The College of St. Scholastica Course Catalog


Department of Healthcare Informatics and Information Management

Brief Description of the Discipline

The Health Information Management (HIM) discipline is focused on ensuring the integrity of healthcare information resources and the confidentiality of that information. Today's HIM professionals team with technology professionals and healthcare clinicians and administrators to develop, implement and maintain software and data systems that support efficient work processes and provide authorized access to pertinent information for use in patient care, education and research.

Department Chair: Kathleen M. LaTour, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA
Program Coordinator: Pamela K. Oachs, MA, RHIA


Master of Arts in Health Information Management

The HIM graduate program is structured to facilitate the career advancement of practicing health information management professionals, however it has evolved to also facilitate the growth of those committed to joining the health information discipline as new healthcare professionals. The program is offered in a distance learning format. It emphasizes quality healthcare data and information as the foundation for organizational information and knowledge management systems. The curriculum is designed to prepare professionals to thrive in an information-driven healthcare environment. It prepares individuals for responsibilities in areas such as healthcare data resources administration, healthcare data privacy and security oversight, strategic and operational information resource planning, clinical data analysis, information systems development and implementation.

St. Scholastica's Master of Arts in Health Information Management program was the first in the nation to be approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in December 2001. As a result, completion of the MA in HIM Program grants eligibility to take the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credentialing examination offered by AHIMA.

Foundational courses for all applicants include the following:

Applicants who are not credentialed as health information professionals (i.e., RHIA) must complete the following undergraduate courses (or equivalents) or successfully pass a challenge examination (where available)

HIM 2101 Medical Language and Pharmacology
HIM 2112 Fundamentals of Health Information Management
HIM 3132 Medicolegal Issues
HIM 4222 Clinical Data Management
HSC 2203 U.S. Health Care System

Required Courses HIM 6501, 6502, 6505, 6506, 6508, 6509, 6511, 6518, 6520, 6522, 6523 and MGT 6750; and 3 courses from one of the following chosen areas of concentration:

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Strategies - HIM 6507, 6529, 6530, 6531, PSY 5470.

Healthcare Management - HIM 6507, HIM 6545, MGT 6207, MGT 6351, MGT 6352, MGT 6350, PSY 5470.

Computer Information Systems (CIS) - CIS 6105, CIS 6107, CIS 6205, CIS 6305, CIS 6308, CIS 6318, HIM 6507.

Revenue Management - HIM 6507, HIM 6540, HIM 6545.

Total required semester credits: 39


The department offers five graduate level certificate programs designed to prepare healthcare professionals for responsibilities associated with planning, developing, implementing, using and/or evaluating computerbased data and information systems to their daily practice environments. These programs are offered in a distance learning format and generally can be completed in three semesters or less. The courses that comprise each certificate program may also be applied to the department's Master's degree program.

Healthcare Informatics

This program focuses on the application of computers to generate, validate, secure and integrate healthcare data so it can be effectively utilized to support the decision-making activities of clinical and administrative professionals.

Required courses: HIM 6501, 6502, 6505, 6507, 6508, 6509.
Total required semester credits: 17

Nursing Informatics

This program focuses on the application of computerized information systems to the work processes and decision-making activities of nurses in patient care, education and research.

Required courses: HIM 6501, 6502, 6505, 6507, 6508, 6509, NSG 6500.
Total required semester credits: 20

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Strategies

The program is designed to prepare practicing healthcare professionals to confidently participate in clinically oriented computer-based system implementations and effectively lead the use of such systems in their organizations. Project management, workflow redesign and best practices in implementation are a part of the curriculum.

Required courses: HIM 6502, 6507, 6529, 6530, 6531
Total required semester credits: 15

Project Management

This program focuses on the application of computer-based tools to plan, implement and monitor the performance of project teams.

Required courses: HIM 6507, HIM 6529, HIM 6530.
Total required semester credits: 9

Revenue Management

This program focuses on skills and strategies to enhance the performance of the healthcare organizations revenue cycle.

Required courses: HIM 6507, HIM 6540, HIM 6545
Total required semester credits: 9

Departmental policies

Applicants must submit:

International applicants and applicants whose primary language is not English must also submit a TOEFL examination or the Michigan Test score.


For all programs, students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. For the MA in HIM program, if the degree is in a field other than HIM, experience in the field of health care is highly recommended so that conceptual material may be effectively applied to actual professional experience.

A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 system is required. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is not required, but may be requested if the applicant's GPA is below 3.0. All prerequisite course work must be completed with a grade of "C" or above.


Credit toward the degree or certificate will be given for courses with a grade of "C" or better; students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A maximum of six graduate semester credits may be transferred from another college or university if approved by The College of St. Scholastica. The Master's degree program and each of the certificate programs must be completed within seven years. Credits more than seven years old as of the date of graduation will not count towards the degree or certificate completion.

Departmental Outcomes

The MA in HIM Program prepares and challenges students to:

The Healthcare Informatics and Nursing Informatics certificate programs prepare and challenges students to:

The Project Management certificate program prepares and challenges students to:

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Strategies certificate program prepares and challenges students to:

The Revenue Management certificate program prepares and challenges students to:

Course Descriptions

HIM 6501 Technology Applications in Health Care 3 cr.
Current and emerging technology applications and data standards in the healthcare industry including the appropriate use of data networks. Legacy systems, technologies that supports the evolution of the electronic health record (EHR), image and signal-based information systems, as well are Internet and intranet applications are explored. Emphasis is on systems integration, systems security and the processes for evaluating and selecting applications that address organizational goals and functional requirements. Prerequisite: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.

HIM 6502 Development of Computerized Health Information Systems 3 cr.
Deals with information systems theory, health information systems strategic planning, computerbased patient record theory, infrastructure, and applications; migration path development, the regulatory environment and future trends. Prerequisite: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.

