At times, it can be fairly difficult to get a grip on the healthcare industry. There are medical vocations, but anyone who does a little digging will find that the healthcare industry is rife with opportunities in technology, business, science, and finance.
This is wonderful news for medical coding companies considering a healthcare career due to the great need for healthcare workers, competitive salaries, and stable employment opportunities. According to the BLS, the healthcare industry is expected to add over 2.4 million jobs between 2019 and 2029, an increase of 15 %. The BLS indicates healthcare occupations are predicted to add more jobs than any other occupational group in the next few years, largely due to an aging population and an increase in chronic conditions.
Keeping this in mind now is a really great time to enter the healthcare industry. Healthcare information management is a promising new field for those interested in the expanding healthcare sector but who do not want to interact with patients directly.
Read on to find answers to your healthcare information management queries and emerging healthcare specialties.
What Is Healthcare Information Management?
The term “healthcare information management” (HIM) refers to collecting, analyzing, and securing electronic health records that are essential for providing safe, effective patient care. Professionals are needed to assist with integrating and maintaining healthcare technologies as their use expands across the industry. Blending elements of business, healthcare, and IT, this position requires a wide range of skills.
The widespread adoption of EHRs in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions has increased the industry’s demand for technological solutions to manage existing database systems and plan for future technological developments.
For example, medical personnel require a way to enter sensitive patient information while ensuring privacy, accuracy, and up-to-datedness amid a vast data stream.
A rather large volume of data needs to be integrated, including systems for medical billing and coding, coordinating insurance claims, digitally classifying injuries and diseases, and patient-facing scheduling and results viewing platforms. Coordination, organization, and competent management are prerequisites for success in these endeavors. All of these concerns can be found within health information management.
What Is HIM In Healthcare?
Healthcare providers and other HIPAA-covered institutions must implement effective Health Information Management systems to protect the privacy and security of their patients’ personal information. HIM involves medical coding and invoicing, assuring compliance with government standards, and addressing customer requests for Personal Health Information (PHI).
This discipline also encompasses medical records retention and transition to electronic formats, as well as a study of healthcare trends and implementing improvements. Since HIM touches on many parts of the healthcare cycle, many businesses have set up HIM divisions to ensure that all the essential regulations are met and that employees receive the proper training.
Security, privacy, analysis and implementations, coding, billing, and compliance are just a few areas for which a Healthcare Information Manager would be responsible.
Healthcare information managers can be found in healthcare facilities and service providers worldwide. These include hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, chiropractors, and third-party healthcare services.
Importance Of Health Information Management
All healthcare facilities and related enterprises need to invest in HIM. Organizations have an ethical responsibility to safeguard PHI in their possession. Doing so is also necessary to comply with the law, reap the benefits of tax incentives, and avoid penalties.
Because of the damage that data breaches cause to patients’ confidence in their healthcare providers, some people may be reluctant to confide in them about matters of crucial importance. In addition, hackers can take advantage of this vulnerability to steal payment information from patients, leading to further problems, including identity theft and financial loss. A patient’s propensity to visit a specific doctor or hospital may be affected by both factors.
A focus on HIM also provides a business with several beneficial benefits, such as the opportunity for greater efficiency and optimization of healthcare information system access and other critical components linked with revenue cycle management. In larger businesses, having a manager who is solely responsible for overseeing PHI management is essential.
4 Basic Functions Of Healthcare Information Management
These responsibilities constitute the overall themes/specializations that comprise HIM:
- Coding and the revenue cycle, data analytics, informatics, and information governance are all parts of health information management.
- Assigning diagnostic and procedural codes for billing and managing the revenue flow from patient registration through final discharge are both parts of the coding and revenue cycle management process.
- Data analytics monitors data integrity through mapping and quality improvement methods, while informatics oversees the technology components of managing health information.
- Information governance prioritizes HIM processes and regulations, guaranteeing the privacy of patients’ medical records (PHI). Opportunities for entry-level work exist in each subfield of HIM, with advancement to executive-level work possible with experience and expertise.
Where Do HIM Professionals Work?
Health information management (HIM) can take you in numerous directions, from doing hands-on technical work to managing an entire HIM department. Medical clinics, surgical centers, nursing homes, home care agencies, insurance companies, government agencies, and consultancies hire HIM specialists.
Data analysis, HIPAA privacy, medical coding, compliance, clinical documentation, and HIM management are some fields that can be open to you with an HIM degree. Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIAs) typically work as HIM directors or managers, whereas Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) are typically found in more hands-on roles such as medical coding, cancer/disease registries, and even supervisory capacities.
In addition, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) provides certifications in areas such as data analysis, documentation enhancement, medical coding, and patient confidentiality.
HIM: Safety Measures
Data breaches in the healthcare industry are a major issue nowadays. In 2015, hackers gained access to nearly 100 million patient records. Since then, privacy and security restrictions for healthcare providers have reduced the effect of breaches while simultaneously increasing the number of attempted intrusions.
If firms don’t keep up with, or even improve upon, essential health information management procedures, the likelihood of successful breaches will rise as attackers grow more organized or smart. The entrance door is also a potential entry point for those who steal medical records. The insider threat is real in companies that use unprotected wireless networks or have loose policies for secured network devices.