The purpose of this program is to prepare students for employment in the Health Information Management (HIM) field. Rapid growth in the healthcare industry and awareness of the importance of accurate and quality health information has created an increasing demand for this profession. HIM professionals are responsible for the collection, analysis, interpretation, classification, research, quality, reimbursement aspects, and confidentiality of healthcare records/data. They also possess the knowledge and skills necessary for maintaining health information systems that correlate with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, accrediting, and regulatory standards.
There are many entry-level opportunities for the HIM graduate. These opportunities depend on the graduate’s education, work experience, and place of employment. The HIM professional can expect to find employment in all areas within the healthcare industry, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, physicians’ offices, behavioral healthcare organizations, insurance agencies, and government agencies. Positions often held by HIM graduates include: coder, health record technician, release of information coordinator, quality assurance coordinator, and supervisor. Rapidly advancing technology is making this an exciting and dynamic field. Job placement for graduates has been excellent, and employment forecasts indicate that the demand for this profession will continue to grow.
The Health Information Management Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Health Information Management Program courses are offered in a variety of traditional and non-traditional formats including online, hybrid, Fastrack (8-week courses), and evening options. Most traditional courses are offered Monday through Thursday in the evenings.
Credentialed HIM practitioners’ salaries are influenced by the type of setting, level of experience, and difficulty of work. More than half of new HIM graduates with an associate’s degree earn $20,000 to $30,000 annually.
The HIM program includes general education and technical courses which include lecture, laboratory, and clinical practicum experiences. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have an Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science degree in Health Information Management. Graduates are then eligible to take the certification examination administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Successful examinees earn the title of Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Due to the range of the program, students may be eligible to sit for additional certification exams. Students should see the Medical Coding Specialist Program for more information. Students who have a Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), or a Certified Coding Specialist–Physician (CCS-P) credential from AHIMA may be awarded up to 32 credit hours for that course work, which can be applied toward the Health Information Management AS/AAS degree.
The following criteria are required prior to admission to the Health Information Management Program:
- Prospective students must gain acceptance to Polk State College as credit-seeking students, with all required admission documents received by the Registrar’s Office.
- At the time of application and admission to the HIM Program, students must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher, and a grade of C or higher in all prerequisite courses.
- Students must complete the following program prerequisite courses by the August start date:
HSC 1531 Medical Terminology
BSC 1084C Basic Anatomy and Physiology
CGS 1061C Introduction to Computers and Information Systems
- Students must have completed any required college preparatory courses.
- Students must place above REA 0002 and ENC 0010 course levels on the state-mandated college placement test in reading and writing (or complete these courses) prior to taking HSC 1531 (Medical Terminology).
- Students must place above the REA 0002 , ENC 0010 , and MAT 0012 course levels on the state-mandated college placement test in reading, writing, and math (or complete these courses) prior to taking BSC1084C (Basic Anatomy & Physiology).
- An application packet for admission to the Health Information Management (HIM) Program must be submitted by the application deadline of June 30 for the August class. Application packets may be obtained online from the PSC website and from the Admissions' Office at either campus only during the application period of June 1 – June 30.
- A pre-admission consultation with the HIM Program Director or attendance at an HIM Program information session is required.
Additional requirements that must be completed after the selection process has been finalized, and prior to enrolling in the program practicum courses, include:
- Comprehensive physical examination
- Drug screening
- National background screening
The Department of Health Information Management provides information regarding the completion of these additional requirements with the acceptance letter and during program orientation. Applicants with specific conviction histories or positive drug screenings may ultimately not be accepted in the Health Information Management Program. Specific conviction histories or positive drug screenings occurring after full admission and matriculation in the program will be addressed by program policy, and this may result in dismissal from the program.