Undergrad Catalog

Health Information Specialist (HIMP)

Program Option: A.A.S.

As a health information professional, you will serve as the expert on patient data that doctors, nurses and other providers rely on to perform their jobs. By maintaining, collecting and analyzing health information, you will make an important contribution to the delivery of care in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry.

A degree from St. Catherine University will give you the best possible professional preparation for a satisfying, rewarding and successful career in health information. St. Kate's specializes in educating healthcare professionals and has an outstanding reputation in the healthcare community as the metro area's leading healthcare educator.

Health information specialists collect, organize, analyze and disseminate health information in numerous health-related settings. The health information specialist ensures the quality of health records by verifying their completeness, accuracy and proper entry into computer systems. They use computer applications to assemble and analyze health information as well as in coding diagnoses and procedures from patient records for reimbursement and research. You will use computerized systems to become competent in five areas: information manager, coding specialist, performance inprovement specialist, supervisory manager and registry specialist.

As a health information specialist student, you will learn through lectures and instruction in the classroom and laboratories, in addition to seminars, discussions, field trips, guest lectures, videotapes and projects. You'll apply health information systems theory in the Health Information Laboratory, which simulates the professional environment with practice exercises on computerized systems. You'll work with electronic health records to acquire skills in handling medical information. You will also gain real-world experience through professional practice in area healthcare facilities.

When you graduate, you will be eligible to take the National Certification Exam of the American Health Information Management Association. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be credentialed and ready to practice as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). The health information specialist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

You can earn your associate of applied science degree in the health information specialist program in a way that best fits your needs. Full-time students take two years to complete their studies. Computer experience begins the first term, and students take liberal arts and science and health information specialist courses concurrently. Part-time students can use the extended/preprofessional program option and take about three years to complete their studies. Students start by taking liberal arts and science courses before beginning health information specialist courses.

See also: Coding Specialist

Major Requirements:

HIMP 1050 Medical Terminology for Health Information Professionals
HIMP 1150 Information Technology
HIMP 1260 Health Record as Information Tool
HIMP 1360 Health Document Content and Structure
HIMP 1450 Pharmacology and Clinical Lab
HIMP 1560 CPT Coding
HIMP 1900 ICD Coding
HIMP 2050 Healthcare Statistics and Quality Assurance
HIMP 2150 Professional Practice Application
HIMP 2250 Advanced Coding
HIMP 2350 Organization and Supervision
HIMP 2650 Capstone: Topics and Professional Practice Application of Health Record Management
HIMP 2750 Reimbursement Systems

Required supporting courses (minimum grade of C required):
BIOL 2400 General Anatomy & Physiology*
BIOL 2420 Human Disease*
PHIL 2000 Ethical Problems in Healthcare
PSYC 1000 General Psychology

*These courses must have been completed no more than five years prior to entering the University to be considered for transfer.

Additional liberal arts and science and CIL requirements:
CIL 1500 OR CIL 1400
ENGL 1100 Composition
SSCS 1000 Power and Social Change
ART elective
ENGL literature elective
SSCS elective
THEO elective
4 elective credits

NOTE: This curriculum is very tightly prescribed. Failure to follow the curriculum guide may result in class schedule conflicts. It also might result in the need to enroll in additional credits or in a delay in graduation. Before registering for any given semester, you should consult with the program curriculum guide, available online and through the Registrar's Office.