Health Information Management
Health Information Management (HIMS) is the department responsible to maintain all patient medical records and information. This is sensitive information and the patient's confidentiality must be maintained at all times. There are a variety of occupations available within the HIMS department ranging from file clerks to data managers to coders. Each title has a specific role in the acquisition, maintenance and interpretation of the patient's record. Education for positions in the HIMS department ranges from on-the-job training to masters degree levels.
The medical coder/abstractor is responsible for assigning a code to each diagnosis and procedure during a patient visit or stay. The coder utilizes his/her training and knowledge of diagnosis related groups or DRGs and assigns them to the medical record. These DRG determine the reimbursement amounts for the care provided and assist the hospital in billing for services rendered. It is for this reason that a strong attention to detail is an asset to individuals pursuing an education in coding. For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for medical record and health information technicians, or medical coders, please visit the American Health Information Management Association.