Health Information Administration — B.S., Certificate

Program director
Pauline Calla

Clinical coordinator
Ryan Stephan

Recruitment coordinator
Pauline Calla

Advisory committee
Pauline Calla
Felicia Chao, Chair
Deborah Critchfield
Cynthia Doyon
Debra Hamada
Craig Jackson, ex officio
Raymound Mikaelian
Jennifer Miller
Eric Morales
Terri Rouse
Braden Tabisula
Brenda Taylor
Marvin Torres

Program overview

The health information administrator (HIA) manages health information systems that serve the needs of patients, the health-care team, and the administration staff. Health information administrators have opportunities to assist in the development and implementation of health information systems for quality patient care, financial reimbursement, medical research, health-care planning, and health-care quality evaluation.  Other responsibilities include privacy, security, and data governance.

Health information management has assumed increased importance with the advent of prospective payment, health-care privacy legislation, corporate compliance, and the electronic health record. It is an excellent career choice for the person who would like to have a profession in health care that combines interests in computer science, business, management, informatics, law, data analytics, and medicine.  This unique mixture provides the HIA with great opportunities in a variety of different settings and job titles along with substantial income.

One of the many career options chosen by HIAs is the management of a health information department.  In this position, managers evaluate and motivate employees, provide leadership in department planning and organizing, determine department policies, and budget department resources.  Managers are also involved in decision making and health-care committees.

The health information administrator designs, develops, and maintains systems for storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information in accordance with federal, state, and local statutes and regulations. This person works with the medical staff and other health professionals in research, administrative studies, functions relative to health information, and patient-care evaluation. The health information administrator in a health-care facility provides management leadership in planning and organizing the department, motivating and evaluating employees, and providing in-service programs for departmental employees or other personnel in the facility. In addition, strategic planning involvement for health information systems is an important function.

The health information administration curriculum is offered in two pathways:

  1. Bachelor's degree completion program.
  2. Post-baccalaureate degree certificate program (for applicants already holding a bachelor's degree).

The Health Information Administration Program, leading to the Bachelor of Science degree, begins with the Autumn Quarter. The freshman and sophomore years, which are taken at an accredited college or university, afford the fundamentals of a liberal arts education and provide background in science, humanities, social studies, and business. Concentration on health information administration subject matter begins at Loma Linda University in the junior year and continues through the senior year.

Students are advised to complete the curriculum in two years as scheduled. Those electing to study on a part-time basis because of a heavy work load or other reasons must complete all course work within a four-year period.

Opportunities

Health information administration provides job flexibility for the person seeking work in a variety of settings.  Many are employed by hospitals and medical centers in large urban areas.  Others work in small community hospitals in rural settings.

The job market is rapidly expanding outside of hospitals.  New openings are available in home-health agencies, long-term care facilities, outpatient care, mental health facilities, private medical practices and clinics, insurance companies, health management organizations, commercial and industrial firms, government agencies, legal offices, software vendors, and education.

Job positions include, but are not limited to: director of HIM, privacy officer, security officer, chief compliance officer, EHR implementation specialist, data application or system analyst, data integrity analyst, consultant, cancer registrar, medical office administrator, HIM revenue cycle auditor, revenue cycle manager, REC/HIE exchange director, meaningful use specialist, data quality manager, documentation and coding specialist, and coding manager.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be qualified to:

  1. Advocate effectively for health-care privacy and confidentiality.
  2. Sit for the registered health information administration (RHIA) credentialing examination based on mastery of the health information management curriculum.
  3. Perform assessment and management of the information needs for a variety of health-care settings.
  4. Design, select, and implement health-care information systems.
  5. Understand the principles of effective personnel management.
  6. Understand financial management requirements for institutions and their relationship to clinical data.

Professional practice experience

Three complementary types of clinical experience are offered. The first is a variety of assignments in large and small hospitals and other facilities that will acquaint the student with managing information in all aspects of the health-care environment. The majority of these assignments are either at Loma Linda University Medical Center or at hospitals located in Southern California.

