Master's in Health Information Management
Health information managers work throughout the health care field, maintaining accurate and safe records of patient information, research data and more. If this sounds interesting, then a master's degree in health information management may be right for you. Schools offering Electronic Medical Records degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Courses Will I Take For a Master's Degree in Health Information Management?
In a master's program in health information management, you will learn the techniques used to manage the data used in the health care industry. This primarily includes patient records, which must be kept both secure and accessible. Your coursework will include training in a variety of record-keeping systems, with an emphasis on computer-based tools and software. Other topics you may study include legal issues in health care, medical terminology and health records coding.
Can I Earn This Degree Online?
Master's degree programs in health information management programs are available for online study. These programs offer you more flexibility and the convenience of studying from home. You will take the same courses as your peers in campus-based programs in order to complete your degree. You will utilize an online educational platform, which will provide a single location for downloading lectures, accessing discussion groups and opportunities to correspond with faculty through e-mail. A computer with high-speed Internet access is required.
Are There Any Prerequisites?
You will need to earn a bachelor's degree prior to entering your master's program in health information management. While your undergraduate degree may come from any field, you will be required to have completed relevant health care coursework, including human anatomy, physiology and basic computer programming. Many programs will ask you to submit a demonstration of your interest in the field. This may be a written statement, reference letters, a curriculum vitae or a combination of all three. Some programs require the submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.
Do I Need Certification for My Career?
Certification is not required, but you can pursue it in order to increase your career opportunities, as well as to improve your salary potential. Your possible employers, such as hospitals, physicians' offices and mental health facilities, often view certification as evidence of your professional competence and knowledge of industry standards. Certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) is available through the American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org). RHIA certification is possible upon completion of an approved educational program, such as a master's degree program, and a certification exam.
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