Is a Health Information Management Degree Right for You?

A bachelor’s degree in health information management is often a step forward for those working in the health information management field as registered health information technologists. It provides the necessary coursework to become experts in managing patient health information and medical records.

The degree can also provide professionals with the knowledge in business, technology, and health as they study topics in clinical care, data management and informatics, information technology, and management. Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow considerably in the next five to ten years, making health information management a promising degree for students looking for earning potential and job security.

Advice for Earning Your Health Information Management Degree Online

Depending on the school, an online health information management degree may be offered as its own degree or as a specialization within a bachelor’s degree program such as technical management, information technology, or a healthcare focused degree. Additionally, programs may be geared towards students who already have experience in the field of health information.

For example, applicants may need to already have their associate degree in health information technology or have an active Registered Health Information Technician certification. The best online bachelors degree programs would have specialized accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, which accredits both online and on-campus programs.

Required Courses

Online Health Information Management degree focuses on the business of healthcare, organizational management, and information technology topics. In a four-year bachelor’s degree program, general education courses will also be included. Required coursework might include the following:

  • Health Information and the Healthcare System
  • Classification Systems
  • Systems Analysis
  • Cancer Registry Theory
  • Electronic Health Records

Common Career Paths

Some potential careers for those with a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management include:

Health Information System Manager

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $98,080

Health information system managers oversee the maintenance and security of patient records. They make sure that databases containing patient information are up-to-date and complete. A bachelor’s degree would help provide the basics for managing healthcare data, but because information technology constantly evolves and laws on health information systems may change, these managers must stay on top of these developments.

Health services managers need at least a bachelor’s degree. However, master’s degrees in areas such as health services or public administration are becoming common. The above salary and employment growth figures were gathered from the BLS, and represent average incomes.

Nursing Home Administrator

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $98,080

Nursing home administrators manage patient care for residents of nursing homes. They may oversee the admissions, finances, staff, and state of the building in addition to the care of the residents. Unlike other positions in medical and health services management, nursing home administrators must be licensed. Exact licensing requirements vary by state, though typically entail holding at least a bachelor’s degree, passing a licensing exam, and completing a state-approved training program. Those looking to enter this specialty field may need to continue their education beyond a bachelor’s degree. The above salary and employment growth figures were gathered from the BLS, and represent average incomes.

Clinical Managers

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $98,080

Clinical managers can be found in a number of different health care areas, such as surgery, nursing, or physical therapy. Their exact duties will be depend on that specialty, though a bachelor’s degree in health information management would prepare them to perform staff evaluations, develop reports and budgets, and determine and manage policies and procedures. Those looking to advance in the field may benefit from a master’s degree in health services administration or a related field. Figures above were provided by the BLS.

Management Analysts

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $91,345

Management analysts consult businesses and companies on how to function in more efficient and profitable ways. With a bachelor’s degree in health information management, management analysts can evaluate a hospital’s information systems for improvements and upgrades as well as how to integrate the information system into the hospital’s overall operations. Management analysts may be employed by an organization or they may work on a contract basis. Figures above were provided by the BLS.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

  • Expected Growth: 18%
  • Average Annual Salary: $118,910

With their management expertise and knowledge of health information technology, some health information technology graduates can become IT managers. These professionals oversee IT staff, implement new systems, delegate tasks, and evaluate improvements to systems, security, and network configurations. The job required knowledge of the healthcare facility operations, business IT infrastructure, and management strategies, all of which can be learned in a health information management bachelor’s degree program. Figures above were provided by the BLS.


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