing. There are approximately 12,000 to 50,000 new jobs anticipated by 2017, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites medical records and health information technicians as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US. HIM was even named the #4 top major in a recent US News and World Report article.
On top of strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await graduates. More than half of new health information graduates with bachelor's degrees start with salaries in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. By five years out, one can earn upwards of $50,000 to $75,000 annually. Most new health information graduates with associate's degrees jump right in and earn $20,000 to $30,000 annually. These figures are just averages—many professionals report higher salaries.
Health information encompasses a wide range of job functions and settings. Among these are medical records management, privacy officer, risk management, medical coding, corporate compliance, and data analysis and reporting.
Industries with an increased demand for health information professionals include academic institutions, consulting agencies, government agencies, and healthcare software companies. As health information technology (HIT) becomes more prevalent, health information practitioners will continue to be critical components of the electronic health record (EHR) workforce. According to the US Department of Labor, HIT will grow to encompass new support positions, including mobile support adoption positions, public health informatics, implementation support specialists, and information management redesign specialists.