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A Health Information Management (HIM) occupation: Health Information Technician

Health information technicians are responsible for records keeping, coding of health care information and safety concerns, data storage and monitoring of all processes and conditions. “These technicians assign a code to each diagnosis and procedure. They consult classification manuals and also rely on their knowledge of disease processes” (‘Medical Records …’ 2007). Also, their principal duty is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employ­ees and patients. In all cases, however, the duty is qualified by the phrase ‘reasonably practicable’. Accord­ingly, it appears that the employer can balance risk of injury against the mea­sures necessary for eliminating that risk and, if the risk is insignificant in relation to these measures, the employer may not be liable. “Technicians also use computer programs to tabulate and analyze data to improve patient care, control costs, provide documentation for use in legal actions, respond to surveys, or use in research studies” (‘Medical Records …’ 2007). Health information technicians need to have a thorough knowledge of proce­dures of health care management and the function of consultative bodies.

The necessary qualification is ‘an associate degree from a community or junior college” (‘Medical Records …’ 2007). They have deep knowledge in such spheres as statistics, information technology, biology, quality management, chemistry, computer literacy. Qualification requirements depend upon the medical establishment and nature of work they perform (Health information management 2007). Some hospitals require strict coding and registry skills. His responsibility and status vary with the type of organization and he is often shown on organization charts on a level with other functional managers. “Technicians with RHIT credentials may become director or assistant director of a medical records and health information department in a small facility” (‘Medical Records …’ 2007). As with any other profession, having further studies is a plus in terms of employer evaluation and even salary. .  Most modern professions only require a single exam from their field, although a second license exam is recommended but not required. Health information technicians with bachelor’s degree earn from $30,000 to $50,000, and have a potential to earn to $75,000.

Most health information technicians work in hospitals and ambulatory care facilities, long-term care facilities and rehabilitation centers, government and insurance agencies, etc. Usually, they work 40 hours a week and have no direct contact with patients and minimum contact with medical staff.  The qualities required in health information technicians vary with the extent of his work. Basic qualities required are background knowledge of healthcare and biology, accuracy and precision (Kautz et al 2004). The main responsibilities of health information technicians is to provide quality control and code information, confidentiality and data management, records keeping and procedures for reimbursement (Health information management 2007).

My career goal is to become a high qualified HIM technicians because I believe the medical industry cannot exist without the existence of health information technicians. My personal qualities and interests will help me to become a real professional in this field. Health information technicians are the backbone of the industry and thus it should be equated that a strong backbone is required for the integrity of the industry. It is clear that the advantages and benefits of HIM technicians practices far outweigh its consequences. It should be allowed to grow and developed and the arguments and issues behind it should be put to rest by all those involved. This profession proposes great opportunities for everyone interested in biology and healthcare management, computer science and statistics. I will be able to cope with profession demands and requirements being well prepared, motivated and committed to pursuing this degree. My personal attitude towards this matter will help me to overcome all possible difficulties, and experience that I have will be a great support to me in mastering HIM.

References

  1. Health information management (2007). Retrieved 26 May 2007, from http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/16038.html
  2. Kautz, K., Hansen, B., Jacobsen, D. (2004). The Utilization of Information Systems Development Methodologies in Practice. JITCA. 6 (4), pp. 56-58.
    Medical Records and Health Information Technicians. (2007). US Department of Labor. Retrieved 26 May 2007, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos103.htm