Health information management, or HIM in short, is the storage, collection, protection, and analysis of patient health information. Such information can either be a combination of digital and paper-based information or, more often than not, an electronic health record(EHR). HIM professionals utilize advanced medical technologies in their day-to-day duties. They have comprehensive knowledge about HIPAA laws and regulations that protect patient privacy, computer systems, and data analytics. They also ensure that patients get the best healthcare experience, ranging from taking care of insurance claims or looking after doctor’s appointments. In the end, an HIM official’s role is more vital than the credit it usually gets.
If you want to work in the healthcare field but do not want to have a more hands-on role in patient care, working as a health information manager can be the right career choice. Health information managers usually interact with other medical professionals, such as doctors or physicians. Their primary focus is on ensuring patient information is accurate, adequately maintained according to hospital regulations. And, the hospital follows the state’s legal requirements and policies. According to the BLS, the projected job growth in the healthcare field is about 19 percent from 2014 to 2024. Due to technology’s proliferation, the health information manager’s role is becoming even more critical than it was a decade ago. And today, we will share with you some roles and responsibilities given to a health information manager. Take a look at them down below:
They Set up Information Management Systems
Each day, every hour, and every minute healthcare professionals require access to up-to-date and accurate patient information. It allows them to provide patients with the best treatments and medical care in their power. Part of an HIM’s (health information manager) role is to ensure that these healthcare professionals have access to error-free patient information and flows smoothly throughout the medical facility.
It means that an HIM can set up an electronic patient information database and maintain it regularly to allow other professionals to access data. They also ensure that such databases remain protected from cyberattacks and other online threats.
There is an increase in demand for such professionals in the healthcare field. More students and professionals are attracted to this field. There are various online healthcare degrees available for them these days. Still, none are better than a degree in health information management. If you think you are up for the challenge of handling patient information, give it a look.
They Have to Do Medical Coding
The job of an HIM(health information manager) involves administrative tasks. Some of these duties include billing, medical coding, and other administrative processes inside a medical facility. Especially ones that occur between the insurer and the medical facility. When they accurately assign medical codes, it ensures that the insurers provide correct reimbursements.
Also, they ensure that all patient information, whether it be paper-based or electronic, includes correct treatment history and procedures.
They Maintain Patient Confidentiality
It is the responsibility of an HIM(health information manager) to ensure that patient information remains protected from prying eyes. They also ensure that medical staff undergoes training to promote patient confidentially in every part and department of the medical facility. Such activity includes proper access, disclosure, storage, and disposal of patient information. It is a requirement by HIPPA that patient information remains protected and that the staff handling such data knows what they are doing.
As a part of ensuring that such regulations and practices remain intact, health information managers enforce security policies in a medical facility and oversee that every person is following them. Following such HIPPA guidelines enables the medical facility, staff, and patients to avoid legal actions such as fines and penalties associated with breaking such regulations.
They Head Administrative Tasks at a Medical Facility
Apart from tasks related to patient information security and confidentiality, HIMs(health information managers) will take up various administrative roles. These include outlining and preparing budgets, procuring new medical equipment and devices, and much more. They also take on planning-oriented tasks such as analysis of general, clinical, or financial healthcare information or looking for opportunities and trends to allow the medical facility to improve their processes and patient-centered care.
Other duties also include heading organization committees, providing advice to colleagues regarding health information policies and recommendations, communicating with insurers and vendors, and much more. Thus, such a role is vital for a medical facility to function correctly and fulfill its needs and requirements to stay legally legitimate.
They Also Solve Other Individuals’ Problems
HIM(health information managers) are natural-born problem solvers. When they work in such a managerial role, other staff will visit their office for guidance or help regarding healthcare regulation, hospital policies, laws, etc. You might say that these staff members can earn an education themselves. However, there will come a time when the experience will be more vital than education. And this is where an HIM(health information manager?) will step in to help them out.
The health information manager himself would learn the latest healthcare rules, regulations, and policies to solve other people’s problems and answer such questions. Furthermore, they have the interpersonal and communication skills necessary to impart such knowledge so that everyone can understand it. Not everyone will be able to digest the legal jargon involved in policies and regulations. So it is the job of the HIM(health information manager) to simplify it for everyone.
Working as an HIM(health information manager) will require that you remain on your toes at all times. You will need to know the latest medicinal, managerial, information technology, and financial practices. With such skills and knowledge, many private businesses, insurance companies, and medical facilities will value you highly and give you a fat paycheck for your services. So, go ahead and look at these roles of an HIM(health information manager). They will prepare you for what lies ahead in the health information management world.