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How do I Become a Health Information Administrator?

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  • Written By: Rachel Burkot
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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A health information administrator is responsible for keeping track of patients’ files and paperwork, and keeping papers confidential and current. To become a health information administrator, a person should succeed in math and science courses in high school and pursue a four-year college program.

For someone who wishes to become a health information administrator, the ability to analyze and process data, apply computer skills, and interact on a psychological and sociological level with other people is critical. The prospective health information administrator should also possess an interest in health occupations and the medical field.

It is possible to gain a degree in the field from an accredited university providing a baccalaureate degree. The student can become a registered health information administrator (RHIA) if he or she passes the test offered by the American Health Information Management Association, which the student becomes qualified to take after obtaining the degree.

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Before entering a program to become a health information administrator, a student should look at basic information on the college, admission requirements and course of study. Curricula vary, and some schools place more of an emphasis on the medical aspects, while others focus on psychology and interaction with patients. Most health information administrator programs include courses on medical terminology, health law, health information systems, pathophysiology and quality management. It is also important to look at placement rates of particular schools. Health care careers are growing, and the number of those expected to become health information administrators will grow 25 percent by the end of the decade.

Someone who becomes a health information administrator may work as a health information manager as well. In addition to being responsible for paperwork, these people often design and manage the systems for storing files in healthcare facilities, whether on a computer or by a manual system. A health information administrator may train the information management staff, develop systems for recording data, retain and disclose medical records, and compile statistics. Health care jobs for health information administrators are usually found in hospitals, insurance agencies, medical facilities, clinics, government agencies and health care computing facilities.

To become a health information administrator, a person should be detail-oriented and able to keep track of large amounts of records and paperwork. The health information administrator should be aware of the basic tenets of medical practice and the need to keep information secured. If the administrator shows potential, there are possibilities for advancement into management and consulting roles at a facility’s information center.

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