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Health Information Professionals Week – April 18-24, 2024

Health Information Professionals Week takes place every year from April 18 to 24. Before we dive into the why of this week, it’s important to know who exactly a health information professional is; just in case there is some confusion. A health information professional, or health information manager (H.I.M.) is a person whose job is to manage all the health information and data relating to a patient in order to ensure that everything is accurate, updated, secure, and accessible. They are like a liaison between medical physicians, the patient, and any third party who might require that information. Health information professionals are the most trusted people because they handle so much sensitive information about an individual, so the responsibility on their shoulders is definitely huge.

History of Health Information Professionals Week

Although there are no clear records, Health Information Professionals Week was first founded by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in 1990, and 2021 was the year that marked 32 years of H.I.P. Week being observed. The aim of founding the week was to spread awareness about the importance of the work that health information professionals or managers do, and how they contribute to the social healthcare and medical ecosystems. According to AHIMA, the motto and aim of Health Information Professional Week are to “keep health information human,” hence it is a great way to recognize and celebrate all that health information professionals invest in and do to ensure that patients’ information is secure and that they receive the highest quality care.

The official website shares many testimonials around this and honors health information professionals in various ways. In order to understand where health information professionals fit into the bigger picture of the healthcare system, it’s worthwhile tracing the origin of health information management as a professional career path. The health information management (H.I.M.) profession dates back to 1928, with the establishment of the Association of Record Librarians of North America (ARLNA) as a subset of the American College of Surgeons (A.C.S.). The reason this was formed was to “elevate the standards of clinical records in hospitals and other medical institutions.”

The organization then went through several name changes in 1938 and 1970 respectively, with the final name change happening in 1991 — the American Health Information Management Association. This was done to accurately reflect the importance of the impact technology and data analytics have had on the way health records and other information is processed and recorded. It also speaks to the influence of health information management on all spheres of healthcare; be it the doctor’s office, the clinic or hospital, and other relevant places. AHIMA also instituted the AHIMA Triumph Awards in 1994 to honor and celebrate exceptional health information professionals who demonstrate leadership, innovation, and extraordinary talent in the field.

Health Information Professionals Week timeline

Medical Record Keeping

Astrologers Simon Forman and Richard Napier document the first complete collection of patients’ medical questions and diagnoses.

Health Information Management Becomes a Profession

With the founding of ARLNA by the American College of Surgeons, H.I.M. becomes a career
path for many.

Medicare and Medicaid are Introduced

With the introduction of medicare and medicaid, nurses must now collect patients’ medical data in order to manage reimbursements.

The Week is First Observed

Health Information Professionals Week is made an official week of observance to appreciate all health information professionals.

The Organization Gets its Final Name

After various name changes, AHIMA is the final name the organization settles for.

Health Information Professionals Week FAQs

Is health information a good career?

Health information management can be a good career path because the income is substantial, provided that one pursues an advanced degree in the field, and has sufficient experience in that domain. There is upward mobility in this career path, and the benefits can be long-term.

Who is a health information officer?

A health information officer is also sometimes referred to as a Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO), who acts as an intermediary between medical departments and IT departments at any organization that deals with healthcare services. This role is usually a senior role which is equivalent to that of a director.

What is the H.I.M. profession?

Health information management (H.I.M.) involves the management of patients’ health information from end to end. Health information managers are responsible for acquiring accurate data and health information from patients and medical practitioners, analyzing the data, ensuring that it is all secure and protected, and making sure that the patient receives full visibility, as well as the best quality healthcare and services. It combines skills from subject areas such as science, business, and information technology.

How to Observe Health Information Professionals Week

  1. Appreciate a H.I.P. this week

    Reach out to a health information professional whom you or your family members may know, and take the time to find out more about what they do. Think about ways in which you can thank them for the service they provide — it could be by way of a card, gift hamper, voucher, or any other way of saying “thank you.”

  2. Research the profession

    Do a bit of digging to find out more about who a health information professional is, and how they revolutionize the healthcare system. You may quickly realize that a health information professional’s job has a far-reaching impact on people's lives, including perhaps, your own!

  3. Spread awareness about this week

    Health Information Professionals Week is an important week because it honors those in a profession, who may rarely get any recognition at all. It is easy to take for granted the fact that technology makes information storage and accessibility easier, but the fact is that there is a human behind all your medical records, which makes us want to celebrate their hard work. Therefore, it is important to spread awareness about the painstaking work that these professionals do in order to ensure that all patients have accurate, updated, and secure information.

5 Facts About Health Information You May Not Know

  1. Health apps are all the rage

    According to research, over half-a-billion dollars is spent annually on mobile health applications.

  2. Patients are unaware about access

    There are still about 50% of patients who are ignorant about whether or not their health records and information is available to them electronically.{[Physicians are increasingly tech-dependent

  3. Physicians are increasingly tech-dependent

    About 60% of physicians are said to own their own tablets and depend on them for information and data.

  4. A separate field of study

    Many universities offer accelerated degrees in healthcare information technology as a specific degree in healthcare.

  5. Ratings matter

    Approximately nine billion dollars are spent each year on resources that enable users to rate the healthcare industry.

Why Health Information Professionals Week is Important

  1. It highlights a lesser-known profession

    How many of us ever stop to think about who is in charge of keeping all our medical records up-to-date and secure? Do we ever realize that there is a person who is the touchpoint for such things and that they are in every way, a professional in their field? During the week, there is a chance for these health information professionals to be appreciated for all that they do to keep things running smoothly for both patients and medical practitioners.

  2. Inspiration for career paths

    Health Information Professionals Week is a great way to spread awareness about the career opportunities that are available in the space of health information management or health informatics. Many young people exploring future career paths may be unaware of the profession, or even people in the field looking for a change of career. This week is important because it can serve as a stepping stone to getting people interested in health information as a profession.

  3. It’s has universal relevance

    You would be hard-pressed to find any nation or society which does not have some form of healthcare information system in place. Therefore this week is an important one as health information is relevant to patients and healthcare organizations across the globe.

Health Information Professionals Week dates

2024April 18Thursday
2025April 18Friday
2026April 18Saturday
2027April 18Sunday
2028April 18Tuesday

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