Health Information Management is the profession that focuses on health care data and the management of the patient's medical record. Health information management professionals work with systems to collect, process, analyze, store, retrieve, distribute and communicate the health information that is necessary for patient care. This information is also use for research, planning, education, financial reimbursement and the evaluation of the quality of health care services. A career in Health Information Technology is a blend of knowledge and skills from health sciences, business applications and computer technology within the health care industry.
Health Information Technicians generally perform technical duties vital to the professional operation of a health care facility's medical records department. These duties may include analysis of the medical record, collection and preparation of statistical data, coding and abstracting of diseases as well as surgical procedures, using and maintaining a variety of health information databases, storage and retrieval systems, and performing various quality improvement activities. The most important functions for any health information management professional is to maintain the confidentiality of patient information and insure the integrity of the medical record. Quality patient care begins with accurate information, and the Health Information Technician plays a vital role in providing quality, accurate information.
For more information about careers in Health Information Technology, please visit the websites of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association (PHIMA).