Health Informatics and Information Management

What is Health Information Management?

Fast Fact:

SWOSU is the only University in the state of Oklahoma that offers the Bachelors of Science in HIM.

Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. HIM professionals are highly trained in the latest information management technology applications and understand the workflow in any healthcare provider organization from large hospital systems to the private physician practice. They are vital to the daily operations management of health information and electronic health records.

Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles. They often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions. These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touch point ​in the healthcare delivery cycle. Having skilled HIM professionals on staff ensures an organization has the right information on hand when and where it is needed while maintaining the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality, and security.
 
Health information technology refers to the framework used to manage health information, and the exchange of health information in a digital format. Professionals who work in health IT are focused on the technical side of managing health information, working with software and hardware used to manage and store patient data. HIT professionals are usually from Information Technology backgrounds, and provide support for electronic health records and other systems HIM professionals use to secure health information.  

Health Informatics (HI) is a science that defines how health information is technically captured, transmitted and utilized. Health informatics focuses on information systems, informatics principles, and information technology as it is applied to the continuum of healthcare delivery. It is an integrated discipline with specialty domains that include management science, management engineering principles, healthcare delivery and public health, patient safety, information science and computer technology. Health Informatics programs demonstrate uniqueness by offering varied options for practice or research focus.

There are four major focus research areas in informatics education reflecting various disciplines:

  1. Medical/Bio Informatics – physician and research based, attracts medical students
  2. Nursing Informatics – clinical and research based, attracts nursing students
  3. Public Health Informatics – public health and biosurveillance based, attracts public health students
  4. Applied Informatics – addresses the flow of medical information in an electronic environment and covers process, policy and technological solutions, attracts HIM students

Health Information Career Map

How to View the Career Map