Fast Growing HIM Field
The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that jobs for the medical record and health information technology field are expected to increase 29% through 2014.
Rewarding Salary Potential
According to The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the median annual salary for entry level medical records and health information management specialists was $48,000 in 2008.
Working as a critical link between care providers, payers, and patients, the RHIA:
Is an expert in managing patient health information and medical records, administering computer information systems, collecting and analyzing patient data, and using classification systems and medical terminologies.
Possesses comprehensive knowledge of medical, administrative, ethical and legal requirements and standards related to healthcare delivery and the privacy of protected patient information.
Manages people and operational units, participates in administrative committees, and prepares budgets.
Interacts with all levels of an organization - clinical, financial, administrative, and information systems - that employ patient data in decision-making and everyday operations.
RHIA applicants must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
Successfully complete the academic requirements, at the baccalaureate level, of an HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Graduate from an HIM program approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement.
The academic qualifications of each candidate will be verified before a candidate is deemed eligible to take the examination. All first-time applicants must submit an official transcript from their college or university.
1. Students interested in obtaining a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Certificate of Completion, or Transfer of Credits information must contact the CAHIIM-accredited program in which they wish to enroll regarding their institutional policies. Please visit the program directory Web site at www.cahiim.org/directory to access the list of CAHIIM-accredited programs.
2. AHIMA and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) shall permit a graduate of a program in HIM at the associate or baccalaureate degree level to apply to write the appropriate certification examination consistent with the academic level achieved and given independently by the two associations. The graduate must meet the educational competencies for certification as a technician or administrator established by the association to which the application is made.
3. Beginning October 6, 2008, students in CAHIIM-accredited programs for RHIT or RHIA, enrolled in their final term of study, are now eligible to apply for and take their respective certification exam early.
Eligible students include the following:
Students currently enrolled and in their last term of study
Students who have completed their course work but have not yet graduated
Graduates who are currently waiting for their official transcripts
Source: AHIMA 2010
Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) Your guide to RHIA careers, certification, and education.
HIM Career Pathways
(provided by AHIMA)
Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) Career Overview and Degrees
Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIAs) are skilled in managing patient health information and medical records, administering computer information systems, collecting and analyzing patient data, and using classification systems and medical terminologies. To become a certified RHIA, candidates typically hold a CAHIIM accredited bachelor's degree in health information management or health informatics. Upon degree completion, candidates qualify to sit for the RHIA certification exam.
Career outlook and salary potential for RHIAs are excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health information is expected to grow by 21% between 2010 and 2020, which is much faster than the average of all occupations. RHIAs have excellent earning potential. A 2008 AHIMA-sponsored study found that the average RHIA salary was $68,213. The report found that a health information manager with an RHIA certification earns nearly $15,000 more annual median salary than one with the RHIT certification. According to a member study conducted by AHIMA, only 25 percent of health information management professionals with a RHIT certification earn more than $50,000 annually, while almost 60 percent with an RHIA make more than $50,000.
To be eligible for AHIMA's RHIA Certification exam, candidates must have completed a bachelor degree level health information management program accredited by CAHIIM.
Designed to Prepare You for Senior Level HIM Careers
Kaplan Commitment Program: Tuition-Free 3-Week Trial*
Kaplan University's interdisciplinary Master of Health Information Management program helps prepare you to pursue positions in technology-supported and information-driven health care environments. The curriculum focuses on design, selection, implementation, and support and maintenance of global health information systems. Coursework will cover areas including organizational development and management for health information, human resources for health care managers, health care financial management, and leadership in health care.
You will study how to manage health information to support data-driven improvements in clinical, financial, and public health outcomes. The program includes graduate-level courses on senior-level health information management, global health information systems design, selection, implementation, support, and maintenance, epidemiology, quality indicators, systems testing and evaluation, privacy, and decision support and outcome analysis.
Kaplan's Master in Health Information Management program is designed to prepare you to:
Design effective strategies based on concepts of leadership and health information management in administrative and business environments.
