- Major Name: Health Informatics and Information Management
- Degree Program: Arts and Sciences
- Degree Designation: AA
- College / School: STEM
Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) is an integration of healthcare management, business management, and information systems. HIIM professionals possess a unique blend of knowledge, skills, and competencies related to the complex and ever-evolving healthcare industry, including: healthcare systems organization; work flow and delivery processes; healthcare privacy and security; policy and finance; data management; compliance; clinical documentation improvement; and quality healthcare outcomes and improvement processes.
Our associate degree provides the first two years of the four-year bachelor’s program. The goal of the program is to prepare students to transfer into the four year program on the Morgantown campus or to gain entry level positions within the healthcare system. Graduates of the associate degree HIIM program will also be able to take a coding certification exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Obtaining an associate degree and the coding certificate allows individuals to work as medical records and health information technicians who organize and manage health information data. They ensure that patient information is accurate, accessible, and secure. They code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories in hospitals and physician offices.
Continuing in the bachelor’s program allows individuals to work as healthcare managers and administrators who plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must direct changes that conform to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.
According to American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA, 2013), “needs are evolving from simply translating data, to making accurate and timely decisions with the right information given at the right time to the right person with the right resources. This will create a need for a decentralized team of professionals trained in HIIM, who will have the skills to audit, analyze, and create health intelligence from the noise of instant data collection."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 20% increase in medical and health services/information managers between 2016 and 2026, a higher rate of job growth than the national average. As the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is implemented, the healthcare industry will continue to expand and diversify, requiring health information managers to help ensure efficient operations. The Bureau also reported that the 2017 median annual salary for Medical and Health Services/Information Managers holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree was $98,350 (i.e., $47.29 per hour). The number of jobs reported by the Bureau in 2016 was 352,200 and with a 20% “faster than average” job outlook for 2016-26. An estimated employment change of 72,100 was estimated for 2016-2026.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the 2017 median annual salary for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians (individuals with a certificate and/or associate degree) was $39,180 (i.e., $18.83 per hour) with a 13% “faster than average” job outlook for 2016-26.
U.S. News and World Report ranked health information management No. 4 on their list of most promising jobs (September 12, 2012).