Master of Science in Health Information Management and Information Technology Leadership (Joint Program)

Brief Description of the Discipline

Health Information Management (HIM) and information technology (IT) are essential, complementary disciplines in the healthcare environment. HIM is focused on ensuring the integrity of health care information and the confidentiality of that information while teaming with technology professionals, healthcare clinicians and administrators to develop, implement and maintain software and data systems that support efficient work processes and provide authorized access to pertinent information for use in patient care, education and research.  IT focuses on identifying technological solutions to business problems and implementing these solutions efficiently and effectively.  As a joint venture, these two disciplines are critical to facilitating the transition, implementation and management of health information systems and leading organizations into the future of health care and technology.

Program Directors: Amy Watters, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA & Brandon Olson, PhD

Programs

Master of Science in Health Information Management and IT Leadership (HIM/ITL)

The HIM/ITL graduate program is structured to facilitate the career advancement of practicing health information management and information technology professionals; however, it has evolved to also facilitate the growth of those committed to joining the health information discipline as new healthcare professionals. The program is offered in a distance learning format, with courses conducted primarily online, and two one-week onsite intensive sessions required on campus in Minnesota or California. It emphasizes quality health care data and information as the foundation for organizational information and knowledge management systems. The curriculum is designed to prepare professionals to thrive in a technology and information-driven healthcare environment. It prepares individuals for responsibilities in areas such as health care data resources administration, health care data privacy and security oversight, strategic and operational information resource planning, clinical data analysis, information systems development and implementation.

St. Scholastica's Master of Science in Health Information Management program was the first in the nation to be approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in December 2001, and later accredited by CAHIIM, the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, in 2011. As a result, completion of the MS in HIM/ITL Program grants eligibility to take the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credentialing examination offered by AHIMA.

To accommodate those who are new to the HIIM profession as well as those who are already credentialed as a RHIA, the program is designed to allow two different entry points.  Non-credentialed students begin with the credential track which provides foundational course work to prepare the student to sit for the RHIA exam leading to completion of the MS in HIM.  Students who are already credentialed enter the program through the advanced track.

Credential Track
The credential track begins with undergraduate courses to prepare students for the RHIA exam and provide a foundation for progression to the graduate-level courses. 

Required courses:
Undergraduate: BIO 2002 2002*, HSC 2203*, HIM 2102*, HIM 2110*, HIM 2111*, HIM 3132*, HIM 4315*, CIS 3108*, HIM 4222*, HIM 4520*
Graduate: HIM 6501*, HIM 6502*, HIM 6505*, HIM 6506*, HIM 6508, HIM 6509*, HIM 6523, HIM 6524, HIM 6530, HIM 6532*, HIM 6545, CIS 6101, CIS 6105, CIS 6113, PRM 6119, CIS 6208, CIS 6248, CIS 6575 and 2 courses from either Plan A or Plan B

Plan A (research-focus/FAP completion): HIM 6520, HIM 6522
Plan B (content-focus/ choose 2 electives): HIM 6511, HIM 6529, HIM 6531, HIM 6533, HIM 6540, CIS 6208

Total required credits: 88
*These courses cover the RHIA competencies as specified by CAHIIM.  Upon successful completion of these courses (48 credits), the student is eligible to sit for the RHIA exam.

Advanced Track
Required courses: HIM 6501, HIM 6502, HIM 6505, HIM 6506, HIM 6508, HIM 6509, HIM 6523, HIM 6524, HIM 6530, HIM 6532, HIM 6545, CIS 6101, CIS 6105, CIS 6113, PRM 6119, CIS 6208, CIS 6248, CIS 6575 and 2 courses from either Plan A or Plan B

Plan A (research-focus/FAP completion): HIM 6520, HIM 6522
Plan B (content-focus/ choose 2 electives): HIM 6511, HIM 6529, HIM 6531, HIM 6533, HIM 6540, CIS 6208

Total required credits: 58

Departmental policies

Applicants must submit:

  • Official transcripts of all college coursework;
  • An essay describing work experience and career goals;
  • A completed Computer Competency form and;
  • Two completed Graduate Recommendations.

Admission

For all programs, students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and have two years experience with information technology systems.  Applicants with international transcripts or non-citizen status should consult with an Admissions Representative for additional requirements.

A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 system is required. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is not required, but may be requested if the applicant's GPA is below 3.0. All prerequisite course work must be completed with a grade of "C" or above.

Retention

Credit toward the degree or certificate will be given for courses with a grade of "C" or better; however, students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A maximum of six graduate semester credits may be transferred from another college or university if approved by The College of St. Scholastica. The Master's degree program must be completed within seven years. Credits more than seven years old as of the date of graduation will not count toward the degree or certificate completion.

Departmental Outcomes

The MS in HIM/ITL Program prepares and challenges students to:

  • acquire advanced knowledge and skills in healthcare data, information, and knowledge management.
  • evaluate, select, and implement information technologies to manage healthcare data resources.
  • leverage health information to drive integrated clinical and administrative decision-making, strategic planning, and outcomes management.
  • take the leadership role in establishing an organizational culture that embraces the ethical use of confidential information and information technologies.
  • introduce appropriate change management strategies while leading organizations toward the use of excellent health information technology systems.
  • apply effective communication skills and strategies in interactions with multidisciplinary and multi-facility professionals.
  • assume increasingly challenging administrative positions in complex provider organizations and related entities in the healthcare arena.
  • thrive professionally in a practice environment that is undergoing fundamental change.
  • integrate advanced knowledge in healthcare, information management and technology.
  • lead and manage IT, HIM and healthcare professionals while establishing a collaborative culture that combines administrative, clinical and technological decision making and strategic planning.
  • analyze, design and implement IT and information management solutions that address organizational needs while improving the overall quality of care for the healthcare industry.