Brief Description of the Discipline
The Health Information Management (HIM) discipline is focused on ensuring the integrity of health care information and the confidentiality of that information. Today's HIM professionals team with technology professionals and 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.
Department Chair: Kathleen M. LaTour, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA
Program Coordinator: Amy Watters, MA, RHIA
Master of Science in Health Information Management
The HIM graduate program is structured to facilitate the career advancement of practicing health information management 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 an 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 Program grants eligibility to take the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credentialing examination offered by AHIMA.
Foundational courses for all applicants include the following:
In addition to the foundational courses, computer competence is required in word processing, spreadsheet, database and communication applications.
Required courses: HIM 6501, 6502, 6505, 6506, 6508, 6509, 6520, 6522, 6523, CIS 6205 and MGT 6455; and 3 courses from one of the following chosen areas of concentration or across concentrations:
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Strategies - HIM 6507, HIM 6529, HIM 6530, HIM 6531, HIM 6532.
Healthcare Management - HIM 6507, HIM 6529, HIM 6532, HIM 6540, HIM 6544, HIM 6545, MGT 6420, MGT 6355
Information Technology Leadership - CIS 6101, CIS 6105, CIS 6107, CIS 6108, CIS 6208, CIS 6305, CIS 6308, CIS 6318.
Health Information Management and Exchange - HIM 6511, HIM 6530, HIM 6533
Online Instruction - EDU 6430, EDU 6445, EDU 6460
Total required semester credits: 40
The department offers four graduate level certificate programs designed to prepare healthcare professionals for responsibilities associated with planning, developing, implementing, using and/or evaluating computer-based data and information systems to their daily practice environments. These programs are offered in a distance learning format and generally can be completed in three semesters or less. The courses that comprise each certificate program may also be applied to the department's Master's degree program.
This program focuses on the application of computers to generate, validate, secure and integrate healthcare data so it can be effectively utilized to support the decision-making activities of clinical and administrative professionals.
Required courses: HIM 6501, 6502, 6505, 6507, 6508, 6509.
Total required semester credits: 18
Health Information Management and Exchange
This program focuses on the collection, management, exchange, and analysis of electronic health information in a secure and confidential manner.
Required courses: HIM 6501, HIM 6502, HIM 6505, HIM 6509, HIM 6511, HIM 6533.
Total required semester credits: 18
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Strategies
The program is designed to prepare practicing healthcare professionals to confidently participate in clinically oriented computer-based system implementations and effectively lead the use of such systems in their organizations. Project management, workflow redesign and best practices in implementation are a part of the curriculum.
Required courses: HIM 6502, HIM 6507, HIM 6529, HIM 6530, HIM 6531, HIM 6532.
Total required semester credits: 18
This program focuses on the application of computer-based tools to plan, implement and monitor the performance of project teams.
Required courses: HIM 6507,HIM 6529, HIM 6530.
Total required semester credits: 9
Applicants must submit:
For all programs, students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. For the MS in HIM program, if the degree is in a field other than HIM, experience in the field of health care is highly recommended so that conceptual material may be effectively applied to actual professional experience. 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.
Credit toward the degree or certificate will be given for courses with a grade of "C" or better; 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 and each of the certificate programs 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.
The MS in HIM Program prepares and challenges students to:
The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Strategies certificate program prepares and challenges students to:
The Health Information Management and Exchange certificate program prepares and challenges students to:
HIM 6501: Technology Applications in Health Care
Introduction to current and emerging technology applications and data standards in the healthcare industry and how they relate to the collection of patient data and conversion to health information. Legacy, client server-based, and web-based systems examined, along with emerging technologies that support the creation of the electronic health record (EHR). Emphasis is on systems integration, systems security and the processes for evaluating and selecting applications that address organizational goals and functional requirements. Prerequisite: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6502: Development of Clinical Information Systems
Focused on providing students with the expertise to conceptualize and strategically plan and build the appropriate health information infrastructure for supporting the knowledge requirements of the healthcare organization. Topics to be addressed include information systems theory and strategic planning; clinical information systems applications and operations analysis, data and technical infrastructures for the electronic health records; information system acquisition and implementation and the regulatory, standards and ethical environment and future trends in health information systems. Prerequisites: Fundamentals of HIM and US Healthcare System, or permission of the department.
HIM 6505: Database Methods for Clinical Information Management
Addresses database theory, methodologies for database design and issues related to database administration. Emphasis is on requirements and methodologies for assuring data integrity and security in healthcare enterprise information systems, specifically in relationship to the database environment. Prerequisites: Fundamentals of HIM and US Healthcare System, or permission of the department.
HIM 6506: Assessing Healthcare Quality
Assess outcomes research activities, exert leadership in implementing clinical outcomes measurement projects/programs within healthcare organizations and systems. The course focuses on the role patient-centered outcomes information plays in assuring that healthcare systems are able to establish cost-effective clinical practices that do improve the health, functional status and well-being of healthcare consumers, and accreditation and legislative initiatives impacting healthcare outcomes activities. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of department.
HIM 6507: Project Management
Project management, including the development of a project charter with emphasis on developing the competencies and skills required to successfully lead teams of clerical, technical and professional specialists through workflow and work process redesign activities within a healthcare organization or system. Criteria and techniques for evaluating the features, functionality and usability of project management (PM) software packages; advanced level skills in using a PM application to create a project plan, schedule tasks and resources effectively, communicate with stakeholders, as well as track and report progress for both simple and complex projects. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of department.
