Health information managers are responsible for the security of patient information as it transfers between health care facilities. They keep up with current trends in technology as well as the latest regulations regarding record keeping in health care, ensuring patient records stay updated, easily accessible and confidential.
Health information managers may oversee a staff of technicians and work closely with physicians. Responsibilities will vary somewhat, depending on the size of the facility. Health information managers can work in a variety of venues, including:
Health information managers must have a broad knowledge of diseases and medical procedures, as well as experience with information technology. Management skills are also essential in this field.
The majority of positions within the health information field require at least a bachelor’s degree for entry-level work and a master’s degree to advance. Smaller doctor’s offices may hire a health information manager without these educational requirements if previous work experience is sufficient. However, most entry-level positions require a four-year degree in health services administration from an accredited program.
Master’s programs can be applied for with a liberal arts degree that is not necessarily related to health information systems. The competition for graduate programs is fierce, and applicants will be expected to have a higher-than-average grade-point average to qualify for the majority of programs. Graduate programs often take two to three years to complete, with one year spent in clinical coursework and supervised administrative experience.
The job of a health information manager is a diverse one that requires communication with many different types of professionals on a daily basis. It is also important to keep up on current trends in the technology industry and remain up to date on latest legislation regarding patient confidentiality. Other duties of the health information manager might include:
In addition, a health information manager will need interpersonal skills to relate to many different types of professionals. If managing a staff of technicians for a larger office, the candidate will also require positive leadership and management abilities. Some business and technology background is also essential for success in this position, as well as a broad knowledge of medical conditions and treatments.
According to records at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a health information manager is around $78,000. This figure can vary greatly depending on the area of the country and the size and type of medical office. This industry is expected to grow more quickly than average, with a 16 percent growth prediction between 2006 and 2016.