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Medicine is the biggest industry in the country.  As medical records have become largely computerized, health information systems have become a critical part of health care services. Two factors combine to make health systems critical: one is the complexity of health care records and the other is the Gordian knot known as health insurance.

Today everyone needs or should have health insurance; unfortunately the health insurance providers are constantly changing for individuals as they change jobs, get married, get divorced, etc.  That means health information must be portable.  It also must be locked down tight, as the federal government has established strict privacy standards for personal health histories.

For all of those reasons a career in health information management promises to be a long one that will go through extensive growth and change over the next couple of decades.  There are a number of bachelors’ degrees in Information Technology available today that specialize in health information management.

It’s a job description that includes not only database administration but also some network expertise as health records are routinely transmitted in electronic document form.  That function in turn must be completed as a secure transmission. Finally, every time a person changes doctors or insurance companies his/her records must be sent to the new health provider – a task which requires a personal signature from the patient.

An information systems manager in the health field has to be knowledgeable of the special security requirements required by law and the types of documentation required by the insurance companies along with the nature of the data being maintained – physicians records, X-Rays, scans of all types – health information systems go far beyond a single database.

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Salaries with Health Information System Degrees

Average annual earnings with Health Information System Degrees in May 2004.

  • Lowest 10 % earned $41,450
  • Median $67,430
  • Highest 10% earned $117,990

Related occupations with Health Information System Degrees:

  • Federal Government $87,200
  • General medical and surgical hospitals 71,280
  • Offices of physicians 61,320
  • Nursing care facilities 60,940
  • Home health care services 60,320