HIM 6508: Decision Support System
Covers the techniques, strategies and the need/use of Information Technology (IT) tools for data collection, data analysis, reporting and knowledge management. Offers learners the foundational terminology, concepts, models, processes and tools associated with decision support and knowledge management systems to leverage data into information and knowledge enhance care processes, data quality, cost effectiveness and decision-making, ultimately increasing the strategic acumen of the organization. Prerequisites: Finance or Accounting and HIM 6505, or permission of the department.
HIM 6509: Medical Vocabularies and Classification Systems
The representation of clinical data through the use of medical vocabularies and clinical classification systems. Emphasis is on developing expertise in identifying appropriate clinical classification systems and medical vocabularies, identifying their appropriate uses and sources, and applying them within and among health information systems to promote effective communication. Prerequisite: HIM 6501 or permission of department.
HIM 6511: Health Information Security Systems
Strategies for designing, implementing, auditing and evaluating the technical, physical and human components of an information security system that maintains a patient's privacy and adheres to a healthcare organization's legal, ethical and organizational requirements Prerequisites: Acceptance to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6520: Applied Project Research and Writing
The Final Applied Project starts with this course; methods of project research and writing are introduced and practiced. The student develops a project proposal and benchmarks the proposed project against existing applications in the field. Activities include selecting the topic, developing a problem definition/problem statement and the rationale for the selected applied project, developing a literature review, defining a design/solution model for the applied project product, and finalizing a Final Applied Project Proposal. Prerequisites: HIM 6501 and HIM 6502.
HIM 6522: Final Applied Project
Working with an assigned Final Applied Project advisor, the student completes the applied project and prepares a project report to be submitted to the department for final approval. The goal of the Final Applied Project is to increase students' cognitive sophistication through an activity that requires reading, thinking, and writing, to only further the student's education, and make a meaningful contribution to HIM practice. Prerequisite: HIM 6520.
HIM 6523: Graduate Seminar
A capstone seminar in which students present the results of their Final Applied Projects and explore current issues relative to the field of Health Information Management in a rapidly changing health care delivery system. Prerequisite: HIM 6522.
HIM 6529: Leadership in Change
Develop a systems-based way of thinking about leadership and how people function in the workplace, self-assess leadership thinking and behavior, establish goals for a higher level of leadership functioning, integrate System-based Leadership and Change Management™ with models of change management and transition and identify patterns of behavior that sabotage change in your system and internalize behavior for leading change in your organization. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6530: Clinical Workflow and Process Redesign
This course explores how ancillary & clinical processes are designed and integrated together with the flow of information throughout a healthcare facility to bring decision-making value to healthcare professionals though quality information gathered in the most effective and efficient ways. Topics to be addressed include theory of quality and process improvement, workflow redesign, modeling techniques, use case scenario descriptions, clinical process reengineering, relationship to system infrastructure preparation and system build, outcomes measurement, and impact of change on organizational climate. Prerequisites: HIM 6502 or permission of the department.
HIM 6531: Best Practices/Implementation Strategies for the EHR
Covers components of EHR implementation as identified through best practices case studies. Examine how the EHR impacts patient care through the availability of information and clinical decision support, create and use rules and clinical protocols/tools for the EHR, and develop training methodologies. Prerequisites: HIM 6502 or permission of the department.
HIM 6532: Monitoring and Evaluating Health Programs
Explores methods and processes used to systematically collect and measure information for the purpose of program evaluation. The course integrates several knowledge and skill areas including: research methods, statistics, proposal writing, budget planning, project management, and program evaluation. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6533: Methods of Health Information Exchange
This course explores the concepts of health information exchange across diverse systems and networks. The development, role and future of the National Health Information Network (NHIN) is includes as are other federal, state and national initiatives related to sharing of health information in a secure and confidential manner. The impact of information exchange on seamless delivery of patient care is explored. Case studies are utilized to analyze various methods of data and information exchange. Prerequisites: Acceptance to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6540: Revenue Cycle Enhancement
Identify processes and develop strategies to enhance the performance of the healthcare organization's revenue cycle. Investigate each component of the process, along with mechanisms to monitor their efficiency and effectiveness. Learn to identify areas needing improvement, and techniques to implement and sustain those improvements in order to maximize cash flow. Prerequisite: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6544: Health Plans and Contracts
Identify the types of health plans and payers that exist and how each establishes their programs to provide plan support and reimbursement to purchasers of healthcare. Special consideration will be placed on the role of employer, consumer, and provider. Explore how reimbursement structure is designed and how it affects charge description masters, revenue cycle management, and how data/information is used by health plans and purchasers. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6545: Corporate Compliance in the Healthcare Industry
Addresses a growing need to adequately train health care leaders in the field of health care compliance and various topics in health care compliance, including corporate compliance (fraud and abuse), privacy, risk management and identity theft. Essential elements of a corporate compliance program will be presented as well as primary federal legislation addressing fraud and abuse. Privacy of patient information will be discussed in terms of the HIPPA and HITECH regulations. Risk management concepts will be presented as well as identity theft as relates to medical identity theft. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.
HIM 6777: Special Topics in HIM
A special offering presented by the HIM graduate program to present new and/or emerging developments in the field of health information management.
HIM 6900: Continuing Enrollment: Final Applied Project
Required registration for continuing work on the final applied project. Students not completing the Final Applied Project within one academic year after registering for HIM 6522 must register for HIM 6900 each semester until completion of the Final Applied Project.
HIM 6999: Independent Study in HIM
Opportunity available, with the approval of the graduate advisor, for a student to pursue a special project or special studies in an area of health information management that is not covered by the existing curriculum.
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