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October 15, 2014 10:51 AM

Health Information Sciences degree accredited by CHIMA

Following a comprehensive review process, Conestoga now hosts Canada’s only four-year undergraduate degree program to be accredited by the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA).

The accreditation, valid for a full six years, confirms that the college's Bachelor of Applied Health Information Science (BAHIS) degree program meets the quality standards and expectations set by the Canadian College of Health Information Management for this emerging profession.

"We are delighted to receive this validation from CHIMA, which recognizes the quality of this unique degree program as well as the skills and knowledge of our graduates,” said Marlene Raasok, executive dean of Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services.

As a result of the accreditation, graduates of the BAHIS program will be eligible to challenge the national certification examination and enter the field of Health Information Management (HIM) as certified professionals.

“The accreditation process evaluates formal education programs for their suitability in preparing students to meet national standards and become eligible to enter HIM practice as certified professionals,” said Gail Crook, CEO and Registrar for the Canadian Health Information Management Association. “We are very pleased to announce that Conestoga’s degree program in Applied Health Information Science meets or exceeds the standards for quality education and continuous improvement required to prepare graduates for future success as professionals in health information management.”

The Bachelor of Applied Health Information Science is the only college-based degree program in Canada that provides students with education and hands-on training in both health informatics and information management systems.

Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to make an impact on health care: they will contribute to the quality of care that people receive by providing essential information both to those receiving care and services and to health-care professionals. They can also help ensure the best use of health-care resources by facilitating the tracking of health-care services and the evaluation of better, more efficient ways to provide service.

The four-year degree program includes a four-week field placement, two full 15-week co-op placements and a 40-hour volunteer component, where students will apply their health informatics and information management knowledge. This strong focus on experiential learning helps to hone students’ skills and prepare them for successful careers in the field.

Graduates of the program assume positions in such areas as project management, analytics, software development and consultancy. Demand for graduates exceeds supply, with the Government of Canada indicating a current need for 2,000 graduates in this emerging area.

Students with diplomas in health information management, computer programming, computer programming analysis and other health-care related programs may be eligible for advanced standing in the BAHIS degree program, with many able to complete their degree with only two additional years of study.

The Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) represents approximately 5,000 Health Information Management (HIMĀ®) professionals across Canada and is the certifying body and national association that represents leadership and excellence in health information management.

For more information about the Bachelor of Applied Health Information Science, visit Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services.

To learn more about the Canadian Health Information Management Association, visit www.echima.ca

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