Advancement within the health care industry, even in a specialized field such as information technology, can require more than impeccable knowledge of the processes involved. To prove their readiness to hold higher positions, professionals must also become familiar with the business side of the industry, learning how to manage other individuals and becoming skilled in related soft skills.
Seeking a degree in health information management (HIM) means combining technical know-how with strategic expertise and gaining wide-ranging insights into the way health care facilities are run. Data is the connective tissue that binds these organizations together, flowing between departments such as finance and human resources as well as acting as a tool to improve clinical care and patient experience.
Business Skills in the HIM BS Curriculum
Studying in an HIM bachelor’s degree program prepares graduates to take the Registered Health Information Administrator exam. As the name implies, the resulting credential is based on administration rather than simply performing hands-on data use tasks. In addition to a technical familiarity with medical data and the systems used to store, protect and analyze it, students can gain knowledge of the soft skills needed to lead a team or department within a modern health care organization.
Courses on the way to an HIM degree include Management and Business Practices, Human Resources Management and Healthcare Financial Management. The many unique functions that make up a hospital, clinic or another health care facility all have unique leadership and decision-making needs. Students taking HIM BS courses receive a grounding in the specialized back-office practices and functions that define these departments.
In addition to learning about the departments they’ll interact with, HIM students also take courses on performing quality evaluations, keeping operations in line with relevant laws and employing essential tools such as electronic health records. The wide variety of relevant topics covered adds value to HIM degrees and RHIA certification, as earning these credentials involves immersion in many facets of health care leadership and decision-making.
Studying online at UIC
Professionals interested in attaining RHIA certification and pursuing new management roles with the information they learn may be hesitant to leave their present positions to enter school. When they take advantage of flexible online programs such as the BS completion option offered by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), they don’t have to stop working to take courses.
The 100 percent online program is designed to accommodate working professionals either already in the medical sector or intending to make a career change. Asynchronous learning allows students to engage with course materials on schedules that work for them. The instruction received in this online program is up to the high standards of UIC’s on-campus medical school, the largest in the U.S., and the degree carries the same prestige.
Receiving RHIA certification means going beyond technological knowledge and embracing the business and leadership practices powering multiple departments within today’s tech-enabled health care organizations. Students who study for a BS in HIM may emerge knowing up-to-date information about the best ways to direct teams in functions ranging from human resources to finance, clinical care to research and beyond. Speak to an enrollment advisor to learn more.