April 2, 2020
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What are the Differences Between Health Information Management and Health Informatics?

Although Health Informatics (HI) and Health Information Management (HIM) may sound similar, there are many differences between the two fields. Both fields involve the use of technology in the healthcare field and share some common skillsets and job responsibilities, but there are more differences than similarities between these two distinct career fields.

What is Health Information Management?

Health information management (HIM) can be described as the accumulation and storage of patient data. HIM involves the management of personal health information in healthcare organizations, hospitals and public health programs to enable delivery of services to the public.

What Do Health Information Management Professionals Do?

Health information management professionals deal with the organization and management of patient data stored electronically. HIM professionals code health information for proper distribution or research and to ensure their organization complies with governmental regulations pertaining to patient data. They ensure that patient health records are complete, accurate and that they provide access to records to those appropriate while protecting the privacy and security of patient health information.

What Degree Will I Need for a Career in Health Information Managements?

Careers in health information management require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or experience with medical records management, coding and billing and regulatory requirements. Those with a master’s degree in HIM will have the ability to earn higher salaries and a greater level of responsibility. Information technology knowledge, particularly involving electronic health records, is also often required. HIM careers may also require familiarity with medical terminology, medications and basic anatomy and physiology. Median annual salary for a health information manager is $88,580 but those with master’s degrees will earn significantly more. HIM professionals have careers in many arenas of Healthcare including:

  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals
  • Home Healthcare Agencies
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Long Term Care Units
  • Public health

What is Health informatics?

Health informatics utilizes information technologies and information management to improve process efficiency and to reduce medical costs. Health informatics uses the data that is gathered and stored through health information management systems to create knowledge. It also involves the manipulation of enterprise-wide data to create improvement in outcomes, processes and cost.

What Do Health Informatics Professionals Do?

Professionals in Health informatics (HI) are those who design and develop information systems and processes to improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness of patient care. They assess new technology for healthcare applications and deal with both the process and the tools required to record, store and analyze healthcare information. They understand data and understand how to best use it in supporting decisions and protocols. They interact with clinical staff and patients in the evaluation of the effects of information technology on clinical processes, outcomes and resources.

What Degree Will I Need For a Career in Health Informatics?

Because careers in health informatics require a specialized knowledge of informatics and advanced skills, most careers for health informatics professionals require a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Health Informatics or a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the mean average salary for a Manager of Health Informatics is $120,920 per year and the employment of health information managers is projected to continue to grow fifteen percent through 2022, significantly faster than the average for other occupations.