Health Information Management

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Shasta College received approval from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to offer a bachelor’s degree program in the rapidly growing field of Health Information Management (HIM).  Here are answers to several questions prospective students may have about the program.

Q.  What is Health Information Management?

Q.  Who is eligible to apply?

Q.  Is the RHIT certification required to apply to the program?

Q.  How do I apply for the program?

Q.  How many students will be accepted into the baccalaureate degree program?

Q.  How does the admission process work?

Q.  How will I receive notification regarding admission?

Q.  When will classes begin?

Q.  In what format will the baccalaureate courses be offered?

Q.  Can I complete the program in less than or more than two years?

Q.  What other program-specific costs are there for me to consider?

Q.  How can I get more information about this career field and the Health Information Management program?

 

Q.  What is Health Information Management?

A.   Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. HIM professionals are highly trained in the latest information management technology applications and understand the workflow in any healthcare provider organization from large hospital systems to the private physician practice. They are vital to the daily operations management of health information and electronic health records.

Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles. They often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions. These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touch point in the healthcare delivery cycle. Having skilled HIM professionals on staff ensures an organization has the right information on hand when and where it is needed while maintaining the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality, and security.

To learn more about the Health Information Management profession go to the American Health Information Management Association’s website at www.ahima.org.

Q.  Why did Shasta College choose this degree?

A.  Due to the federally mandated adoption of electronic health records, there has been an increased labor market demand for Health Information Management professionals.  There are no 4-year public institutions in the state that currently offer this degree.

Q.  Who is eligible to apply?

A.  Admission will be open to students who hold a two-year Health Information Technology (HIT) associate of science degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Q.  Is the RHIT certification required to apply to the program?

A.  Not at this time.

Q.  How do I apply for the program?

A.  Submit a complete application packet with the appropriate documentation before the specified deadline date. Application Instructions may be found on the Shasta College Health Information Management Baccalaureate Degree Program website.

Q.  How many students will be accepted into the baccalaureate degree program?

A.  Shasta College intends to enroll up to 25 students in the HIM program in Fall 2017.

Q.  How does the admission process work?

A.  Those with complete applications will be placed on a qualified applicants list and will be accepted into the program until it is full.  Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Q.  How will I receive notification regarding admission?

A.   Applicants will receive notification of admission to the program via email.  All applicants are responsible for maintaining a current e-mail address on file with the college and the Health Sciences Division.  Accepted applicants must reply by the stipulated date to maintain admission status.

Q.  When will classes begin?

A.  In Fall 2016 Shasta College intends to start offering upper division Health Information Management courses, as well as upper-division general education courses.

Q.  In what formats will the baccalaureate courses be offered?

A.  At this time, the college plans to offer all upper-division courses online.

Q.  Can I complete the program in less than or more than two years?

A.   This is a cohort model and all students must take all classes in the order and at the times and dates they are offered.  The classes are scheduled over a period of two academic years (4 semesters).

Q.  What is the cost of the program?

A.  For California residents, students enrolled in upper-division coursework will pay $130 per unit.

Q.  What other program-specific costs are there for me to consider?

A.  Students will be required to complete and pay for a physical exam, TB skin test, required immunizations, a background check/drug screening and any additional clinic-specific requirements required by the clinical sites to begin the clinical experience.  In addition to the cost of textbooks, there is a fee for use of educational software used in some of the course work.

Q.  Is this program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM)?

A.  This is a new program and is not currently accredited.  We have followed the CAHIIM guidelines in developing the curriculum and as our program develops we will be applying for CAHIIM accreditation.  Once our program receives accreditation, students will be permitted to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) national certification exam.

Q.  What are the requirements for the Upper-Division General Education (GE)?

A.  Students must complete California State University requirements for General Education.  These do not need to be completed prior to entering the Health Information Management program, but all coursework must be completed within the 2-year program.

Q.  How can I find out if the courses I have taken outside of Shasta College will transfer or meet the prerequisite course requirements?

A.  To determine if courses are eligible to meet the prerequisite requirements, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with our Health Sciences counselor to have your transcripts evaluated.  For questions, contact the Health Sciences College Counselor, Mindy Marlatt, at (530) 242-7724 or mmarlatt@shastacollege.edu.

Q.  What colleges offer Associate Degree Health Information Technology programs?

A.   In spring 2016, Shasta College started offering its own 2-year associate degree program in Health Information Technology (HIT).  As our program develops we will be applying for CAHIIM accreditation.  In addition, several other California community colleges offer 2-year degree HIT programs.  Go to the California Health Information Association website at www.californiahia.org for a list of these accredited HIT programs.

Q.  If I enter Shasta College’s associate degree HIT program will I be guaranteed a spot in the bachelor's degree HIM program?

A.   Students in Shasta’s new associate degree HIT program may apply for admittance to the Bachelor’s Degree HIM program as pre-majors in the second semester of the program.

Q.  If I have an A.S. Degree in Office Administration-Health Information Management from Shasta College am I eligible to apply for the B.S. Degree program?

A.  Although many courses that you have taken will help you prepare for an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology, you will still need to meet the course requirements of an accredited A.S. degree HIT program before you are eligible to apply for the B.S. degree HIM program.

Q.  What is the employment outlook for Health Information Management graduates?

A.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites health information as one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.  On top of strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await graduates.  Nationally, by five years out, graduates with a bachelor’s degree can earn upwards of an estimated $50,000 to $75,000 annually.

Q.  How can I get more information about this career field and the Health Information Management program?

A.  For program information you may email Janet Daley Janus, RHIA, Interim Director of Health Information Technology and Health Information Management Programs at jjanus@shastacollege.edu.

More information about the Health Information Management field may be found on these websites:

www.ahima.org

www.hicareers.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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