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HITM Degrees and Training Opportunities: Oh The Places You Will Go

Health Information Technology Management (HITM)  is an emerging business enterprise within the healthcare arena. Due to many federal mandates, the HITM field has exploded into a strong force that will be the leading resource to managing data for  patient safety, quality care, reimbursement, and compliance. The career path for HITM professionals has been one that lends itself to a multitude of options. 

Listed below are the many users of the health records. This list is not all inclusive; however it gives you a glimpse of the opportunities that are available for HITM professionals in the workplace in terms of heath data content management. Each of the users listed below rely on the health record content for policies, processes, research and development, education, and most importantly patient care.

Individual
Patients
Health Care Practioners
Health Care Administration
Third Party Payers
Utilization Case Managers
Quality Committees
Accrediting, Licensing Agencies
Government Agencies
Health Information Exchanges
Employers
Attorneys and Courts
Policy Planners
Educators and Trainers
Researchers
Media

HITM professionals are ultimately responsible to manage the health record content (data). Many users rely on the professional skill set of HITM staff to manage, disseminate, and protect the documentation.

The Certified Health Data Analyst is one of the professionals that will have great opportunities  due to the  changes is this  data driven industry. The American Health Information Management Association  (AHIMA) administers this exam.  AHIMA states on  their website the following about the CHDA certification:

“Individuals who earn the CHDA designation will achieve recognition of their expertise in health data analysis and validation of their mastery of this domain. This prestigious certification provides practitioners with the knowledge to acquire, manage, analyze, interpret, and transform data into accurate, consistent, and timely information, while balancing the "big picture" strategic vision with day-to-day details. CHDA-credentialed professionals exhibit broad organizational knowledge and the ability to communicate with individuals and groups at multiple levels, both internal and external”.

This an emerging certification and skills set, earning the CHDA designation can help you:

• Achieve recognition of expertise
• Validate mastery and specialized competence
• Differentiate knowledge and skills
• Demonstrate professionalism and commitment
• Exhibit broad organizational knowledge
• Facilitate professional development
• Leverage the strength of AHIMA credentials

The opportunities are endless in the HITM arena. With all the technology advancements, professional training, and education, the changes has allowed HITM professionals to climb out of the basements in the hospital with stacks of papers and typewriters, to managing data, and high technology processes.

References: http://www.ahima.org/certification/chda.aspx
                    Health Information :Management of a Strategic Resources;4th Edition, pg. 97-99

Phelyncia Chaffold, MBA, RHIA. Program Director-HITM Program; The College of Healthcare Professions.