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Health Information Management Careers: UIC Clinical Assistant Professor breaks down four occupational areas for HIM grads

UIC Clinical Assistant Professor Barbara Glondys smiles at camera

Meet Barbara A. Glondys, MA, RHIA, CHPS, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Biomedical and Health Information Sciences Department at UIC, who has been working in the Health Information Management (HIM) Program for over 20 years in both adjunct and full-time positions. UIC offers an accredited baccalaureate program in HIM which is offered both on campus, as well as fully online and an online Masters in HIM program. Before teaching courses in both the baccalaureate and master Health Information Management programs, Glondys worked within the program to arrange internships for students.

For the 3rd consecutive year, the Online Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program has been one of three UIC online bachelor’s degree programs ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The HIM bachelor program’s strong reputation interested Glondys which ultimately attracted her to teaching at UIC.

Learn about the different occupational areas that many HIM graduates find careers in, as well as advice that Glondys offers to prospective students who are looking to succeed in the program and beyond.

What skills and knowledge will students develop/learn in their courses that will be useful in building their Health Information Management (HIM) careers?

In the Online Bachelor of Science in HIM program, students start learning about the fundamentals of health data and the data kept in patient records. We then move on to healthcare, covering topics such as electronic health records, privacy and security, management, and the healthcare revenue cycle.

In today’s environment, reporting accurate and timely healthcare data is critical to identifying trends in the healthcare environment. Privacy of health information is a patient’s right and HIM professionals take their role in protecting health information very seriously. HIM professionals are increasingly becoming involved in the revenue cycle, which begins with coding and reporting patient diagnoses and services for reimbursement.

We also focus on management supervision. I teach two classes that include general business practices, and managing, such human resources, because we are training our students to be health service managers.

How will the HIM program better prepare/equip students for the current workplace climate they are facing?

The Online Bachelor of Science in HIM program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). In a recent reaccreditation survey CAHIIM had no recommendations regarding our curriculum, which is rare. Since our curriculum meets AHIMA Blooms levels and covers all competencies, it will help our students find careers when they graduate.

We also help students find positions. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupational Outlook Handbook”, occupations in the HIM field are predicted to grow faster than other occupations. So, with the program’s strong reputation and curriculum, students will be better equipped to succeed in the current workplace and lead successful careers.

What are job prospects for students who graduate from the HIM program at UIC?

We are noticing a shift in where our graduates are working. Historically, it was in health care settings, such as in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, but with the shift in electronic health care records, other careers are opening up for our students including working for EHR vendors and data analytics companies

There are four occupational areas where many of our graduates are finding jobs. The first is with clinical care providers such as hospitals and physician offices to manage their records. The second area is with data analysis companies. The third area is with different vendors, such as electronic health data vendors, release of information companies and outsourced coding services. The fourth area that students find themselves in is working with consulting firms. Accounting firms will hire HIM professionals because they often have healthcare clients and need the expertise held by HIM professionals.

There is a good website I recommend to students which is They can find areas of focus, as well as explore different job titles and descriptions.

What advice do you have for your students interested in pursuing their HIM degree online?

The first piece of advice I would give is to make sure you are on top of your time management. I know students may have family commitments and/or work full-time and need to juggle many responsibilities. I recommend students open their weekly course units as soon as they can, and not wait till the eleventh hour, or shortly before assignments are due. Look early and schedule time so you can work on your lessons.

Also, reach out to your instructors. Do not feel shy or intimidated if you don’t know how to do something, just ask your instructor if you need clarification on something. We are here to help you.

What is the most important thing you have learned about having a successful career in HIM that you would like to pass on to people considering this field?

Networking is the most important thing a student or graduate can do to be successful in the field. It has certainly made a big impact on my career. I try to instill in our students that they are already networking with other students online and during their internships and their peers may be working at a firm that they are interested in. Networking starts early. I’ve really met the best people through other jobs and through school.

I recommend joining AHIMA, the American Health Information Management Association. It’s a national organization, but you can join your state association, such as IL AHIMA, where you can attend local annual meetings and educational sessions where you can learn and meet other professionals.

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