HIM 6505 Database Methods for Clinical Information Management 3 cr.
Database theory, methodologies for database design and issues related to database management. Emphasis is on requirements and methodologies for assuring data integrity and security in healthcare enterprise information systems, specifically in relationship to the database environment. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.

HIM 6506 Assessing Clinical Outcomes 3 cr.
The role of patient-centered outcomes information in assuring that healthcare systems are able to establish cost-effective clinical practices which improve the health, functional status and wellbeing of healthcare consumers. Emphasis is on providing a solid foundation in epidemiological principles, applied statistical analysis and pathways to improvement in clinical care. Prerequisites: PSY 3331 or equivalent.

HIM 6507 Project Management 3 cr.
Project management, including the development of a project charter with emphasis on developing the competencies and skills required to successfully lead teams of clerical, technical and professional specialists through workflow and work process redesign activities within a healthcare organization or system. Criteria and techniques for evaluating the features, functionality and usability of project management (PM) software packages; advanced level skills in using a PM application to create a project plan, schedule tasks and resources effectively, communicate with stakeholders, as well as track and report progress for both simple and complex projects. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of department.

HIM 6508 Knowledge Management in Healthcare 2 cr.
Support of health care providers and administrators in clinical/administrative decision making by integrating clinical, financial and administrative data from an organization's healthcare information system(s). Emphasis is on the design and development of data warehousing applications, as well as the requisite data mining skills required, to support both strategic and operational decision-making within an healthcare enterprise. Prerequisites: HIM 6505 or permission of department.

HIM 6509 Medical Vocabularies and Classification Systems 3 cr.
The representation of clinical data through the use of medical vocabularies and clinical classification systems. Emphasis is on developing expertise in identifying appropriate clinical classification systems and medical vocabularies, identifying their appropriate uses and sources, and applying them within and among health information systems to promote effective communication. Prerequisite: HIM 6501 or permission of department.

HIM 6511 Health Information Security Systems 3 cr.
Strategies for designing, implementing, auditing and evaluating the technical, physical and human components of an information security system that maintains a patient's privacy and adheres to a healthcare organization's legal, ethical and organizational requirements Prerequisites: Acceptance to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department

HIM 6518 Healthcare Data Mining 1 cr.
Selection and application of computer-based analytic techniques to query healthcare data warehouses, to discover patterns and associations in these data, and to predict future trends and behaviors from these patterns. Prerequisite: HIM 6508.

HIM 6520 Applied Project Research and Writing 3 cr.
The final applied project starts in this course; methods of project research and writing are introduced and practiced. The student develops a project proposal and benchmarks the proposed project against existing applications in the field. The course activities involve the student in selecting the topic, developing a problem definition/problem statement and the rationale for the selected applied project, developing a literature review, defining a design/solution model for the applied project product, and finalizing a Final Applied Project Proposal. Prerequisites: HIM 6501 and HIM 6502.

HIM 6522 Final Applied Project 2 cr.
Working with an assigned project advisor, the student completes the applied project and prepares a project report to be submitted to the department for final approval. The goal of the Final Applied Project is to increase students' cognitive sophistication through an activity that requires reading, thinking, and writing. The project should not only further the student's education, but also make a meaningful contribution to HIM practice. Prerequisite: HIM 6520.

HIM 6523 Graduate Seminar 1 cr.
A capstone seminar in which students present the results of their Final Applied Projects and explore current issues relative to the field of health information management in a rapidly changing health care delivery system. Prerequisite: HIM 6522.

HIM 6529 Change Leadership 3 cr.
The student develops a systems-based way of thinking about leadership and how people function in the workplace, self-assess leadership thinking and behavior and establishes goals for a higher level of leadership functioning, integrating System-based Leadership and Change Management™ with models of change management and transition and identify patterns of behavior that sabotage change in a system and internalize behavior for leading change in an organization. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.

HIM 6530 Clinical Workflow and Process Redesign 3 cr.
Integrates ancillary and clinical processes with the flow of quality information throughout a healthcare facility to allow efficient decision-making by healthcare professionals. Prerequisites: HIM 6502 or permission of the department.

HIM 6531 Best Practices/Implementation Strategies for the EHR 3 cr.
Creates and uses rules and clinical protocols/tools for the HER; develops training methodologies; uses case studies to identify best practices in EHR implementation. Prerequisites: HIM 6502 or permission of the department.

HIM 6540 Revenue Cycle Enhancement 3 cr.
Identifies processes and develops strategies to enhance the performance of the healthcare organization's revenue cycle. Investigates topics such as cash flow empowerment, denial management and the effects of document imaging on the revenue cycle. Prerequisite: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.

HIM 6545 Corporate Compliance in the Healthcare Industry 3 cr.
This course will address both the managerial and legal aspects of health care corporate compliance. Essential elements of a compliance program will be presented. Special focus will be placed on various pieces of federal legislation and enforcement initiatives conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the Department of Health and Human Services. Prerequisites: Admission to a HIM graduate program or permission of the department.

HIM 6777 Special Topics in HIM 1-2 cr.
A special offering presented by the HIM graduate program to present new and/or emerging developments in the field of health information management.

HIM 6900 Continuing Enrollment: Final Applied Project 0 cr.
Required registration for continuing work on the final applied project. Students not completing the Final Applied Project within one academic year after registering for HIM 6522 must register for HIM 6900 each semester until completion of the Final Applied Project.

HIM 6999 Independent Study in HIM 1-2 cr.
Opportunities available, with the approval of the graduate advisor, for a student to pursue a special project or studies in an area of health information management that is not covered by the existing curriculum.

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