In general, a health information administrator performs tasks related to the management of health information and the systems used to collect, store, process, retrieve, analyze, disseminate, and communicate that information regardless of the physical medium in which the information is maintained.  In addition, they assess the uses of information and identify what information is available and where there are inconsistencies, gaps, and duplications in health data sources.  They are capable of planning and designing systems and serving as pivotal team members in the development of computer-based patient record systems and other enterprise-wide information systems.   Their responsibilities also include serving as brokers of information services.  Among the information services provided are design and requirements definition for clinical and administrative systems development, data administration, data quality management, data security management, decision support design and data analyses, and management of information-intensive areas such as clinical quality/performance assessment and utilization and case management.

The tasks or functions performed by these professionals are numerous and are continually changing within the work environment.  The job title and work setting will dictate the actual tasks performed by the health information administrator.


Baccalaureate degree programs are 4 years.  Post-baccalaureate and other certificate programs are generally 1 year.  Applicants for the 4-year degree program should have a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED).  Applicants for the 1-year post-baccalaureate certificate program should have a baccalaureate degree that includes course-work in science and statistics, as specified.


The pre-professional curriculum should include appropriate general education credit predicated on the requirements of the academic institution.  The professional curriculum requires biomedical sciences (anatomy, physiology, language of medicine, pharmacology, and disease processes); information technology (microcomputer applications, programming, system architectures and operating systems, introduction to database concepts, and data communications); health care delivery systems; legal aspects of health care and ethical issues; organization and management (managerial principles, human resources management and development, financial management for health care, organizational behavior, and interpersonal skills); quantitative methods and research methodologies (introductory and advanced health care statistics/epidemiology, research methods in health care), health care information requirements and standards, health care information systems (computer applications in health care, systems analysis and design), health data content and structures, classification, nomenclature and reimbursement systems, clinical quality assessment and performance improvement; biomedical and health services research support; health information services management; and a capstone experience/practicum/project.


Presently, opportunities for practice are found in numerous settings such as acute care general hospitals, managed care organizations, consulting firms, claims and reimbursement organizations, accounting firms, home health care agencies, long-term care facilities, drug companies, behavioral health care organizations, insurance companies, state and federal health care agencies, and health care computing industries.  Practice opportunities are unlimited for the health information administrator.


American Health Information Management Association
233 Michigan Avenue; Ste. 2150
Chicago, IL  60611-1683
(312) 233-1100