Analyze the impact of economics, ethics, professional standards, and the law on health information
Evaluate public policy and health care policies and procedures to support the global health information management industry.
Compare financial data analytics to optimize health information systems.
Kaplan University's interdisciplinary Master of Health Informatics helps prepare you to utilize information technology and information management concepts to improve the efficiency and quality of health care services. The comprehensive curriculum focuses on the relationship between information technology, people, health, and health care systems. Coursework will cover areas such as leadership in health care, epidemiology, health care data analysis, and health information systems.
You will study how to use health informatics to support data-driven improvements in clinical, financial, and public health outcomes. The program includes graduate-level courses on health informatics, health information systems, public policy, laws and legal issues, clinical taxonomies, data analysis, analytics and optimization, project management, organizational development, leadership, innovation, and research.
Kaplan's Master of Health Informatics degree is designed to prepare you to:
Design effective strategies based on concepts of leadership and innovation in health informatics.
Assess the impact that economics, ethics, professional standards, and the law have on the optimization of health informatics
Evaluate public policy and health care policies and procedures to support health informatics innovation across systems.
Formulate data to optimize financial outcomes.
*Kaplan University is committed to providing quality education and serving your goals. With the Kaplan Commitment, students can enroll and attend classes for the first 3 weeks with no financial obligation beyond the application fee. Kaplan Commitment is available to new students, online or on campus.
University of Cincinnati Online
University of Cincinnati's commitment to education excellence is recognized through numerous awards and top rankings, such as Top 200 National Universities, Top 100 Public Schools, and #3 Up-and-Coming Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
This CAHIIM accredited program provides a unique path for RHITs to obtain their BS in HIM in just 2 ¼ years. This program has been tailor-made for working RHITs who don't want to be bogged down with countless electives in their efforts to obtain a Bachelor's degree. The accelerated curriculum-made possible by an advanced network of support-prepares students to truly excel in the field. This RHIT progression program builds on the knowledge and skills acquired through prior education and work experience. Graduates of this program are equipped with the knowledge to take AHIMA's RHIA certification exam.
Courses are scheduled in two five-week periods per term to allow learners to focus their studies on one course at a time. This pace allows learners to successfully complete the Bachelor's degree in HIM in only 9 quarters (2 ¼ years).
Based on CAHIIM Guidelines
Earn in As Little As One Year
University of Cincinnati’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics program was designed by an interdisciplinary group of professionals in academia and practice to prepare active health, health care, and information systems professionals with the practical and leadership skills necessary for leadership opportunities at the forefront of health informatics. Designed from the ground up, the online program specifically addresses the areas of health informatics for which employers and organizations are hiring. Students will examine the diverse health and health care landscape and discover how technology is incorporated throughout the industry. Following CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education) guidelines, the curriculum also focuses on health data analytics, clinical information systems, privacy and security, database design, standards, process and workflow, project management, communication, leadership, and strategic planning.
Walden's Master of Information Systems Management program is designed to prepare you with the technical and business skills to enhance your career in information systems -- the fastest growing sector in the economy according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gain the knowledge and experience you need to assume a leadership position in the information systems field and to make important contributions to your organization and profession.
With the Health Informatics specialization, technical professionals and those with an interest in a technical career can strengthen their data management skills and learn to apply them in the healthcare industry. The Health Informatics curriculum reflects the most current healthcare practices.
When you earn your M.S. in Health Informatics online at Walden, you will explore how to effectively use electronic data to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare services. Build on your current healthcare experience or develop the skills you need to move into healthcare informatics management or leadership.
The MS in IT with a Healthcare Informatics concentration provides specialized knowledge and skills in medical informatics. The Healthcare Informatics Concentration reviews how the healthcare industry uses information systems - electronic medical records and laboratory and radiology systems - to provide access to medical information and improve patient care. Course work includes case studies and research that explore the successful use and management of health information technology. The IT health informatics master's program delves into strategies for implementing healthcare informatics technologies and actual IT project management in a healthcare setting.
Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) Career Overview
Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIAs) are skilled in managing patient health information and medical records, administering computer information systems, collecting and analyzing patient data, and using classification systems and medical terminologies. They possess comprehensive knowledge of medical, administrative, ethical and legal requirements and standards related to healthcare delivery and the privacy of protected patient information.
RHIAs manage people and operational units, participate in administrative committees, and prepare budgets. They interact with all levels of organizations - clinical, financial, administrative, and information system - that employ patient data in decision-making and everyday operations.
RHIA Career Opportunities
RHIAs enjoy job placements in a broad range of settings that span the continuum of healthcare including hospitals, multispecialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. The profession has seen significant expansion in nonpatient care settings, with careers in managed care and insurance companies, software vendors, consulting services, government agencies, education, and pharmaceutical companies. Prospects are especially strong in these settings for RHIAs who possess advanced degrees in business or health administration.
Job Titles for HIM Professionals with RHIA Credential
Assistant HIM Director
Business Process Engineer
Healthcare Consumer Advocate
Clinical Data Analyst
Health Data/Information Resource Manager
e-HIM® Project Manager
Health Information System Application Designer
Data Quality Manager
Patient Information Coordinator
RHIA Career Outlook
Career outlook and salary potential for RHIAs are excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health information is expected to grow by 21% between 2010 and 2020, which is much faster than the average of all occupations.
RHIAs have excellent earning potential. According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), entry-level salaries for RHIAs average $40K - $75K. A 2008 AHIMA-sponsored study found that the average RHIA salary was $68,213. The report found that a health information manager with an RHIA certification earns nearly $15,000 more annual median salary than one with the RHIT certification. According to a member study conducted by AHIMA, only 25 percent of health information management professionals with a RHIT certification earn more than $50,000 annually, while almost 60 percent with an RHIA make more than $50,000.
Preparing for an RHIA Career
The RHIA credential is a national certification for health information administrators and managers. First, RHIA candidates must have a CAHIIM accredited bachelor's degree in Health Information Management. The baccalaureate degree curriculum has a strong foundation in general education and lays the groundwork for future advanced learning at the graduate level for those interested in pursuing advanced studies. At the professional coursework level, the baccalaureate degree curriculum requires in-depth knowledge and skills in data content and uses, healthcare systems, information systems analysis and design, selected information and communication technologies, statistical analysis and clinical data management,
research and evaluation methods, and strategic management of information resources. The expertise of the baccalaureate degree graduate lies in the planning, analysis, design, and management of healthcare information resources and services. The focus is on preparing mid-level managers. Second, RHIA candidates must pass the national RHIA Certification Exam. This 4 hour exam consists of 180 multiple choice questions. The pass rate for first time test takers of the 2009 RHIA Certification exam was 70.6%. >> RHIA Exam Content (pdf)
Health Information Management Offers Versatility
By studying health information, students will acquire a versatile yet focused skill set incorporating clinical, information technology, leadership, and management skills. Health information professionals use their knowledge of information technology and records management to form the link between clinicians, administrators, technology designers, and information technology professionals. Health information programs incorporate the disciplines of medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one curriculum. Because of this unique mixture, health information graduates can choose from a variety of work settings across an array of healthcare environments.
Careers in health information management can be found in a wide variety of settings, such as:
Clinics and other medical or mental health facilities
Whether you are certified as an RHIT, RHIA, CCA, CCS, etc., earning an AHIMA credential puts you in a special league, positioning you as a leader and role model in the health informatics and information management community. Investing in AHIMA certification is an investment in yourself and your long-term career. AHIMA certification can help you:
Improve your earning potential
Open the door to more opportunities for career advancement
Increase your job mobility and choices even in the face of a tough job market
Reach not only your short-term job goals, but also position yourself for success in your long-term career
Provide a foundation of broad and deep understanding
Be associated with AHIMA's strong and long-standing reputation of integrity and excellence.
Connect with a strong network of AHIMA-certified peers. Earning an AHIMA credential plugs you into a prestigious community of ongoing support. Although membership is not required in order to become AHIMA-certified, you can enhance your connection even more by becoming an AHIMA member.