How Long Does Health Information Management School Take?

As more and more hospitals move towards the electronic management of health records, the demand for health information managers is expected to grow quite rapidly in the next few years. Tasked with maintaining and keeping patient records secure, health information managers need to be able to do their jobs each day while keeping themselves updated on any legislation that could potentially impact their work.

Health information managers combine their passion and skill in handling new technologies with the satisfaction they find working in the healthcare industry. Because of the technical knowledge needed to perform the duties of the job accurately, going to health information management school is a must. A bachelor’s degree in health information management typically takes four years to complete in a traditional on-campus setting. There are also associate’s degrees that take only a couple of years to finish and even certificate programs in health information management that can be obtained in less than two years but it is worth noting that many employers prefer those with a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree which normally takes two years to finish is even better.

The good news about the health information management course is that many schools are now offering them online. This provides students with that much-needed flexibility they need to pursue their studies while managing to the other demands of their time like work and family obligations. The University of Wisconsin, for example, offers the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology completely online. According to the school’s website, it is even possible to finish the course in as short as two years but the student will have to “take full credit loads (five Health Information Management and Technology courses) each semester.” Of course, students who intend to work while studying may take longer to complete the requirements of the course. The good thing about this program is that there is no deadline for completion so it’s truly self-paced.

The University of Cincinnati is another school that offers the Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Information Management online. The curriculum is comprised of 60 semester credit hours and students can finish it in as short as six semesters. According to the school’s website, they cater their program for working professionals so students can simply “take one course at a time every seven weeks.”

For those who are interested to take their knowledge about health information management further and enroll in postgraduate studies, there are also online programs available. The University of Tennessee offers the Master of Health Informatics and Information Management program. This online program is comprised of 33-credit hours and includes such topics as healthcare information systems, legal issues in health information technology and systems knowledge management. Students can take a minimum of two courses per semester and can finish the program in two years.

Take note, however, that while online courses provide the most flexibility especially for those who are busy with other obligations, they are not for everyone. If you are not disciplined and don’t have the focus to do assignments and study lessons without a professor present, you may not be able to finish health information management school through a distance education program. In this case, a traditional on-campus arrangement may be the better option.

Career Spotlight: Health Information Manager

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