About the Program
The Department of Health Information Management offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Administration. It is a part-time program that is year-round with admission offered in the fall and spring.
The classes are on-line with the exception of professional practice rotations which are obtained in hospitals and other health care related agencies. Some travel is required. These rotations are scheduled according to the healthcare facilities’ policies and may necessitate participation during regular work hours.
This degree must be completed within four years from the first enrollment date into the program.
The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in Health Information Administration (HIA) extends opportunities to individuals beyond those afforded by the established Associate of Science (AS) degree in Health Information Technology. The BS program aims to meet the demands of a profession that is rapidly expanding in scope in the healthcare industry by producing graduates who can meet the multifaceted role of administrator, planner, consultant, educator, researcher, and practitioner.
Admission to the program is competitive and based on the following criteria:
- Academic achievement
- Academic aptitude
- Computer competency
- Leadership and professionalism
- Personal endorsement
- Written and oral communication
Do You Want Evening or Online Classes?
Most of our classes are online, except for the “hands-on” clinical rotations where students gain professional experience in the field. Because most classes are on the Internet, students may schedule their “class time” with great flexibility during a semester! This is perfect for the working student, single parent, and the independent learner! Many of our students are career-minded and want to advance in their current positions by obtaining a degree while they hold a full-time job. Whether a student works the first, second or midnight shifts, the online classes work well for the students as do the clinical rotations which can be flexible by mornings and afternoon schedules. The program is structured with the goal of making learning easy to acquire for the working adult, the single parent, and for those who need to hear a lecture more than once in a “live” classroom setting. Internet courses supplemented with DVDs offer the student the capability of hearing any class lecture as many times as desired. Lectures are also recorded online using Collaborate so use of Internet with Blackboard software is maximized for students.
What is a distance student defined as?
Our program is offered to local and distance students. A distance student is one who lives in Arkansas or in a neighboring state and who can drive to an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in Arkansas as often as needed to take examinations as needed for classes. As much as possible, clinical sites located in or near each student’s hometown area are used so that students can stay in or near their local areas to do their clinical rotations. Clinical rotations are provided with guidance by the department using program standards with the preceptors at the local facilities. ”Live” classes that may include guest speakers are digitally recorded and can be viewed on his/her home computer. Thus, students view their classes on the Internet and on DVDs whenever they like. To take an examination, a distance student simply goes to the nearest AHEC and reports to their AHEC proctor to take the examination. The student can generally schedule a test with his/her AHEC proctor within two to three days so that testing can be arranged easily for students who work and/or have family obligations. There are now sixteen (16) AHECs located around Arkansas.
Distance students are required to come to the Little Rock campus once at the beginning of the program for an orientation session. Students also will be able to meet their classmates on this day. This is important since they will not be able to see them until graduation, but they will talk to them online and work on projects as teams and partners with them during the time spent in the program.
What kind of jobs can I get with this degree?
HIM professionals enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth, unlike many professions where the breadth of options for the graduates is quite limited. Based on the graduates’ skills, education, and interests, job titles that RHIA professionals may hold include:
|Director HIM||Consultant||Supervisor HIM|
|Clinical coder||Data quality manager||Cancer registrar|
|Data analyst||Privacy officer||Insurance claims analyst|
|Data abstractor||Case mix analyst||Compliance coordinator|
|Grants writer||Clinic manager||Data mining coordinator|
|Auditor||Systems manager||Utilization coordinator|
|Quality analyst||Data validation analyst||Informatics officer|
|Risk manager||Educator/instructor||Physician office manager|
|Billing analyst||Admissions officer||Medical staff coordinator|
|Claims specialist||Security officer||Patient information coordinator|
|HIPAA officer||Healthcare statistician||Data integrity analyst|
A host of settings who hire RHIAs include:
- Nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities
- Home health
- Hospice, rehab facilities
- Mental health and public health facilities
- Law & insurance firms
- HMOs and PPOs
- Physician offices
- Ambulatory surgery centers
- Software & computer vendors
- Coding and staffing companies
- Consulting services
- Academic institutions
- Government agencies
- Private companies which need overseers of their own employee’s health records
By studying health information, students will acquire a versatile yet focused skill set incorporating clinical, information technology, leadership, and management skills. Health information professionals use their knowledge of information technology and records management to form the link between clinicians, administrators, technology designers, and information technology professionals. Constantly evolving regulations and technologies allow for lifelong learning and continued professional development. As healthcare advances, health information provides the patient data needed to successfully navigate the changes. As a result, health information professionals can expect to be in high demand as the health sector continues to expand. Demand is on the rise at all levels of education and credentialing. There are approximately 12,000 to 50,000 new jobs anticipated by 2017, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites medical records and health information technicians as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US. To see more go to the AHIMA website here: http://www.ahima.org/careers/healthinfo?tabid=why