Health information management professionals

Printer-friendly version

About health information management professionals

Health information management (HIM) professionals are certified experts in the science and technology of health information management. They possess a unique blend of knowledge and skills encompassing biomedical sciences; information science and technology; the legal aspects of health information management, including privacy; and the integration of clinical and financial information.   

HIM professionals are employed in a variety of health care settings, including acute care, community health clinics, mental health and outreach programs, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, as well as in government agencies, privacy commissioners’ offices, educational institutions, IT/IS vendors, pharmaceutical companies and workers’ compensation offices. HIM professionals provide services in all aspects of health information lifecycle management, including data collection and quality management, data integrity, decision support, standards, access and disclosure, coding, disposition and privacy health information. They perform detailed analyses of the information in the health record to facilitate health care delivery, patient safety and decision support. 

Data availability

CIHI’s Health Workforce Database (HWDB) collects aggregate-level, standardized data on the regulatory environment, supply, and demographic and education characteristics of HIM professionals in Canada.

Reports and analyses

Regulatory environment

In Canada, there are no legislated regulatory requirements for HIM professionals. 

Practice criteria

To practise as a HIM professional in Canada, an individual must meet various requirements that may vary slightly from one jurisdiction to another.

Common requirements

  • Hold a diploma or bachelor’s degree from a Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA)–accredited program
  • For external graduates:
    • Hold a bachelor’s degree other than from a HIM program, have 3 years working in health information management, health information or e-health, and complete other educational requirements; or
    • Complete the examination application for certification offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or CHIMA
  • Pass the Canadian College of Health Information Management national certification examination through CHIMA and maintain 36 continuing professional education credits per 3-year cycle

Scope of practice

The scope of practice for HIM professionals is articulated by CHIMA, which outlines the range of responsibilities that define the boundaries of professional practice.

HIM professionals are certified experts in the science and technology of health information management who maintain the integrity and confidentiality of personal health information. Some of their main functions includei

  • Managing health information services
  • Using technologies to capture, manage and analyze data
  • Preparing, analyzing and presenting health information for use in health care delivery and financial and management planning
 

i. Canadian Health Information Management Association. Description of health information management. Accessed May 26, 2016. 

Use CIHI's accessibility request form to request CIHI documentation in an accessible format.