What is Health Information Management/Technology?

Health information management/technology are actually two separate career fields within the healthcare industry. However, they are closely related. These fields involve patient medical data, along with the ways in which it's stored, retrieved, managed and shared. Health information management and technology professionals work to understand healthcare data, along with knowing in detail the software and systems behind the use of that data. Both fields combine to make life better for medical patients. Read on to discover how they do just that.

Healthcare Information

Let's first look at what it means to talk about healthcare information. This term encompasses all of the data that has to do with their personal medical history. Information that falls under this category includes diagnoses, lab work, clinical information, medical histories and healthcare staff notes. All of this information can be viewed in several different ways by various personnel, depending upon need. A doctor might look individually at a patient's healthcare information, while records of a certain segment of a practice's patient population may be examined in order to look for patterns or discrepancies in data.

Healthcare Information Management

Now, when it comes to healthcare information management/technology, we'll begin by discussing the information management side of things. Healthcare information management the ways in which patient medical information and data is handled, no matter what its form. Both paper files and electronic health records fall under this category. The professionals who are trained in healthcare information management are also knowledgeable about the business end of healthcare, which includes such things as healthcare organizational workflows, medical compliance, insurance protocols and revenue cycles.These folks are responsible for the maintenance of patient records and the dissemination of the information contained within them. They must protect the confidentiality of patient information and ensure that it is shared only with those who are authorized to view it. These tasks are essential to the smooth flow of medical practices.

Healthcare Information Technology

Healthcare information technology applies to the technical side of information management. These professionals develop and utilize the software, hardware and systems that are needed to store and manage patients' medical data. They have technological backgrounds in order to be able to provide the necessary support for the smooth operation of these complex systems and networks. They handle the transmission, modeling and warehousing of data. Healthcare information technologists build and maintain the foundation of the records systems the information managers rely upon each day. These information technology professionals are absolutely crucial to the maintenance and use of the technology that keeps patient records protected and accessible.

Related Resource: The 25 Best Associates in Health Information Online Degree Programs for 2018

As you can see, professionals in both the management and technology aspects of healthcare information are necessary behind-the-scenes roles within the medical field. Patients may not be aware of the duties these workers take on, but they are certainly affected by them. Without the systems that hold patient data, along with the people who maintain those systems and manage the data they store, medical practices would run far less efficiently than they do. Health information management/technology are incredibly important roles within the medical field.