Health information management (HIM) assistants work with patient medical records using paper and electronic systems. Responsibilities may include organizing and filing medical records including charts and reports in order to compile documentation of conditions and treatments, processing and forwarding patient and physician record requests, releasing information to persons and agencies according to regulations, and assisting with departmental audits and research.
Possible work environments include public health facilities, physician practices, and insurance or pharmaceutical companies. Other arrangements might include working remotely, for hospitals on various shifts, or for government agencies or consulting firms. HIM assistants typically work 40 hours per week and overtime may sometimes be necessary.
HIM assistants need to be knowledgeable about government rules and regulations regarding handling patient healthcare information, have strong oral and written communication skills, have strong organizational skills, be computer literate and detail-oriented, and be familiar with medical terminology and insurance codes. Some potential employers expect candidates to have a high school diploma, while others prefer some college education. The ability to cope with change and innovate is also of great value in this position as government rules and regulations regarding healthcare information management continue to evolve and change.
With experience, career advancement opportunities for HIM assistants include: HIM department director, HIM systems manager, data quality manager, information security officer, privacy officer, and regional HIM director.
Health Information Management (HIM) Assistant Tasks
- Organize and file all patients' medical records including charts and reports in order to compile documentation of conditions and treatments.
- Assist with departmental audits and research.
- Release information to persons and agencies according to regulations.
- Process and forward patient and physician record requests; utilizes paper and electronic systems.