The second type of clinical experience is a weekly internship during the Spring Quarter of the junior year. The internship is not required of graduates of an accredited health information technology program. The third assignment is a three-week affiliation during the Spring Quarter of the senior year. Arrangements for the internship and affiliation sites are made through the program director and the clinical coordinator. Students are responsible for their own transportation to facilities not within walking distance of the University, as well as for food and lodging during assignments at distant sites.

Professional registration

Upon completion of either the B.S. degree or the certificate, and upon recommendation of the faculty, graduates are eligible to write the qualifying examination of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), 233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2150, Chicago, IL 60611-5519, for the designation of RHIA (registered health information administrator).

Professional association

Students and graduates are eligible to become members of the American Health Information Management Association and the California Health Information Association. The purpose of these associations is to promote the art and science of health information management. They grant student membership at a nominal cost to undergraduates of approved schools. The student is expected to become a member of these associations, pay the nominal dues, read the journals, and become familiar with the professional activities.

Credit by examination or evaluation

Applicants who have comparable education or experience may be able to gain credit toward the certificate by equivalency examination or evaluation of credit on an individual basis.

The Health Information Administration Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), 233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2150, Chicago, IL 60601-5519.

In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

Health Information Administration—Certificate

To be eligible for admission, the applicant must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

Prerequisites

Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory, complete sequence—concurrent with first quarter
Medical terminology
College algebra (intermediate algebra acceptable) or two years of high school algebra
Psychology elective
Accounting
Introduction to computer applications (must include word processing)
Personnel management
Business communications
Statistics

Health Information Administration—B.S.

To be eligible for admission to the B.S. degree curriculum in health information administration, the applicant must have completed a minimum of 96 quarter units at an accredited college or university.

Domain 1: Religion and humanities (20 quarter units)

Humanities—Choose minimum of three areas from: history, literature, modern language, philosophy, and art/music appreciation

Included in this minimum, 4 units of religion per year of attendance at a Seventh-day Adventist college or university

Domain 2: Scientific inquiry and analysis (24-32 quarter units)

Natural sciences (12 units minimum)

Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory, complete sequence

Choose remaining units from: chemistry, geology, mathematics, astronomy, physics, statistics

Social sciences (12 units minimum)

Cultural anthropology or an approved course dealing with cultural diversity

Psychology elective (one course minimum)

Intermediate algebra (or two years of high school equivalent)

Choose one additional course from: sociology, economics, geography, political science

Domain 3: Communication (9-13 quarter units)

English composition, complete sequence

Introduction to computers (must include word processing)

Business communications

Domain 4: Health and wellness (2-6 quarter units)

Personal health or nutrition

Two physical activity courses

Other

Introductory accounting (one quarter or semester)

Medical terminology

Electives to meet the minimum total requirement of 96 quarter units

For total unit requirements for graduation, see LLU General Education Requirements.

Courses

HLIN 301. Introduction to Health Data Management. 4 Units.

Introduces scope, functions, and administration of health information management as a profession, including professional organizations, professional certifications, and the profession's code of ethics. Overview of documentation content and structure of paper, hybrid, and electronic health records. Requirements of accrediting, certifying, and licensing entities that guide the creation of patient health-data collection, with emphasis on acute care settings. Surveys functions within a health information management department.

HLIN 303. Basic Coding Principles and Techniques I. 3 Units.

Principles and conventions for covering ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding techniques by body system and disease process, including: endocrine, nutritional, metabolic, blood, parasitic disease, immunity disorders, respiratory, digestive, sense organs, nervous systems, and infectious diseases. Basic coding techniques for diagnoses, surgical procedures, and other reasons for health-care encounters.

HLIN 304. Basic Coding Principles and Techniques II. 3 Units.

Principles and conventions for covering ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding techniques by body system and disease process, including: genitourinary, neoplasms, mental disorders, skin and subcutaneous tissue, musculoskeletal, muscular tissue, congenital anomalies, injuries, poisonings, burns, and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Basic coding techniques for diagnoses, surgical procedures, and other reasons for health-care encounters.

HLIN 305. Health-Care Statistical Applications. 3 Units.

