What is HIM?

A simple explanation for Health Information Management (HIM) can be described as the process of handling the medical record information for patients.  In reality, it is much more detailed and involved and also requires knowledge about many different areas in healthcare.

Another important difference to understand is the difference between HIM and HIT.  The HITECH Act defines Health Information Technology as “hardware, software, integrated technologies or related licenses, intellectual property, upgrades, or packaged solutions sold as services that are designed for or support the use by health care entities or patients for the electronic creation, maintenance, access, or exchange of health information.”

technology

In a brief exchange with Marie Janes – Associate Lecturer, Health Information Administration at the University of Toledo – we discussed how HIM may be thought of as a generally used term that covers both HIA on the administration side and HIT focusing on the technology side. Both areas must work together to achieve success in healthcare.

Many people obtain their education and credentials and/or certifications from a CAHIIM accredited school or institution.  Others who might be eligible based on experience might obtain their title from AHIMA or another respected source who is dedicated to awareness and education.

Having experience in HIM requires dedication to keep up with the many changes in healthcare today.  Rules, laws, regulations and carrier-specific guidelines must also be considered when handling patient information.  Who hasn’t heard of HIPAA?

HIM professionals are not only responsible for medical coding, billing, medical records or any of the areas which typically come to mind.  If your interest lies in the healthcare profession and want to learn more, click here to get an idea of the many jobs available to this unique profession.

Would you share your current HIM position in the reply/comment section below?  If you have a question and want to know more – ask away!

~Heidi

Replies and feedback are always welcome!

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