Health informatics and the specialized fields within it are buoyed by CAHIIM accreditation; but what is that exactly? For most in the field, it is an aid for students who wish to join this growing field. From working for health insurance companies to working to provide Congress with an understanding of medical informatics, the field is incredibly important to health care in the United States, according to Health Data Management. Here is a quick primer on the accrediting body and how it helps the field.

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The Definition

CAHIIM is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. It is an accrediting body that has an international reputation for excellence in terms of overviewing and approving different higher education institutions and programs that adhere to its strict code of ethics and core competency areas. This is a non-profit organization that has oversight over programs that are conferred by colleges and universities within the United States and its territories. It is best known as a marker of a great HIM education, one that employers and students alike look for when searching for programs.

Who Can Become Accredited?

School departments and programs can apply to be accredited by the Commission; students and professors cannot. Because the Commission focuses solely on the education provided to students, accrediting is only offered to programs that adhere to the standards set forth. Core competency areas also are required. Accredited programs carry a lot of weight, not just with students, but also with employers.  Companies are more willing to hire a professional who has gone through an accredited HIM program. Accredited programs are known to prepare students for the profession, by teaching them the valuable skills and concepts needed to be influential in the workplace. Schools can volunteer to be accredited and will submit an application to the Commission’s Board of Directors.

Purpose

The purpose of the Commission is to provide a set standard for education for health informatics and HIM programs at the college and university level. It aims to accredit programs who comply with their guidelines, which include curriculum suggestions, core competency areas, and even possible certification requirements. The standard is meant to engage the student in the actual ethics and management of the profession in the field. An underlying goal would be to provide students who are interested in becoming HIM professionals with programs that meet their high standards. All a student has to do when researching a school is inquire if the program has been accredited by the Commission or not. Most programs have this information readily available, as it is a source of pride for those schools who have garnered the honor of being accredited.

Mission And Values

The mission of the Commission is quite simple: provide students and employers with educational programs that meet high standards. It not only works to recognize and accredit the programs that meet its standards but also works with schools to find new educational opportunities and learning outcomes that would benefit students. The values of the Commission revolve around honesty, trust, professionalism, and a true sense of collaboration with the schools it accredits.

As the healthcare industry changes in America, it will become vital for HIM professionals to receive an education that provides them with ample opportunities to see how the field works in the real world. Applying to an accredited program is the best path forward for students. CAHIIM accreditation is an invaluable resource and every potential professional should scour program websites to find a program that is accredited prior to applying to that school.