Need for improved Health Information Management in Canada drives demand for certified professionals
Every aspect of Canada’s healthcare industry relies on information technology. Recent public health emergencies have made everyone aware of the importance of quickly sharing medical data between doctors, clinics and hospitals, public and private sectors and provinces and countries, all while safeguarding patient privacy. Yet, there are simply not enough data management professionals trained to fill high-tech positions.
Every aspect of Canada’s healthcare industry relies on information technology. Recent public health emergencies have made everyone aware of the importance of quickly sharing medical data between doctors, clinics and hospitals, public and private sectors and provinces and countries, all while safeguarding patient privacy.
Yet, there are simply not enough data management professionals trained to fill high-tech positions.
Why is the need for Health Information Management (HIM) professionals so critical?
The massive switch from paper to electronic medical records is still underway and the industry needs personnel who can handle and interpret this data
The baby boom generation has reached the age when it will be requiring more medical care
A high percentage of industry leaders and experienced information professionals are now at the age of retirement, creating openings and positions to fill
How Health Information Management professionals will revolutionize the Canadian healthcare system
Health data and the insights it provides are key to quality health care. Experts agree that information in the form of electronic medical records can revolutionize health care when it comes to patient safety, disease screening, communication between clinicians and their patients and improved cost-effectiveness. But information alone cannot do the job.
Health Information Management professionals are in demand to meet the needs of the ever-growing and increasingly-digital Canadian healthcare industry.1 The continued growth in the use of electronic health records (EHR) has resulted in billions of bits of medical data now being available. It will be the job of HIM professionals to use that information to improve patient outcomes.
Become a leader in health
In this new digital age, certified Health Information Management professionals will be called upon to be leaders in the lifecycle management of health information. They are needed:
For the secure collection, analysis and management of health information
In project management to assist in transitioning from a paper-based system to electronic health records across all healthcare sectors
To make it easier for clinicians to work together and with their patients. While most hospitals and physicians in Canada have transferred to Electronic Health Records (EHR), many physicians find that the systems used in their office don’t always communicate seamlessly with systems used by other healthcare providers (laboratories, pharmacies, paramedics). Effective health information management will ensure these systems work together to maximize information sharing while protecting patients’ privacy.
The way to career success
A career path in HIM can lead to secure and rewarding positions in the healthcare industry. With education, certification and experience, it’s possible to advance to management. For example, in 2020, medical and health services managers are 11th on the list of the 100 best jobs, second in best business jobs, and seventh in best STEM jobs.3
A promising future
Health Information Management combines two of Canada’s fastest growing sectors. Health care and social assistance account for nearly one in five of all job vacancies in our country. Jobs for professional, scientific and technical services are also at a record high.4
This correlates with other data showing that medical and health services managers will experience 32 percent employment growth from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.5
Following successful completion of the certification examination set by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CHIM), Health Information Management (HIM) Professionals can seek employment in a vast array of professional settings, from government agencies and hospitals to law offices and pharmaceutical companies.6
Some roles and emerging specializations performed by today’s HIM professionals include:
Clinical data analyst
Data quality analyst
Data mapping specialist
Health information technology specialist
Medical coding specialist
Release of information specialist
Risk management analyst
While wages are affected by workers’ education, certification and job responsibilities, the average salary for HIM professionals in Canada is $59,821. Entry-level positions start at $48,097 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $92,986.7
How can you take advantage of the booming career opportunities in Health Information Management?
Gain necessary skills and knowledge by successfully completing a program recognized by the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) that will put you on the fast track to CHIM certification. The new fully online Health Information Fundamentals program offered by McMaster University Continuing Education offers a streamlined pathway to get your CHIM designation faster.
Career, Health, Professional Development