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Health Information Management


Health Information Programs at WKU

Health information management (HIM) is a diverse yet evolving field that incorporates medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one dynamic career path.  At WKU there are two programs in Health Information Management:  the Associate Degree and the Baccalaureate Degree.  The Baccalaureate Degree can be completed online.  At this time, while most courses in the Associate Degree can be completed online, there are some courses that cannot be completed online.  See below for more information on both programs.

Health Information Management Baccalaureate Degree

Health information management (HIM) is a diverse yet evolving field that incorporates medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one dynamic career path.  The major in health information management is designed to prepare students with skills and competencies in health data management, data analytics and informatics, information governance, privacy and security, compliance, clinical documentation improvement, revenue cycle management, medical coding, administering health information technology and administrative and clinical work flow.

Accreditation

The Health Information Management accreditor of Western Kentucky University is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The College’s accreditation for BACCALAUREATE degree in Health Information Management has been reaffirmed through 2026. All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to CAHIIM, 233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor, Chicago, IL, 60601; by phone at 312.233.1134 or by email at info@cahiim.org.

BACCALAUREATE DEGREE STUDENTS OUTCOMES: Academic Year 2016-2017:  
Graduates Employed 100%
Employed in Field:    100%
Unemployed and Seeking Employment 0%
Graduate satisfaction rate: 100%
Acceptance of courses transferred from regionally accredited schools are accepted at WKU 100%
Acceptance of courses transferred from CAHIIM accredited programs are accepted as equivalent to WKU HIM program courses in the appropriate upper or lower division courses 100%
Retention rate 82%
Attrition rate 8%

*Compliance with CAHIIM Standard for Accreditation

 CAHIIM Accreditation Program Symbol

Career Opportunities

Job opportunities for baccalaureate degree graduates exist in multiple settings throughout the healthcare industry. These organizations include hospitals, multi-specialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. The profession has seen significant expansion in non-patient care settings, with careers in managed care and insurance companies, software vendors, consulting services, government agencies, education, and pharmaceutical companies. Jobs may include medical coder or biller, data analyst, revenue cycle analyst, clinical documentation improvement specialist, tumor registrar, office manager, HIM director, and many more. Visit AHIMA's Career Map for additional information on job titles, descriptions, salaries, and career pathways.

Transfer Students

Since acceptance of transfer credit for a particular major is subject to approval by the appropriate academic department, the HIM program director is responsible for the determination of transfer credit of HIM courses. Any HIM course considered for transfer credit must be completed through a CAHIIM accredited program.  Acceptance of courses transferred from CAHIIM accredited programs are accepted as equivalent to WKU HIM program courses in the appropriate upper or lower division courses. For all other courses, the student may be required to provide a description and syllabus for each course; the transferring institution may be contacted for additional information.  Credit may be given for each approved equivalent course as long as the University minimum residence requirement for the baccalaureate degree is maintained.  Courses taken in HIM from a non-approved CAHIIM program will not be accepted as a WKU HIM course unless there is an articulation agreement between the institutions, but students may take departmental exams for credit for the corresponding HIM course.  See transfer link for additional information.

Experiential Learning

Credit for experiential learning will be assessed on a case by case basis, pending submission of a work portfolio in the HIM 495- Capstone and Professional Practice Experience course.

Health Information Management Associate Degree (inactive and not currently accepting students)

The health information technician is the professional responsible for maintaining components of health information systems consistent with the medical, administrative, ethical, legal, accreditation, and regulatory requirement of the health care delivery system. In all types of facilities, and in various locations within a facility, the health information technician possesses the technical knowledge and skills necessary to process, maintain, compile, and report health information data for reimbursement, facility planning, marketing, risk management, utilization management, quality management and research, abstract and code clinical data using appropriate classification system, and analyze health records according to standards. The health information technician may be responsible for functional supervision of the various components of the health information system.

Accreditation

The Associate Degree Health Information Management Program at Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (www.cahiim.org)

ASSOCIATE DEGREE STUDENT OUTCOMES: Academic Year 2016-2017  
Graduates Employed:   *(2 graduates- unknown) 100%
Employed in Field:   *(historically 93% of year 2000 + graduates are employed in field- data excludes graduates with unknown employment history) 100%
Number continuing education in field: 47%
Unemployed and Seeking Employment: 0%
Graduate satisfaction rate 100%
Acceptance of courses transferred from regionally accredited schools are accepted at WKU 100%
Acceptance of courses transferred from CAHIIM accredited programs are accepted as equivalent to WKU HIM program courses in the appropriate upper or lower division courses 100%
Retention Rate 88%
Attrition Rate 12%

*Compliance with CAHIIM Standard for Accreditation

CAHIIM Accreditation Symbol

 

Professional Credentials

Graduates of the associate degree program are eligible to take the American Health Information Association examination to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Graduates are also eligible to take the following AHIMA coding examinations: Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), and Certified Coding Specialist- Physician-based (CCS-P). Graduates may also take the following examinations offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders: Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder- Outpatient Hospital (CPC-H), and Certified Professional Coder- Payer (CPC-P).

Career Opportunities

The majority of Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) are employed in health information departments in a variety of settings. With expanding uses of healthcare information, RHITs are finding opportunities for employment in hospitals, industrial clinics, state and federal health agencies, private industry, long term and mental health care facilities. Visit AHIMA's Career Map for additional information on job titles, descriptions, salaries, and career pathways.

 

 


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 Last Modified 3/26/19