Health information management involves the organization and maintenance of patient records. Health information management is important in doctor’s offices, hospitals, insurance company offices and health departments. Universities may also require health information management if they have a health care center on campus. Health information management ensures that the information of patients remains confidential. To become involved in health information management, one should obtain a certification or four-year degree in health information management. From there one can choose to go on to earn a master’s or even a doctoral degree in health information management.

Types of Careers in Health Information Management

There are a variety of careers that one can pursue in health information management. One can become a coder, data analyst, supervisor or compliance specialist. The demand for compliance specialists will increase as the government implements higher standards for the maintenance of the confidentiality of patients’ records. One can also be a billing analyst with a health information management degree. A billing analyst is someone who ensures that all patients are current on their payments for a hospital. A billing analyst will also oversee the information system that controls the production of statements for patients. Because many hospitals now use computerized billing, health information management specialists are needed to help facilitate this process.

The Role of Health Information Managers

Health information managers are responsible for ensuring the all of the programs in a health information system are up to industry standards. Managers will also work with the IT professionals to ensure that a patient’s medical records are available immediately upon request. A doctor may want to review a patient’s records prior to an appointment that has been planned. The role of a health information manager is to make sure that these records are available when medical professionals need them.

Confidentiality of Patient Records

One of the most important roles of a health information manager is to ensure that the patient records remain confidential at all times. It is important for a health information manager to make sure that a network is completely secure. If patient records are leaked to the public, then a hospital may face large fines from the government or may be sued by patients. This is an issue that health information managers are having to deal with on a regular basis.

The Importance of Health Information Managers

Health information managers can protect hospitals, insurance companies and other medical entities from being liable in lawsuits involving the confidentiality of patient records. It is essential for every medical entity to have health information managers on staff.