registered health information administrator (RHIA) definition

A registered health information administrator (RHIA) is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of a health information system (HIS) in a health care setting.

RHIAs design health information systems that meet all legal, ethical and medical requirements.  RHIAs usually work in hospitals but they are also needed in other organizations, such as insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Although new patient information and electronic health records can be updated by registered health information technicians (RHIT), it’s the RHIA’s job to manage the HIS's database. RHIAs must be in contact with many other professionals in an organization to ensure that all levels of an organization know how to use patient data in decision making and daily operations.

To become an RHIA, an applicant must successfully receive a bachelor's degree from an health information management (HIM( program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education -- or graduate from an HIM program approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement. 

See also: electronic medical records

Learn more:

Read about RHIA certification on AHIMA's website.

From chief knowledge officers to ICD-10 coding experts, AHIMA members are at the forefront of health IT awareness.

Government hopes to stimulate growth in health IT workforce.

This was first published in April 2011

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