Health Information Management and Technology is one of the fastest-growing fields in the country. Rapidly changing technological advancements and demands are giving way to a wide range of career opportunities. Job descriptions within the field are evolving and new positions are growing out of the need to adapt to the change in technology. While the fundamentals of health information management; privacy, security, accuracy of data, and serving the good of the health care system, its providers, and patients haven’t necessarily changed, the medium is changing dramatically.
“When you think about electronic health records, it really is like transforming one-seventh of the U.S. economy from paper to computer,” said Linda Kloss with Kloss Strategic Advisors, LTD. Kloss is also the former CEO of AHIMA. “This is a massive change that impacts lots of the functions in health information management, but it opens up all kinds of new opportunities for new roles.”
Professionals in the health information management field now have more opportunities to work throughout a health care organization. Whether it means managing revenue cycles through finance departments, working in quality measurement analytics, or working with health information exchanges and sharing information between organizations, career opportunities are plentiful as are the opportunities to advance.
Kloss says the change in health information management has created a natural career ladder for people looking to grow their educational and professional experiences, and those opportunities have spread out from the two-year technical level to the graduate degree level as the industry moves toward and embraces the digital environment for housing paper records electronically.
“There are meaningful jobs at the two-year level that use technology and facilitate the use of technology, and some may choose that as their path. They are comfortable with the role in data quality management or coding, or some aspect of data management,” Kloss said. “There are others who say, ‘I want to move on and get a baccalaureate degree and begin moving to a management role.’ Often now in heath care organizations, managerial roles do require a baccalaureate degree or a master’s degree level.”
As the health information management field continues to grow more consumer-centered, the healthcare management roles are more involved in providing access to a consumer’s information and ensuring their information is accurate as it moves through the system. Kloss encourages students to think about how this process impacts their own lives, and the lives of those around them, as well as what their own interests and aspirations are, as they explore expanding their skills and education through the HIMT program.
“I always encourage students to reflect on what they’ve liked best in their schooling to date, or careers to date, and think about what aspect of health information management is going to ignite their interest.”