Health Information Management — FAQs

What is health information management?

Health Information Management (HIM) is the practice of developing, implementing, and/or providing oversight to the data collection and reporting systems to ensure that the correct health information gets to the right people in the industry at the right time.

Health information managers develop skills and expertise that allow them to develop and manage effective processes and systems that assure the integrity of health care data. A key goal for HIM leaders is to preserve the complete, accurate, and legal source of patient data. In addition, they may apply the science of health care informatics to the collection, storage, use, and transmission of information to meet the legal, professional, ethical, and administrative records-keeping requirements of health care delivery.


How does it differ from healthcare informatics?

If Healthcare Informatics can be thought of as bringing health care to information technology, then health information management can be thought of as bringing technology (in the form of the electronic health record) to health care.

HIM professionals use the tools created by health informatics professionals to ensure the health care providers and facilities are in compliance with state and Federal laws and regulations and help provide for better patient outcomes.


What’s the job outlook for this profession?

As with all aspects of health care, the job potential for HIM graduates is considered above average by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.  A 2012 article published in the U.S. News and World Report listed HIM as the No. 4 top major in the U.S. Estimates put the creation of new jobs in HIM at 50,000 by 2017.


What will I learn in the HIM program?

HIM is the combination of management + information technology + medical science + research. Each of these areas in and of itself is in high demand but placed together creates an individual sought after by the health care industry.


What pre-requisites are required to enter the program?

Prior to entering the HIM program, students will need to have completed or be enrolled in the following courses:

  • BI259/259  Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II

  • BI 358 Human Anatomy AND BI 358 Human Physiology


What career opportunities exists for me once a graduate with an HIM degree?

There are plenty of career opportunities for HIM majors. Potential careers include:

  • Director of a Health Information Management department in a hospital

  • Coding professional

  • Clinical Data Analyst

  • Compliance Officer

  • Health Information System Application Designer

  • Security Officer

  • Privacy Officer


Who should I contact with questions about the program?

Contact the HIM program director, Shelia Hammonds
You can reach Shelia Hammonds at [email protected] or call 913-758-6127.


Who will teach me at USM?

Expert faculty with years of experience will teach you the latest skills and resources you need to succeed in the field, including information technology, legal information, health care information protection, and more.

Many classes will be taught directly by the program director, Shelia Hammonds, who has years of expertise in the field, and has served on national governing bodies for HIM education. Read his bio here.


The University of Saint Mary Health Information Management program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, 233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60601-5800.