Health Information Management

HIM job market remains promising for new grads in light of national focus on health IT

HIM Briefings, June 1, 2009

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It was only by chance that Beth Kost-Woodrow, RHIA, assistant vice president and chief privacy officer at WellStar Health System in Marietta, GA, decided to pursue a career in HIM.
Kost-Woodrow, a 23-year HIM veteran, initially sought a clinical degree at Bowling Green (OH) State University. She says she became hooked on the alternative that has become her life’s work after an unexpected conversation with a fellow dormitory resident about her major, HIM.
“I decided that patient care was not for me,” says Kost-Woodrow. “But I loved healthcare law, anatomy, and pathophysiology. HIM balanced the love of medicine with the business aspects of healthcare.”
Jean S. Clark, RHIA, CSHA, service line director of health information at Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, SC, recalls entering the HIM profession for similar reasons. She realized that HIM was a good match after a conversation with her college academic advisor about careers in healthcare that didn’t involve direct contact with patients.
Clark received her associate of arts degree from LeesMcRae College in Bannner Elk, NC, and her bachelor of science degree from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Health Related Professions in Charleston.
More than 30 years later, Clark says there’s no looking back. “HIM is a fabulous, lifelong career, and there is never a dull moment,” she says.
Kost-Woodrow and Clark are not unique in their affinity for a career in HIM. AHIMA reports a steady 8% increase in enrollment in HIM baccalaureate programs and a 10% increase in graduates of these programs during the 2006–2007 academic year.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to HIM Briefings.

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