Master of Science in Health Information Management

Master of Science in Health Information Management

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: Ryan Sandefer, MA, CPHIT
Program Director: Amy Watters, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA

Programs

Master of Science in Health Information Management
The HIM graduate program is structured to facilitate the career advancement of practicing health information management professionals and to 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 one, one-week onsite capstone session required on campus in Duluth, Minnesota. 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.

To accommodate those who are new to the HIIM profession as well as those who are already credentialed in the field, 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*, 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 6113 and 2 courses from either Plan A or Plan B

Plan A (research-focus/FAP completion): HIM 6535, HIM 6536
Plan B (content-focus/ choose 2 electives): HIM 6511, HIM 6529, HIM 6531, HIM 6533, HIF 6230, HIF 6537, CIS 6208

Total required credits: 70

*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 6113 and 2 courses from either Plan A or Plan B

Plan A (research-focus/FAP completion): HIM 6535, HIM 6536
Plan B (content focus/choose 2 electives): HIM 6511, HIM 6529, HIM 6531, HIM 6533, HIF 6230, HIF 6537, CIS 6208

Total required credits: 40

Certificates

The MS in HIM program offers a graduate level certificate 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. This program is offered in a distance learning format and generally can be completed in three semesters or less. The courses that comprise the certificate program may also be applied to the department's Master's degree program.

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

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. 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; 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.

Departmental Outcomes

The MS in HIM 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.

The Health Information Management and Exchange certificate program prepares and challenges students to:

  • acquire advanced knowledge of the principles and legal/regulatory requirements of healthcare data and information management.
  • evaluate, select, and implement information technologies to manage healthcare data resources and create efficient work processes.
  • leverage health information to drive integrated clinical and administrative decision-making.
  • take an active role in creating an organizational culture that embraces the ethical use of confidential information and information technologies.
  • facilitate the exchange of health information in a secure manner.
  • apply effective communication skills and strategies in interactions with multidisciplinary and multi-facility professionals.
  • thrive professionally in a practice environment that is undergoing fundamental change.