Benefits of a Health Information Management Degree

Health Management

Health care is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the country, and that trend will continue as baby boomers – a population estimated at more than 76 million – retire and require assistance later in life. This news is good for students pursuing health care-related degrees; not only are they poised to enter a growth industry, but also one that is evolving and gives them more opportunities to explore post-graduation.

Forward Thinking interviewed Ashford University Assistant Professor Dr. Karen Bakuzonis about one popular health care field – Health Information Management.

FT: How does this degree position a student to pursue a career in health care?

Dr. Karen Bakuzonis: If you want to work in the health care industry, but don't want to care for people directly, then this degree might be for you. With a broad health care background, graduates will seek employment in all levels of health care and interact with a wide spectrum of other health care professions. In this program, the curriculum blends the disciplines of management, finance, information technology, medicine, and law into one.

FT: What are the critical skills a student can learn in this program?

Dr. Karen Bakuzonis: By studying health information, students have a versatile yet focused degree that prepares them to enter a number of different avenues for the future. Students have a strong foundation in biomedical information, management, project management, foundational informatics, and quality improvement. This foundational information is the base for a variety of health care careers.

FT: What will students learn in the Professional Practice Experience courses?

Dr. Karen Bakuzonis: For the two professional practice experiences, students will simulate activities as if they are in a health care setting, but in a virtual setting. For example, the students will utilize the AHIMA VLab, which includes common software in health care settings. Students will apply the knowledge and skills from earlier courses in real-world scenarios. In addition, in the second professional practice experience, students will spend a minimum of 40 hours at an appropriate health care-related facility for additional exposure to their field of study. In the final professional practice experience, students will complete a self-assessment of key competencies.

Health information is currently ranked among the country’s fastest growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re interested in health care and where a degree can take you, read “3 Unique Careers in Healthcare” and “Explore Exciting Jobs in Healthcare” on Forward Thinking.

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Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.


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