By Andrea Snider, RHIT
If you are like me when you entered the field of HIM and fresh from graduation you may have been focused on obtaining one of the roles we most hear about. Medical coding or an HIM Specialist within a hospital HIM department for example, but what if you are wanting to follow a different path? One of the best aspects of our field is the many different career avenues that we can take as HIM professionals. There are so many options, but I’ll highlight only a few here.
A simple one is taking the role of an HIM specialist in a non-hospital setting, such as a nursing home, insurance company, health data software company, or even a prison are all examples of non-traditional work settings for an HIM professional.
The route of data analytics is one of those areas we may not typically associate with an HIM professional, but there are many roles within this area that HIM professionals can obtain. Health data needs obtained and interpreted for various reasons in healthcare and HIM professionals are well qualified for the task. A health data analyst or even a clinical research coordinator are examples of careers in this area.
Revenue Cycle Management is an area that includes various roles in HIM. Coding is of course one of those we think of immediately, but other "out of the box" roles are out there as well within the revenue cycle. A few examples HIM professionals may take on this path are roles of a Revenue Integrity Analyst, Revenue Cycle Trainer, or Revenue Cycle Manager to name a few.
HIM professionals may have an interest in the compliance and privacy aspects within healthcare settings. Health information professionals are equipped with the skills to take on the position of Privacy Officer, Privacy Analyst, or Compliance Manager.
There are so many different, challenging, and interesting avenues we can take as HIM professionals other than just the Medical Coding or HIM Technician routes. Not that those are bad areas to enter, I love being a coder, but if you want a more non-traditional position those are out there too.
A great resource for obtaining information on the various career paths within HIM is the AHIMA Career Map which can be found at https://my.ahima.org/careermap. It details each area and provides many more examples of non-traditional positions than I have outlined here.
In the future as healthcare evolves there will be so many newer non-traditional opportunities HIM professionals can obtain outside the typical positions of coding or HIM technician within the HIM department of a hospital. What an exciting career area we have chosen as HIM professionals.
About the Author
Andrea Snider, RHIT, currently serves as a member of the Blog Committee on the OHIMA FY 2022-2023 Board of Directors. Andrea is an Inpatient Coder at Ensemble Health Partners.