The field of health information administration remains vital within hospitals and other care facilities. Employers of these kinds may therefore be on the lookout for students who have completed the Registered Health Information Administrator exam, overseen by the American Health Information Management Association.
To take the RHIA exam, students need to complete an accredited course in health information management. To increase their chances of success, both on the test and in the industry in general, these pupils should make sure they settle on a high-quality degree program in touch with the realities of data use today.
When deciding whether to enter the field of health information management, it’s good to ask a few specific questions. Namely, it’s worth investigating what the RHIA exam entails, how courses will prepare students for the test and what they can expect once they are accredited.
What Does the RHIA Exam Test?
AHIMA operates the RHIA exam as a way to certify that individuals have expertise in several relevant skill sets involving the use of data. Though the credential is aimed at the health care world, the kinds of information and skills involved have plenty of applications beyond clinical settings. From finances and human resources to administration and IT, many different functions and departments are represented in the RHIA curriculum.
As data increases in volume and complexity, new ethical and legal standards are coming to the fore alongside technological prowess. The RHIA exam encompasses all of these competencies, and passing the test means understanding the requirements around correct data use.
The hands-on processes of using data aren’t the only kinds of skills test takers are graded on. RHIA-certified professionals also have to know how to interact effectively with coworkers of all specializations and authority levels. These individuals should be able to lead teams and make decisions, bringing multiple kinds of data into play and performing analytics that will improve outcomes.
How Do Bachelor’s Programs Prepare Students?
Preparing for a credential as wide-ranging and current as RHIA certification means taking a variety of different courses addressing the pillars of health information management. This means students will become familiar with common clinical technologies such as the ubiquitous electronic health record system, as well as the tools in place in other departments including finance and human resources.
Hard and soft skills combine within the curriculum. Tech-driven abilities such as coding, analysis and data-quality management exist alongside planning and decision-making. Graduates learn to perform tasks they’ll potentially be called upon for in their professional careers, including the protection of sensitive data and the design of programs to keep departments in compliance with state and federal data-management regulations. In a data-driven era, every health care provider needs a strategy for intelligent information use—creating these strategies can become work for RHIA-certified employees.
Today, it’s possible to earn a health information management degree from a fully accredited university, 100 percent online. This means professionals can pursue a move into information administration without leaving their current roles. The flexibility of online coursework, from both geographic and scheduling standpoints, has opened opportunities to new audiences.
What Are Career Outcomes with RHIA Certification?
One of the most exciting traits of RHIA certification is the variety of roles such a credential applies to, in both the present and future of the health care industry. AHIMA suggested that multiple kinds of care delivery organizations have need of RHIA-certified employees, from hospitals to clinics and private physician practices. Mental health organizations, long-term care facilities and ambulatory care providers of various specialties may also be looking for individuals with RHIA backgrounds.
The organization stated that non-patient settings are also adding health information management professionals to their teams. Insurance companies, consultancies and software firms may be interested in employees who understand the effective, ethical and legally compliant use of health data. Furthermore, government agencies, pharmaceutical developers and educational organizations may be looking for officials with RHIA certification.
It’s also important to remember that the classes leading up to an RHIA certification carry their own value. As students work their way toward the credentials, they take in knowledge and experience that may help them prove their worth at a number of common and pivotal tasks within the modern, data-centric health care world.
Why Consider UIC?
The University of Illinois at Chicago is home to the largest medical school in the U.S. The deep and relevant experience of the university’s faculty is now accessible through a slate of 100 percent online courses, translating UIC’s on-campus education for pupils seeking to fit courses into their busy professional schedules. The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program guides students to the RHIA exam and the opportunities beyond.