October 2018 | Volume 23 | No. 5
AHIMA ELECTION RESULTS PG 8 | 2017 AHIMA ANNUAL REPORT PG 9 | AHIMA LOOKS AHEAD PG 10
EXPAND HIM’S SCOPE
Data analysts are in high demand in the healthcare industry—
and with that demand comes higher paychecks. In fact, those
who have attained AHIMA’s Certified Health Data Analyst®
(CHDA) credential have the highest earning potential of any
AHIMA credential, with an average salary of more than $95,000,
according to AHIMA’s most recent Salary Snapshot.
For HIM professionals—who already know the ins and outs of
coded data—becoming data analysts may be the next rewarding
step along their career path. In fact, the AHIMA Career Map
spells out several current opportunities for HIM professionals
in data analytics related to quality, population health, and
No matter what their role, HIM professionals are gaining greater
opportunities to use data analytics to transform data into
actionable information that their organizations can use to guide
their strategies and investments.
Promoting More Informed Decision Making
Data analysts are essential for helping their colleagues in
healthcare organizations use the vast quantity of internal and
external data currently available to make better decisions, says
Lesley Clack, ScD, assistant professor in the Department of
Health Policy and Management in the College of Public Health
at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Analysts are especially
important as healthcare organizations embark on performance
improvement initiatives, which ultimately may affect their
But even non-analysts, such as professionals in more traditional
HIM roles, can benefit from greater knowledge of data analytics
and data visualization. “It has become more and more important
for HIM professionals, as well as other professionals, to really
understand how to utilize these analytics techniques,” she says.
For HIM professionals who are new to data analytics,
management, and reporting, Clack suggests taking an AHIMA
workshop on data analytics or earning the CHDA credential,
which can help prove to current or prospective employers
that they have the right analytics skills. She also recommends
exploring graduate certificate or degree programs available
through colleges and universities.
To keep her own knowledge of analytics fresh, Clack attends
industry conferences and participates in webinars regularly.
“You have to continue to improve your skills to stay current,
no matter how advanced you may be,” she says.
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