Health Information Management: Essential Skills for Success!

Every time you visit the hospital for treatment, your information is usually recorded and stored electronically. This information ranges from your symptoms to examination results to treatment, and is normally used to facilitate the provision of quality services to patients. Health information management professionals are the people responsible for collecting and maintaining this information.

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What Is Health Information Management?

Health information management is the collection, analysis and protection of health information, which is useful in the provision of quality service to patients. It brings together business, Information technology, and science. It is a critical component of every healthcare institution.

According to AHIMA, health information management comprises of two major areas; health information technology and health informatics. Health information technology deals with the technical aspect of HIM and focuses on technological infrastructure used in the management of health information. Health informatics on the other hand is a science that deals with data and how it can be utilized in conjunction with information technology and systems to improve healthcare service delivery.

Skills Needed to be successful in the Field of Health Information Management

With a degree in health information management, you could work in any institution providing healthcare services such as hospitals, private health agencies, and nursing homes. However, you need to be duly qualified with a set of skills and a bachelor’s degree to be considered. Good academic credentials will get you to the door, but skills will make you succeed and enable you to ascend the career ladder. Below are some essential skills for success in health information management.

Communication Skills

As a professional in health information management, you’ll interact with different people, departments and information. For this reason, you require excellent verbal and written communication skills to be able to efficient relay information using various platforms like emails and presentations. Since you’ll be managing information and distributing it to different groups of people, it’s important that you do so clearly and in a manner that is easily understandable.

Technological Know-How

Health information management is all about using electronic information systems to store, manage and protect patient’s data. This requires you to be tech-savvy and be able to proficiently use computers and computer applications to handle health information. You should be able to use Excel and other data management software’s that are useful in medical transcription.

Staying up to date on health information technology is also necessary as technology continues to evolve. You should have the ability to quickly learn and adapt to new healthcare management technologies.

Attention to Detail

One of the responsibilities of HIM professional is making sure that health information is accurately and securely documented in a timely manner. This requires attention to detail and thoroughness to avoid errors that may impair the usefulness of the data.

You should be able to comply with set policies and instructions and be able to carry out tasks as required by specific programs. This makes you reliable regardless of the complexity of the information be it simple physical exams or radiology procedures.

Medical Knowledge

Since you’ll be working in a medical setting, you should be well equipped with medical health knowledge. This does not mean you should only have first aid skills, but you need to have an in-depth understanding of medical terminologies, knowledge of different medications, and medical coding skills. This is because you’ll be interacting with very technical language and drugs on a daily basis. Medical coding skills are important in facilitating proper analysis of health information.

Management Skills

Health information managers juggle a variety of tasks ranging from handling departmental budgets to managing staff as well as projects and resources. This requires good management and organizational skills otherwise you will be overwhelmed by all the responsibilities. Problem solving and leadership skills are also crucial in ensuring everything runs smoothly due to the high number of people and projects involved.

The Importance of a Formal Degree Program in Learning Essential Skills for HIM

The minimum academic requirement for employment as a HIM professional is a degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is because it exposes you to a variety of core skills and knowledge needed to work in different medical settings.

The topics covered include medical terminologies, information systems, administration, health data management and clinical workflow. These equip you with the medical knowledge, technological proficiency and management skills needed to excel in health information management. You also get to learn interpersonal and communication skills that help you work well with others. A degree will not only give you the needed skills, but also set you up for better job positions.

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Do you feel like health information management is a career you’d like to pursue? If so, consider ECPI University for an Associate of Applied Science in Health Science Degree with a focus in Health Information Management. For more information about this exciting program, connect with a friendly admission representative today.

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