What are the Different Health Information Management Careers?

Tess C. Taylor

Health information management careers include any type of job that involves the handling or transfer of any medical and health insurance records. These records may originate in healthcare settings or they may be transferred from one agency to another in hard copy or in electronic medical records format. In addition, health information management careers involve being able to handle these records in a manner that complies with local privacy laws. In the US, the Health Insurance and Portability Act, also known as HIPAA, mandates all records be kept strictly confidential at all times in order to protect patients and their insurance records.

A health information administrator maintains patient records.
A health information administrator maintains patient records.

In the next few decades, health information management careers are expected to be one of the fastest growing careers, according to studies conducted by the US Department of Labor. There are many different career opportunities in this field. Some of different health information management careers include medical transcriptionists, medical records clerks, information technology specialists, and medical insurance representatives.

Health information management involves collecting and storing patient information in a secure and confidential manner.
Health information management involves collecting and storing patient information in a secure and confidential manner.

In most healthcare settings, physicians and nursing professionals are the frontline when it comes to medical records management. From dictating records to assigning diagnosis codes to the patients placed in their care, these professionals must handle medical and health records carefully and efficiently. Medical transcriptionists convert the audio-recorded medical files into electronic or hard copy medical reports that are placed into patient medical files. These professionals often work remotely processing thousands of healthcare records daily. These are good positions for those who enjoy working in healthcare data management, but don’t necessarily want to work in a clinical setting.

When physicians and nurses need to locate patient medical records, they look to the office professionals who can keep these health information records organized and secure. Medical records clerks generally have special training in the handling and management of patient data to ensure swift processing of medical bills and secure storage of confidential records. A clerk should be well-organized, and have good communication skills, although he or she may have little interaction with patients.

Information technology (IT) specialists are in charge of maintaining electronic medical records in a safe manner within their facility’s healthcare data system or network. They must keep the system updated and secure from outside sources, even when there are power outages or system crashes. Any career in IT will likely require a college degree or professional certification.

There are millions of healthcare records being transmitted between healthcare providers and insurance companies every day. Medical insurance representatives must use care when handling these sensitive records so they are a vital part of the healthcare information management system. Speed and accuracy are also important parts of this job.

Careers in healthcare information management take many forms within the healthcare chain. These specially trained professionals are experts at keeping patient information safe and secure at all times. They are interesting career options for anyone interested in the healthcare industry.

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