Healthcare Administration vs Healthcare Information Management

Bryanna Tanase

Bryanna Tanase

Master’s in Healthcare Administration (High Honors)

Updated & Fact Checked: 04.03.2024

Healthcare Administration and Healthcare Information Management are two areas of the healthcare industry, that are often interchanged. However, they differ in many ways, so they have their lanes.

The main factors that distinguish Healthcare Administration are displayed in the table below:

Healthcare Administration

Focus on the business operations of healthcare systems

Includes the application of finance to healthcare

Broad and general study

Average salary: $104,830 annually

Health Information Management

Focus on the technological and information systems that healthcare businesses use

Includes the transmission and storage of healthcare data

A specialization of study with a narrower scope

Average salary: $58,250 annually

Understanding what sets these fields apart will help you choose the best path. Learn more about each program by continuing below.

What Are The Differences Between Healthcare Administration and Health Information Management?

Healthcare Administration and Health information technology are separate disciplines, even though there are times when they may cross. This section will break down each of them to further explore what sets them apart.

Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration is the field that encompasses people who are managers within the business of healthcare. 

They do not care for patients directly or have a say in medicine, but their decisions impact the healthcare workforce and the operations of the facility they work in, and consequently, patient care.

Healthcare administrators can work in hospitals as well as clinics in any specialty. Some of the tasks they perform include:

  • Collaborating and working with other departments to make work more efficient 
  • Handle staffing and scheduling for their department or unit
  • Oversee the functioning of their facility or department daily 
  • Ensure that their work practices comply with federal and state regulations as well as healthcare ethics
  • Analyze the budget for their work area and allocate it according to their findings

With healthcare administrators, successful and thriving healthcare businesses exist. To succeed at their jobs, they must be strong communicators, multitask, and possess the confidence and analytical skills to manage a team, among others.

Education Required 

At a minimum, healthcare administrators need a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. However, many positions prefer candidates with a master’s degree, Education can also be supplemented with sufficient work experience.

Possible Job Titles 

Healthcare administrators can pursue various career options upon obtaining their degree or climbing the ladder. Here are a few of them:

  • Clinic managers- watch over a stand-alone medical practice in any discipline. They create policies and procedures for their facility and ensure that staff are paid, trained, and comfortable in their roles.
  • Emergency management directors- develop, coordinate, and carry out plants for emergency and disaster response 
  • Telehealth operations manager- responsible for the proper functioning and growth of an organization’s telehealth program, including the creation and implementation of new telehealth products, Leads the marketing of new products to other organizations and consumers

Pay and Job Outlook 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pay for healthcare administrators or medical and health services managers was $104, 830 per year in 2022.

The pay received varies with education, experience, and tenure at a company. The BLS predicts that the job outlook for professionals in this field is promising, with the growth rate for jobs at 28%. There were 509,500 jobs in the field in 2022.

Health Information Management 

Health Information management is keeping patient health information secure, documenting it correctly, and storing it in the right place. It can also include the coding and billing of health procedures for insurance purposes.

Health information includes medical records, labs, imaging results, and any relevant information relating to patient health. Health information managers are another key member of the behind-the-scenes team that brings quality care to patients.

Some of the tasks that health information managers perform are:

  • Create and maintain the health information systems they design to make sure the security is up to date and they follow state and federal regulations 
  • Entering and keeping track of medical records in the electronic medical record (EMR) system
  • Reviewing the programs to make processes smoother and or enhance security
  • Keeping watch over patterns in their stored health data

Thanks to health information managers’ work, access to personal health information is granted only to those who need it to provide care or otherwise perform their jobs. This keeps it out of reach of those who may want to misuse it.

Important skills that health information managers need are a strong understanding of how to analyze data, detail orientation and precision, and a desire to learn more about technology as it applies to healthcare and medical records.

Education Required 

The minimum degree requirement for health information managers is a bachelor’s degree in health information management. However, pursuing a specialized master’s degree in health information management will provide more knowledge and opportunities in the field.

Possible Job Titles 

There are many available job opportunities for those with a healthcare information management degree. Here are a few of them with a short description of what they entail.

  • Patient information coordinators – these professionals help patients keep track of their health records and complete applications for health-related needs. Their advice helps patients navigate the healthcare insurance marketplace and provider search
  • Medical coder- in the medical field, coders are responsible for recording health information properly inside of an electronic medical record system. Their work is what keeps health information organized and easily accessible 
  • Health information management director- directors are part of the leadership team that watches over the entire health information management system at an organization. They work on making updates to improve processes and work with the rest of the leadership team towards goals and objectives 
  • Systems analyst- analysts research and develop solutions to issues with health information systems, manage user accounts and provide troubleshooting for users of a health information system, and write new program code based on user needs

Pay and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for health information managers in 2022 was $58,250 annually. The salary one earns can increase depending on earned education and experience. The BLS predicts the job growth or outlook for this field is 16% which is much faster than the average. Professionals in this field are clearly in demand.