Students interested in both computer technology and health care services may be well-suited to a career as a health information administrator. One of the following 15 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Health Information Management can help prepare students to do so. The degrees listed can be completed fully or partially online for students' convenience and flexibility. Online programs are ideal for working students, those with families to care for, or anyone looking to complete a degree whenever and wherever is most convenient for them. Online degrees are, on average, more affordable than traditional residential programs. Some programs may offer individuals the option to study on a full- or part-time basis. Online programs are typically just as rigorous and comprehensive as traditional on-campus programs. Many offer the same courses, often taught by the same faculty as residential programs.
The field of health information management covers the intersection of technology and health care. Some programs allow students to place an emphasis on either a technological or health care focus. Major courses may cover technological aspects such as information assurance, coding, databases, and electronic health records. They may also cover medical aspects such as medical terminology, disease, pharmacology, and physiology. Many programs consider professional issues such as law, ethics, economics, and leadership in the field of health information management.
Each program listed is a Bachelor of Science degree, meaning that each curriculum is built on scientific foundations. Some programs include internships or hands-on practical experiences, while others require coursework only. The program's online format can allow students to interact with real-world health information software. Most online Health Information Management programs require 120 to 126 credits and can take four to five years for full-time students to complete.
Why Become a Health Information Administrator?
The role of a Health Information Administrator is a contemporary role incorporating modern technology and patient care. Current regulations and rapidly advancing technology create a high demand for health information administrators. Typical job duties for the position include overseeing medical facilities, patient health records, and finances. Health information administrators can expect to work with medical staff and patients to coordinate and organize accurate information. Health information administrators may work in facilities such as doctor's offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities. Health care administrators may also be called health care executives or medical and health service managers.
Health information administrators may run into issues with budgeting and finances, assessing pharmaceutical shortages, and managing social media and patient privacy. As with most industries, it is important for health information administrators to remain sensitive to modern regulations, ethics, and laws, as well as diverse and aging populations.
According to the most recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers earned a 2017 median pay of $98,350 per year or $47.29 per hour. The field of health information management is currently experiencing a projected growth rate of 20 percent. This is faster than the average growth rate across all industries. This growth is due to advancements in medical technologies and regulations, as well as the need to care for the large, aging, baby boomer population.
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The University of Wisconsin offers a fully online program which ends in a Bachelor of Science in Health Information, Management, and Technology. The program is offered in collaboration with the Green Bay, La Crosse, Parkside, and Stevens Point branches of UW. The 61-credit program fuses the fields of health information management and health information technology for modern health care environments. Students can choose to follow a focused track in health information management or health information technology. Core courses for both tracks include Ethical Issues, Security Management and Compliance; Group Processes, Team Building and Leadership; and Health Care Billing, Coding, and Reimbursement. The program does not include residency requirements or live sessions. Interaction is encouraged through online discussion boards.
Founded in 1848, UW is the official state university of Wisconsin. It is also the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. Located in Madison, it is the oldest and largest public university in the state. A land-grant institution, UW is classified as a Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation. It is also a founding member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The university is counted among the nation’s “Public Ivy” universities, meaning it offers an educational quality comparable to that of the private Ivy League. The main UW campus is located on the shores of Lake Mendota and includes four National Historic Landmarks. It also operates a nearby historic arboretum. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 49 in National Universities and No. 15 in Top Public Schools.
Louisiana Tech University offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics & Information Management. Offered through the university’s College of Applied & Natural Sciences, the degree program requires 120 credit hours. Major courses include Database Concepts and Design, Fund of Disease and Pharmacology, and Technology Applications for Health Care. Beyond the 12 quarters of on-campus study, students must spend one quarter at an off-campus professional practice site. Five milestone exams are required throughout the program. Students may choose to earn an additional credential through six hours of continuing education. These hours may be spent at a professional seminar, health care facility field trip, or “Coding Clinic” quiz. Students must also fulfill four hours of volunteer service.
Louisiana Tech is a public university in Ruston, Louisiana. It is a member of the University of Louisiana System. A space-grant institution, Louisiana Tech is a member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. It is classified as a Doctoral University with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. The university conducts ongoing research projects funded by agencies such as NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.
The University of Central Florida offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management. Offered through the university’s College of Community Innovation and Education, the 120-credit-hour program curriculum covers business management, medical coding, and systems analysis. Core course requirements include Health Law, Medical Terminology, Professional Development and Issues in Health Information Management, and Quality Management. Each student must also participate in a hands-on internship.
UCF is a public state university in Orlando, Florida. It has the largest on-campus enrollment of any college or university in the United States. A space-grant institution, UCF was founded in 1968 to train personnel for the growing U.S. space program on Florida’s Space Coast. It is now classified as a comprehensive doctoral university with the highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. The university’s research institutions and centers include the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, the Florida Solar Energy Center, and the Institute for Economic Competitiveness. UCF is part of the State University System of Florida. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 165 in National Universities, No. 87 in Top Public Schools, and No. 10 in Most Innovative Schools.
