HIT Program Granted Continuing Accreditation by CAHIM

The health information technology program at Alfred State College has been granted continuing accreditation by CAHIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education).

The institution received notification for its health information technology program for 2009-10 APAR. (The 2009-10 APAR was submitted in March 2011, allowing lag time for graduates to take the national credentialing RHIT exam after graduation).

Based on an annual self-evaluation by Alfred State, and a site visit/review by the accrediting organization, Alfred State’s program easily met re-accreditation criteria. Among the most important were the program profile which includes the goals and curriculum content of the program as well as the continuing professional development of program faculty. The Alfred State program met or exceeded all criteria.

Another major consideration in the re-accreditation was based on program evaluation. This included graduate performance measures, employer and graduate satisfaction, job placement, yearly attrition, national certification scores, and program completion rates. Again, ASC met or exceeded all criteria.

Educational resources and a curriculum that meets or exceeds the professional course content as published in the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) Model Curriculum for Associate Degree Programs that includes the HIM (health information management) Entry-Level Competencies and Knowledge Clusters were deemed satisfactory with no changes necessary.

Health information management (HIM) professionals have skills and competencies in health data management, information policy, information systems, administrative and clinical work flow. HIM is focused on operations management – essential to ensuring an accurate and complete medical record and cost-effective information processing. In acute care hospitals, HIM is often part of the team including the Information Technology (IT) staff and clinical informatics professionals that oversee electronic health records (EHRs). HIM skills are critical to continuous quality improvement, regulatory requirements, and revenue cycle processes, ensuring the availability of accurate health data. The role of HIM in helping medical practices adopt electronic health records is growing and is an ideal skill set for EHR technical assistance. HIM is a value-added “bridge” between clinicians, payors, regulators, patients, consumers and technology (EHRs, personal health records), with critical skills and competencies essential to building the nationwide health information network (NHIN) and health information exchanges (HIEs).

Alfred State College offers an online associate of applied science in health information technology/medical records. In addition to course work, students complete non-paid professional practice experiences (PPEs) in the Health Information Department of an acute care facility (200 hours). Graduates are eligible to take the national certification examination to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Since 1968, when the program was created, Alfred State HIT graduates have traditionally achieved a passing rate above the national average. Graduates are also eligible to take the Certified Coding Specialist (CCA, CCS and CCS-P) and Certified Professional Coder (CPC, CPC-A, CPC-H-A, CPC-H, and CPC-P) exams. It is strongly recommended that students complete technical elective courses in this area of study and work for a minimum of one year as a coder before taking the coding certification exam(s).

Alfred State, a college of technology within the SUNY system, offers outstanding educational opportunities in its 19 bachelor degree and 52 associate degree program options, and more than 56 online courses. ASC is particularly known for its learning-by-doing philosophy and hands-on education. Of course, the College’s technology-rich programs also teach students the critical thinking skills that help them succeed throughout their lives.

Because Alfred State possesses a strong sense of community, ASC students typically feel right at home within a few days of their arrival. Additionally, students can choose to participate in more than 90 clubs and organizations as well as intercollegiate sports and intramurals.

Alfred State is located in the beautiful Southern Tier of New York state: 15 miles north of the Pennsylvania border, 70 miles south of Rochester, and 90 miles southeast of Buffalo.

For additional information, call 1-800-4-ALFRED.