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.


General Information

Q: What is Health Information Management?

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 Mangement profession, go to the American Health Information Management Association's website at www.ahima.org.

Q: Why did Shasta College choose this degree?

Due to the federally mandated adoption of electronic health record, 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.



Application Process

Q: Who is eligible to apply?

Admission is open to students who hold a two-year Health Information Management (HIT) Associate of Science degree from a regionally accredited institution.

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

Not at this time. 

Q: How do I apply to the program?

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 at www.shastacollege.edu/HIM. 

Q: If I am a graduate of Shasta College's OAS-Health Information Management program, am I eligible to apply to the bachelor's degree program?

No, you must meet all of the course requirements of an Associate of Science Health Information Technology program before applying to the bachelor's degree program.



Admission/Enrollment Process

Q: How many students will be accepted into the bachelor's degree program?

The program will accept up to 35 students each year or until it is full.

Q: How does the admission process work?

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?

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: If I enter Shasta College's 2-year associate degree HIT program, will I be guaranteed a spot in the 4-year bachelor degree HIM program?

Graduates of Shasta College's Associate of Science in Health Information Technology program will be offered a spot in the Bachelor of Science Health Information Management program.



Course Format and Sequence
Q: How can I find out if the courses I have taken outside of Shasta College will transfer or meet the prerequisite course requirements?

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 Counselor, Mindy Marlatt, at (530) 242-7724 or via email at mmarlatt@shastacollege.edu, or schedule a counseling appointment online on the Shasta College website. ​

Q: In what format are the bachelor's degree courses offered?

The courses are offered online.

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

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).



Program Costs
Q: What is the cost of the program?

The estimated cost of program attendance​ ​may be found on the Shasta College website.

In addition to tuition and course fees, program costs may include background/drug screening fees, physical exam, and immunizations. There may be parking and transportation expenditures to and from a clinical site.​

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

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 soem of the course work.



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

This is a new program and is not currently accredited. The Baccalaureate Degree Health Information Mangement Program is in Candidacy Status, pending accreditation review by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). 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)?

Students are required to complete 9-units of upper-division general education integrated in the HIM program curriculum. Students must also complete the California State University requirements for General Education. All general education coursework must be completed before graduating from the bachelor's degree program. 

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

In spring 2016, Shasta College started offering a 2-year associate degree program in Health Information Technology (HIT). This program is not yet CAHIIM accredited, but we are in the process of applying for accreditation. In addition to Shasta College's program, 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.



Career and Employment Information​
Q: What is the employment outlook for Health Information Management graduates?

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, comptetive 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?

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

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

www.ahima.org

www.hicareers.com​

 



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