The University of Cincinnati offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. The 52-credit program is designed for working professionals and ideal for licensed Registered Health Information Technicians. The plan of study includes courses in Financial Management, Health Data Management, Human Resources in Health Care, Project Management, and Reimbursement Systems. Classes are asynchronous, meaning they are not live and can be completed at students’ convenience. Some classes span seven weeks, while others span 14 weeks. The program can be completed in as few as six semesters.
UC is a public research university classified as a doctoral university with the highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. A member of the University System of Ohio, UC is the second-largest university in the state in terms of student enrollment. Located in Cincinnati, the campus features Gothic architecture, art-deco designs, stone, and includes a Frank Gehry-designed building. UC is the birthplace of the co-operative education model used by several institutions, which incorporates off-site fieldwork throughout students’ studies. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 147 in National Universities, No. 130 in Best Value Schools, and No. 75 in Top Public Schools.
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. The program is offered online through the university’s School of Informatics and Computing. The interdisciplinary curriculum combines finance, information technology, law, management, and medicine. It covers the administrative, clinical, and operational aspects of health information management. The plan of study includes courses in Computer Concepts for Health Information, Effective Communication for the Health Care Environment, Information Governance, and Medical Terminology. Coursework prepares students to analyze health information, manage electronic health records, and ensure data privacy and security.
IUPUI began in 1969 as the result of a merger between Indiana University Indianapolis and the Purdue Indianapolis Extension Center. Today, it is a public research university in Indianapolis, Indiana. A core campus of Indiana University, the school also offers Purdue University degrees. The campus sits on a peninsula along the White River and Fall Creek near downtown Indianapolis. It is classified as a “community engaged” university by the Carnegie Foundation. The university’s research institutes include the Arts and Humanities Institute, the Education Research Institute, the Imaging Research Institute, and the Nanotechnology Discovery Academy. U.S. News & World Report ranks IUPUI No. 194 in National Universities, No. 106 in Top Public Schools, and No. 45 in Most Innovative Schools.
East Carolina University offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. The 126-semester-hour program is offered in a blended format, with a combination of on-campus and distance education. The plan of study includes courses in Professional Roles & Environments in Health Care, Medical Terminology, Human Diseases, Managing the Health of Populations, and Health Information Management. The program includes a summer semester during students’ senior year. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator exam.
Founded in 1907 as a teacher training school, ECU is now a public sea-grant research university in Greenville, North Carolina. The university’s facilities are spread out across six campuses, including the Field Station for Coastal Studies in New Holland, North Carolina, and even a campus in Italy. The West Research campus includes institutes for research in dental medicine, coastal studies, sustainable tourism, weight research, and more. ECU is the fourth-largest university in the state of North Carolina. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 194 in National Universities and No. 106 in Top Public Schools.
Rutgers University offers a fully online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. Students can specialize in health care informatics, health care leadership, information governance, or medical coding. The 61-credit curriculum covers topics such as compliance, informatives, management, medical coding, and quality assurance. Course examples include Legal Aspects of Health Information, Classification & Reimbursement Systems, Electronic Health Records, and Ethics of Health Care. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator credentialing exam. The program can be completed on a full or part-time basis.
Chartered in 1766, Rutgers is the eighth-oldest college in the United States and one of the nine colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Now a public research university, it is the largest higher education institution in the state of New Jersey. It operates three campuses throughout the state in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. The university is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and has been counted among the nation’s “Public Ivies.” U.S. News & World Report ranks Rutgers No. 56 in National Universities and No. 17 in Top Public Schools.
Ferris State University offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. It is a degree-completion program, meaning qualified applicants must have completed an associate degree in Health Information Technology or Medical Records Technology. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes core courses in Evidence-Based Health Practice, Safety Issues in Health Care, Statistics in Health Care, and The U.S. Health Care Systems. Professional support courses include Applied Management, Health Care Finance, and Health Care Supervisory Practices. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national RHIA certification exam.
Ferris was founded in 1884 as the Big Rapids Industrial School and was noted at the time for admitting female students. Based in Big Rapids, Michigan, it is now the ninth-largest university in the state. In addition to its main campus, it operates learning locations throughout Michigan and online. The public university’s renowned Kendall College of Art and Design is located in urban Grand Rapids. U.S. News & World Report ranks FSU No. 94 in Regional Universities Midwest and No. 22 in Top Public Schools.
Western Kentucky University offers a 100-percent online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. Qualified students can choose to complete the Plus 2 program, which requires an associate degree and leads to a BS degree in as few as two years. Individuals can otherwise complete the traditional online program with no previous college credits required. Core course requirements include Anatomy & Physiology, Health Data Content & Structure, Electronic Health Records, and International Classification of Diseases. Elective offerings include Systems Architecture, Data Mining, and Decision Support Systems Analysis and Design.
