Health Information Management
The degree program in health information management prepares the student for a professional career as an active member of the modern health-care team. In this age of increased computerization and data analysis the health information management field is an exciting area with virtually unlimited possibilities. The health information management administrator is an expert in the world of health record systems. He/she is responsible for obtaining complete health records for use in research; for gathering statistical information on which to base long-range health planning goals; for determining the legitimacy of requests for confidential medical information; for controlling the circulation and integrity of health records; and, as department head, is responsible for efficiency of the health information department employees in the performance of daily activities.The full spectrum of positions held by Health Information Management (HIM) professionals spans all types of traditional and non-traditional healthcare facilities and related organizations. The expanding opportunities reflect the changing healthcare industry as it incorporates new technology, adapts to federal regulations, and responds to the public demand for quality health information.
The health information department in the medical facility has in its care all the documentation regarding patient-care-physician as well as ancillary treatment - and the validity of statistics for the entire hospital. As director of this information hub of the hospital, the health information manager is in daily contact with a variety of hospital and health personnel. He/she must be progressive, conscientious, tactful, cooperative, and knowledgeable, as well as decisive and accurate. Above all, the health information manager and candidates must adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org) and to the appropriate institutional behavioral codes which apply.
Professional practice experience is scheduled at affiliated hospitals in nearby cities for a period of six hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. The management affiliation may be assigned to a hospital in a distant city for four weeks (40 hours per week) and normally occurs in the summer immediately following the senior year. Students are responsible for all transportation and lodging expenses during these assignments; however, every effort will be made to minimize such costs.
Students must make at least a "C" in each of the professional courses and demonstrate their proficiency in directed practice and management-affiliation. Upon successful completion of the program, the student is granted a Bachelor of Science degree in health information management and becomes eligible to sit for the national examination for certification. The student already holding a baccalaureate degree may apply for the HIM program as specified in the Application Guidelines and work toward another baccalaureate degree provided the pre-professional course of study as stated has been successfully completed, and thus establish eligibility to write the certification examination. Accredited health information technicians are urged to contact the Program Director for information regarding RHIA progression.The Baccalaureate Degree Program at Arkansas Tech University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). http://cahiim.org