Health Information Management Program
Faculty: V. Brock, E. Kunnu
Health Information Management (HIM) is a profession that focuses on operations management - essential to ensuring an accurate and complete medical record and cost effective information processing. Health Information Management professionals have skills and competencies in health data management, information policy, information systems, administrative and clinical work flow. HIM skills are vital to continuous quality improvement, regulatory requirements, revenue cycle processes, and ensuring the availability of accurate health data.
Job opportunities: Health Information Management professionals, as part of a quality patient care team including the Information Technology (IT) staff and clinical informatics professionals that oversee electronic health records, are employed as an HIM department director, an HIM system manager, a data quality manager, information security/privacy officer, educator, consultant, health data analyst, quality improvement analyst, a physician office manager, and a claims and reimbursement coordinator in a variety of health care settings. These settings include hospitals, outpatient clinics, managed-care organizations, consulting firms, accounting firms, medical group practices, hospice and home healthcare agencies, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, pharmaceutical companies, rehabilitation facilities, behavioral healthcare organizations, healthcare research facilities, insurance companies, law firms, or state and federal healthcare agencies.
The Department of Health Information Management offers a four-year program of study which leads to the Bachelor of Science degree. The department’s goals are to prepare students as competent, confident, innovative and contributing health information professionals who can identify and use a variety of information management resources and technologies to accomplish the objectives of various health care facilities and related organizations. Students are also prepared to take the National Certification Examination for credentialing by the American Health Information Management Association.
The Health Information Management curriculum utilizes a career-ladder approach and is divided into a technical phase and a professional phase. This approach is designed to accommodate high school graduates, transfer students, and graduates from accredited community colleges who have completed prerequisite science courses, and Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) who wish to progress to the professional level of a Health Information Administrator. The curriculum includes general education courses, management principles, computer technology/information systems, professional education requirements and integrated supervised professional practice.
The Bachelor of Science degree is awarded after satisfactory completion of 120 credit hours. Graduates of the program are required to demonstrate entry-level competencies for Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIAs) and are eligible to take the National Certification Examination which is administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Graduates are strongly encouraged to take the National Certification Examination in the same year they graduate so they can be recognized as a leader in Health Information Management by employers and other healthcare professionals.
There are three options available to students who are interested in the Health Information Management Program. Option I is designed for freshmen and transfers. Option II is designed for students who have completed an associate degree in Health Information Technology. Option III (Degree IN-3) is an accelerated curriculum designed for students who are interested in earning their degree in three years instead of the traditional four years. In addition to the University’s admission criteria, the program’s admission and retention requirements include:
- High school graduation with a minimum overall combined grade point average (GPA) of a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or G.E.D. scores of 50 or above in the five subjects tested.
- A minimum composite test score of 19 on the ACT (this requirement may change if the University’s entrance requirements change).
Degrees IN-3 Students
Students may be admitted if they meet the following criteria:
- 3.3 High School GPA
- Sophomores - 3.0 GPA and earned 30 credits in general education courses
- Earn 15 to 18 credits a semester for six semesters
- Earn 9 credits in mini terms, generally at no cost
- Earn 9 credits in regular summer sessions
- Applications are accepted from students who transfer from other colleges, universities or other departments at Tennessee State University.
- Transfers, students who change their major and continuing students must successfully complete all remedial or developmental courses before they are given unconditional admission into the program.
- Applicants must have a minimum overall combined grade point average of a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- Students who transfer from other departments at Tennessee State University are required to complete a Change of Major Form.
- Students with a degree in a health related field or other fields may be admitted to the program if they meet the admission criteria.
- Individuals with an associate degree in medical records/ health information technology and are interested in pursuing a baccalaureate degree in Health Information Management must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours including a directed professional practicum. These individuals are required to complete general education requirements for a BS degree, as well as management, science or other prerequisite courses required for the program in addition to all the 3000-4000 level courses as indicated in the curriculum.
- Applications to the program are due June 30 for the fall semester and December 1st for the spring semester.
- Two letters of recommendation from individuals (non-family member) who know the applicant.
- A personal interview by the Admission and Retention Committee or its designee.
- All applicants will be informed of the final decision of the Committee about their acceptance into the program.
- Students are responsible for their transportation expenses and other costs relating to their professional practice experience and field trips.
- Students are responsible for their own physical examinations, malpractice insurance, criminal background checks and drug tests prior to being placed in professional practice rotations.
- Students are responsible for coordinating their acceptance into a professional practice rotation in healthcare facilities in-state and out-of-state.
- Students are required to complete the following courses with a grade of “C” or better: ENGL 1010 & ENGL 1020 ; three hours of college math; three hours of oral communication, HIST 2010 and HIST 2020 or 3410; eight hours of natural sciences; six hours of Social & Behavioral Science, and nine hours in Humanities and/or Fine Arts, including three hours of English Literature prior to their junior year, and for admission to upper level HIMA courses (3000-4000).
- A criminal background check and drug test may be required at some affiliated clinical sites for training. Based on the results of the background check, an affiliated clinical site may determine that the student will not be allowed within their facility. This could result in the student’s inability to successfully complete the requirements of the HIM program. In addition, a criminal background check may have an adverse impact on a student’s ability to obtain a license or employment.
The Health Information Management retention policy requires the following:
- Students must maintain a minimum overall combined grade point average of a 2.0.
- Students must earn a grade of a “C” or better in all major courses, supporting Science, Business, Health Care Administration, English, and Mathematics courses. Failure to maintain a C in any of these courses will result in repeating the course the next semester the course is offered with an Advisor’s approval.
- Students who earn a grade less than a “C” in HIMA courses for more than one semester will be dismissed from the program.
- Students who have been dismissed from the Health Information Management Program may apply for readmission. Students who request readmission should present evidence to the Admissions and Retention Committee of a substantial change in their circumstances which warrants reconsideration.