Founded in 1906 by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, WKU is now a public university in the Kentucky town of Bowling Green. The university’s main campus sits on a hilltop overlooking the Barren River valley. It has been undergoing extensive renovations and expansion since the 90s. In addition to the main campus, WKU operates regional campuses in the Kentucky towns of Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Glasgow, and Owensboro. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 61 in Best Value Schools, No. 34 in Regional Universities South, and No. 11 in Top Public Schools. It is also ranked No. 15 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
Granite State College offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. Roughly 84 percent of students in the program are transfer students. Students can transfer in an associate degree in Health Information Technology or Health Information Management for a jumpstart on the bachelor’s degree. Courses include Health Care Policy, Law and Ethics for Healthcare and Human Services, Managing Diversity, and Managing Information Technology. The program can be completed entirely online, but students can choose to take select courses on campus.
Founded in 1972, Granite State College is a public college in Concord, New Hampshire. It is one of four member institutions of the University System of New Hampshire. The institution aims to offer affordable education at seven suburban campuses throughout New Hampshire and online. The college’s regional campuses are located in the New Hampshire towns of Concord, Conway, Claremont, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Rochester. U.S. News & World Report ranks Granite State No. 76 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
Davenport University offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. The 120-credit plan of study includes major courses in Clinical Information Systems, Health Care Finance, Information Governance, Leadership Discovery, and Security Foundations. Students can also choose from supporting courses such as Disaster Recovery, Innovation and Managing Change, and Regulatory Health Care. Students may also complete a Study Abroad Experience. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the RHIA exam.
Davenport opened in 1866 as Grand Rapids Business College. Today, it is a private, non-profit university headquartered in suburban Grand Rapids, Michigan. The university offers degree and certificate programs through locations throughout Michigan and online. It operates 10 learning locations in Michigan, including regional campuses in Holland, Lansing, Midland, and Warren. As of 2018, the average age of undergraduate Davenport students was 28, most students were enrolled full-time, and the average class size was 12 students.
Dakota State University offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration. Major courses include Business Statistics, Human Anatomy, Computer Science, and Basic Medical Terminology. The program incorporates hands-on supervised internships at local health care facilities. The university also has a Health Information Management Club involved in local community activities relating to the field. Distance learning delivery takes advantage of online resources such as video technology and real-world health information management software. About 85 percent of students complete the program on a part-time basis.
Founded in 1881 as a teacher training school, DSU is now a public state university in Madison, South Dakota. Along with its roots in education, the university has a focus on technology and programs relating to computers. The university’s motto is “Embrace Innovation.” It has been designated as a Center for Excellence in Cyber Security and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. The DSU information security team regularly competes in collegiate cyber defense competitions. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 118 in Regional Universities Midwest and No. 36 in Top Public Schools.
Regis University offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. Students may choose to specialize in Health Care Services or Information Technology. The curriculum builds understanding in areas such as business software applications; database systems; and the legal, ethical and moral impact of information technology in health care. Foundational courses include Medical Terminology, Human Disease and Pharmacology, and Disease Classification Systems. The program also includes health information management practicum. The program is structured in a flexible format that is 100 percent online.
Regis University was founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus. Today, it maintains its Jesuit and Roman Catholic affiliations and is a private university in Denver, Colorado. The university facilitates student volunteer service through its Center for Service Learning. Regis has also hosted speakers including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, writer Elie Wiesel, and Pope John Paul II. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school No. 26 in Regional Universities West and No. 32 in Best Value Schools.
Capella University offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The program has a specialization in Health Information Management. It is offered in Capella’s GuidedPath format with a structured schedule for those who want it. It follows a quarter system, with one to three courses per quarter. Students can expect to complete weekly assignments and participate in classroom discussions. The curriculum includes core courses in Database Systems, Programming with Java, Network Technology, and Software Architecture. Specialization courses include Information Security, Privacy and Ethics in Health Care; Statistical Analysis for Health Information Management; and Medical Terminology.
Capella was established in 1993 as The Graduate School of America. The for-profit institution is now owned by Strategic Education, Inc. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Capella delivers the majority of its education online and prioritizes flexibility. Programs are offered in GuidedPath or FlexPath formats. The FlexPath option allows students to complete coursework at their own pace, while GuidedPath follows a set structure with deadlines.
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers an online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. The program is structured with weekly coursework deadlines to keep students on track. The 128-credit curriculum allows students to be able to incorporate their prior work experience into their studies. Transfer students can apply relevant college credits toward the completion of their bachelor’s degree and graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the RHIA credentialing exam. Core courses include American Health Care Systems, Human Resource Management, Medical Terminology, Pharmacology, and Pathophysiology.
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1912 as an institution for women. It was originally located on convent grounds in Portland, the largest metropolitan area in Maine. Though it maintains its Roman Catholic religious affiliation, it is now a private, co-educational liberal arts college. It now occupies a 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, roughly 18 miles from Portland. The college has an average class size of 17 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1.