If you’ve been interested in working in healthcare but don’t have a passion for medicine, there is another option.
A Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Management gives students the opportunity to work in the administrative and technical side of the healthcare industry.
This is part of the medical field that is often overlooked but is actually vital to the inner workings of the field.
Follow along as we go over all the details on how you can earn a B.S. in Health Information Management.
What Will I Learn in a Health Information Management Program? (Curriculum)
A Bachelor of Science degree comes jam-packed with all the information you’ll need to be successful in the field.
Of course, there will also be plenty of courses included that are core classes for all degrees.
But here, we’re going to focus on the coursework that will help get you prepped for a degree in Health Information Management.
In general, students will take classes that will set them up for their future careers.
Here’s a list of sample classes graduates will need under their belts:
- Medical Terminology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Coding and Classifications
- Quality Management
- Legal Perspectives of Health Management
- Healthcare Databases
- Finance Methodologies
- Health Informatics
- Health Security
The program is designed in a way that the prospective student is essentially eased into it.
It’s not until junior year that you become immersed in the subject of healthcare management.
By the time senior year rolls around, all the classes are geared toward the degree.
There are even time slots that are labs only.
Most of the lab coursework is about the hands-on experience as opposed to sitting in a classroom reading a text.
Additionally, in an effort to get students who are serious about the program, many schools will require individuals to meet with department advisors.
This is where the major will be discussed and what the expectations are.
Some majors are more strenuous than others when it comes to GPA.
HIM is a unique major because it combines several different aspects of varying jobs.
Part of that is the medical component, which often requires higher grade standards than other classes.
Graduates will learn about information technology, finance, biology, medicine, statistics, data research, and more.
That’s on top of the core classes like English, history, and government.
How to Choose a Good Program
When it comes to deciding which Health Information Management program to choose, research is vital.
What specifically goes into the research comes down to what students are looking to get out of their degree.
Some programs go more in-depth in one direction or another, which might make or break your desire to go there.
Essentially, the best way to choose a good program is to look into several.
The more programs and schools you look at, the better an idea you’ll have of what is out there.
Knowing the options will make you an informed student.
Aside from what classes are offered, be sure to check into the school itself and go visit in person.
You want the place you’re going to be spending a lot of time at to be what you need.
Things you’ll want to talk to the program advisor include asking about internships.
Usually, in senior year, there’s a block of credits that are meant to be attributed to the internship.
Some schools help you find internships and some don’t.
The best program to sign up for is one that caters to the students.
You want the school to be as invested in your graduation as you are.
In addition, think about transfer credits.
If you start out at a school that is not the school you plan to graduate from, take a look ahead at the intended university.
The reason is, you’ll want as many transfer credits to go through as possible.
Not just be accepted, however, but be applied towards the core credits where you’re going.
If the core credits don’t transfer as core credits to the new school, it could take even longer to graduate than originally anticipated.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor’s in Health Information Management?
Typically, this type of program is designed to spread out over four years or eight semesters.
Logically, eight semesters can be done in less than three years.
That would have a student going to class non-stop all year.
While it sounds nice to be able to condense studies, it isn’t always possible.
That’s because the required classes for graduation aren’t offered every semester.
Having to focus mostly on spring and autumn semesters is what would make studies have to wait closer to four years.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Bachelor’s in Health Information Management?
Depending on the type of institution a student chooses, a degree in HIM can range from $44,000 up to $100,000 in total.
Costs vary based on whether a school is private or public, the location, tuition, required fees, and the length of the program.
If you’re looking to cut costs, one great strategy is not keeping your education exclusive to one institution.
Either start at a community college or take classes at one while an undergrad at a university.
Community college classes are cheaper and can often be done online.
This works especially well for core classes that aren’t necessarily major-related.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Health Information Management?
One thing interested students can count on with HIM is growth.
This field has been growing by leaps and bounds in every way since it first started a century ago.
Going from manual, handwritten records to having almost everything digitized is no small feat.
With an ever-growing health industry, the options might be more open than you realize.
When it comes to this kind of degree, there are a lot of directions a graduate could go.
Another perk of this degree is getting a foot in the door.
Some of the facilities a graduate can get hired at have entry-level positions that don’t require a degree.
That means students can get hands-on experience while working on their education.
By the time they graduate, students will have practical job training and a degree.
Talk about great qualifications to start a career.
To start, thanks to the specific topics covered under the degree, graduates can pick a niche.
That niche can change, too, for the same reason.
Common choices that fall under Health Information Management are administrative, financial, operations, human resources, patient-assisted decisions, and data technology.
These positions can come in the form of working in hospitals, clinics, private practice, insurance, medical technology, traveling healthcare, and more.
Here are some job titles an HIM graduate might be interested in:
- Medical Records Director
- Medical Coding Manager
- Coding Compliance Officer
- Medical Records Abstractor
- Clinical Data Manager
- Data Analyst
- Medical Research Analyst
- Clinical Documentation Specialist
- Clinical Systems Manager
- Privacy Officer
Should I Get a Bachelor’s in Health Information Management?
If you’re looking for a career with solid job security, Health Information Management is a great place to start.
It’s also very rewarding to work in medicine and healthcare.
Being part of a system that literally keeps people alive is often an aspect of healthcare management that scores high in job satisfaction.
You can also look at it as doing administrative work for healthcare.
If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute to the medical field, this is a great career to follow.
It can also be very flexible as far as schedules are concerned.
By the same token, depending on where you find employment, hours can be long and unforgiving.
Healthcare should really be something that you are deeply interested in being a part of.
If it isn’t, the demands of the position might cause you to burn out.
Before following through with a degree in Healthcare Information Management, do some research.
Connect with people who do the types of jobs you’d be interested in to get a feel for what their days are like.
Another alluring aspect of career choices in HIM is technology.
Medical advancements happen every day and so do the administrative side of the healthcare industry.
These days, test results are given to patients online as opposed to having them wait for their next appointment.
A love of technology would surely be put to great use in Health Information Management.