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Health Information Management (HIM)


HIM Career

Health Information Management professionals work with health care data. They acquire, analyze, interpret, maintain, release, and protect medical information be it in digital or paper form. They also design, implement, and maintain health information technology systems.

HIM professional work in many different types of jobs, including medical coder, cancer registrar, HIM supervisor, HIM manager, HIM director, compliance officer, information privacy officer, information security officer, quality improvement analyst, release of information professional, IS professional, and software professional. In the future, many new HIM jobs will be created with the adoption of the electronic health record.

HIM professionals work in health care, but often do not work directly with patients. They work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, physicians' offices, long-term care facilities, consulting firms, mental health facilities, correctional facilities, accounting firms, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical firms.

Education level for people working in HIM varies from on-the-job trained file clerks to highly educated doctorate level professionals. Formal HIM training programs incorporate medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into their curriculums.

Several HIM credentials are available through AHIMA. For more info, see the credentials page.



RHIT certification exam - AS degree in HIT/HIM required

Good study and review books for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam are the Merida Johns' and Mervat Abdelhak's books below. A popular review guide for this exam is the PRG Guide for the RHIA & RHIT examinations by Patricia Schnering, better known as the "PRG study guide."

New for 2009!
AHIMA now offers an online RHIT exam prep series. It consists of self-paced, 6-12 lesson courses covering five RHIT domains. Some modules are available now, and all will be available by Jun 1st, 2009. For more info, visit AHIMA's e-learning section.

RHIA certification exam - BS degree in HIM required

Good study books for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam are the Kathleen LaTour's and Mervat Abdelhak's books below. Plus the same PRG study guide and AHIMA's prep course as above.

What is RHIT or RHIA? See the credentials page.


My Prep for the RHIT Exam

I passed the RHIT exam several years ago on my first try with a very high score. This is how I prepared for it:

  • Textbook -- I mostly used our main textbook "Health Information: Management of Strategic Resource" by Abdelhak for my exam preparation. This was before AHIMA published their textbooks for the RHIT and RHIA programs.
  • Review guide -- I used the Professional Review Guide for the RHIT Exam book for test practice. This book is also known as the "PRG study/review guide" for the RHIT and RHIA examinations. It was originally published by the PRG Publishing company, but Delmar Cengage Learning acquired them in 2005.
  • Timeline -- I took the exam a few months after graduation when the HIT/HIM program material was still fresh in my mind.


RHIT & RHIA Exam Review Books

prg rhit 2011

Professional Review Guide for the RHIA and RHIT Examinations *2011 ed

  • by Patricia Schnering
  • Delmar Cengage Learning
  • the best known and most used RHIT and RHIA exam review guide
  • updated yearly
abdelhak study guide

Student Study Guide for Health Information: Management of a Strategic Resource

  • by Mervat Abdelha, Sara Grostick, Mary Alice Hanken, Ellen B. Jacobs
  • Saunders, Mar 2007
  • in-depth study and review of the most important facts and information from HIM
  • companion study guide to the Abdelhak textbook book below


HIM Books

The HIM books provide an overall view of health information management (HIM) and health information technology (HIT), and help you prepare for the RHIT and RHIA exams.


Health Information: Management of a Strategic Resource *new 4th edition

  • by Mervat Abdelhak, Sara Grostick, Mary Alice Hanken
  • Saunders, Feb 2011
  • used in many HIT and HIM programs, including mine (1st edition)
  • known as the "Abdelhak book"
  • great for RHIT & RHIA exam prep
  • previous editions: 2nd ed 2001, 3rd ed 2007

him technology

Health Information Management Technology: An Applied Approach

  • by Merida L. Johns
  • AHIMA, Aug 2010
  • HIT textbook for RHIT students (2 yr degree)
  • great for RHIT exam prep
  • previous editions: 1st ed 2002, 2nd ed 2006



Health Information Management: Concepts, Principles, and Practice

  • by Kathleen M. LaTour, Shirley Eichenwald Maki
  • AHIMA, May 2009
  • HIM textbook for RHIA students (4 yr degree)
  • great for RHIA exam prep
  • previous editions: 1st ed 2002, 2nd ed 2006

essentials of him

Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices
  • by Michelle A. Green, Mary Jo Bowie
  • Delmar Cengage Learning, 2nd ed, Mar 2010
  • written for 1st semester students, or use as a reference
  • previous edition: 1st ed 2007

comparative him


Comparative Health Information Management *new 3rd edition

  • by Ann Peden
  • Delmar Cengage Learning, 3rd ed. 2011
  • describes health information practice in wide variety of settings; inc. long-term care, home health, ambulatory care, veterinary, correctional, dental
  • previous edition: 2nd ed 2004
healthcare statistics

Calculating and Reporting Healthcare Statistics

  • by Loretta A. Horton
  • AHIMA, 3rd edition, Aug 2009
  • basic HIM statistics
  • used in some HIT programs
  • previous edition: 2nd ed

   Links checked Oct 2011

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