How to become a Health Information Manager

Health information managers combine knowledge of healthcare processes, health records and administration, information management and human resource management to provide services that meet the medical, legal, ethical and administrative requirements of the healthcare system.

Personal requirements of a Health Information Manager

  • Organisational ability
  • Potential to manage staff
  • Good written and oral communication skills

Education & Training for a Health Information Manager

To become a health information manager you usually have to complete a degree in science or health science with a major in health information management. Alternatively, you can complete a degree in a related field followed by a postgraduate qualification in health information management. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.

Duties & Tasks of a Health Information Manager

Health information managers may perform the following tasks:

  • plan and develop health information systems for various types of healthcare facilities, including computerised patient identification systems, coding and analysis of diseases and procedures, and the design of health record forms
  • revise and test the effectiveness of existing health information record services in hospitals and other healthcare facilities
  • develop and implement new policies and procedures for handling health information in accordance with professional ethics, institutional requirements and relevant legislation, including the Freedom of Information Act
  • select, supervise and manage staff
  • instruct health record service and other staff in the policies and procedures associated with the control, use and retrieval of health information
  • develop in-service training programs for health record and other health professional staff
  • control the transfer of relevant health service data to state health departments
  • perform management functions such as workplace design, financial planning, budgetary control, quality assurance, and selection of equipment and supplies
  • assist with medical research and healthcare projects.

Working conditions for a Health Information Manager

Health information managers usually work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities where they liaise with doctors, nurses, other health professionals and administrative staff. They may have some contact with the public. Some positions involve substantial managerial responsibility.

Employment Opportunities for a Health Information Manager

Health information managers are mostly employed by public and private hospitals. Other areas of employment include medical research centres, government health departments, cancer registries, group medical practices and private employers such as computer companies, imaging consultants, educational facilities and professional bodies. Employment prospects for health information managers are impacted by technological advances and more sophisticated health data.

Specialisations:


Health Informatician

A health informatician makes use of information technologies and computer sciences to develop and administer systems that accurately use, store, retrieve and exchange information in the healthcare field.

Additional Information
Before undertaking professional placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate and immunisations, and undergo a Working with Children Check. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Students and graduates of accredited courses can apply for membership of the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA).
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