• HIM

    By Brina Hollis, PhD 
    Faculty, Kaplan University, School of Health Sciences 


    Health information management (HIM) deals mostly with the management of health patients' health information. HIM professionals deal with collecting, processing, validating, and disseminating health data. HIM professionals use health information and information technology tools to accomplish their task. 

    Current mandates such as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), support the use of  technology in health care in order to increase access to health care and health services.

    The support from these mandates haves caused an increased need for health information management professionals at all levels. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for medical and health services managers, which include health information jobs, will grow by 17% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (BLS, 2016).

    Career Pathways and Opportunities 

    The HIM profession offers various education pathways and various career opportunities. Educational pathways exists at the certificate level, undergraduate, and graduate level. Individuals who obtain certificates or associate's degrees in HIM can pursue career opportunities in compliance and risk management, revenue cycle management, and billing and coding.

    Individuals who obtain baccalaureate degrees in HIM can pursue career opportunities as HIM department directors, security officers, consultants, and health information systems managers. Those obtaining graduate degrees could be eligible for advanced opportunities in compliance and risk management, education and communication, data analytics and informatics, IT and infrastructure, and operations and medical administration.  

    AHIMA offers a helpful graphic that supports the narrative above and displays the various career opportunities available to those with HIM knowledge, skills, and abilities. You can access it at http://www.hicareers.com/CareerMap/

    Health information is expected to be one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. A 2014 study conducted by the Health Information Management Systems Society states that there is a shortage of qualified health information professionals and many organizations health information initiatives have had to outsource for talent or put projects on hold due to shortage of qualified professionals. HIM is an emerging profession that can offer a variety of diverse career opportunities.



    AHIMA (2016), Health Information Careers. Retrieved from: http://www.hicareers.com/CareerMap/ (accessed June 7, 2016).

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Service Managers, on the Internet www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (accessed June 7, 2016). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

    HIMSS (2014). 2014 HIMSS Workforce Survey. Retrieved from: http://www.himss.org/ResourceLibrary/genResourceDetailPDF.aspx?ItemNumber=41969 (accessed on June 7, 2016).


    Brina Hollis is a faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University. 

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