Problem-solving approach to health-care statistical applications and data presentation. Introduces research statistics. Laboratory sessions include instruction in the use of Microsoft Excel for data presentation and analysis.

HLIN 308. Introduction to Data Analytics. 4 Units.

Introduces data management, collection, analysis, and uses in health care. Concepts of transforming data into information, data analytic techniques, and data presentation. Uses software tools for the manipulation, analysis, and presentation of data. Introduces basic health-care statistical techniques.

HLIN 325. Pharmacology for Health Information Administration. 2 Units.

Provides understanding of pharmacology as required for medical record analysis, audits, and other related studies. Basic definitions, sources of information, and classification of drugs.

HLIN 361. Professional Practice Experience I. 1 Unit.

Supervised experience in health information departments and other areas of health care or health-related facilities. Includes applied laboratory assignments for health information administration professional courses.

HLIN 362. Professional Practice Experience II. 1 Unit.

Supervised experience in health information departments and other areas of health care or health-related facilities. Includes applied laboratory assignments for HIIM professional courses.

HLIN 365. Professional Practice Experience III. 1 Unit.

Supervised clinical experience in a health facility or health-related organization, with simulated laboratory experiences and assignments, during the Spring Quarter of the junior year. Written and oral reports of experience.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of required fall quarter courses, enrollment in or completion of required winter courses, and enrollment in required spring quarter courses; or permission of department chair.

HLIN 395. Professional Practice Experience I—Junior Affiliation. 3 Units.

Three-week supervised clinical experience in a health facility or health-related organization at the end of the junior year. Written and oral reports of experience, with classroom discussion. Not required of registered health information technologists (RHITs).
Prerequisite: Completion of junior-year courses and laboratory assignments; or permission of the department chair.

HLIN 401. Survey of Health Systems Management. 4 Units.

The science of information and its applications to management and patient care in the health-care industry. Information systems concepts, theories, technologies, and models; as well as an in-depth review of information system creation and adaptation. General systems concepts in health-care: analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance. Strategies for the successful management of information systems in an integrated or interfaced environment, with emphasis on health information applications. Future trends in information system elements presented in conjunction with analysis of these trends in the health record profession. Major term project includes the development of database specifications, inputs, outputs, implementation schedules, and maintenance plans.

HLIN 404. Clinical Terminologies and Vocabularies. 2 Units.

Clinical terminologies, code sets, classifications systems, and nomenclatures as used in the electronic health record.

HLIN 407. Financial Management for Health Information Management. 2 Units.

Budget variance analysis, analysis of cost components, operating statements, and productivity related to a department budget. Examines financial accounting systems, financial evaluation ratios, and reports. Cost benefits realization preparation.

HLIN 408. Reimbursement for Health Care. 2 Units.

Financial aspects of health care involving prospective reimbursement systems, analysis of various health-care reimbursement schemes, and financial disbursements. Management issues in reimbursement using DRGs, APCs, and other prospective payment systems. Strategies and techniques for successful revenue cycle management.

HLIN 421. Survey of Health Systems Management--Applied. 5 Units.

Applies information systems theory to the development of effective health-care facility systems for electronic patient records. Data-management strategies, including data integrity, architecture, quality, extrapolation, and standardization. Data and system security in all environments. Examines state and national attempts toward data and system interoperability across the care continuum. Discusses necessary administrative strategies for successful implementation of EHRs. Major term project includes research, analysis, and presentation of a contemporary issue in information systems that impacts the practice of information management in health care.

HLIN 432. Database Management. 3 Units.

Theories and steps of database development using Microsoft Access. Design and construct relationships, forms, advanced queries with SQL, reports, and macros. Requires a project creating a database for the business needs in health care.

HLIN 441. Legal Aspects of Health Information Administration I. 2 Units.

Basic principles of law related to the health care field. Overview of the legal system and the court system in the United States, including alternative dispute resolution. Civil procedure and the elements of evidence. Examines tort law and various types of negligence. Analyzes the elements of improper disclosure. Components of the legal health record; compares confidentiality, privacy, and security. Differentiates between the law and ethics. Examines advance directives. Elements of risk management as it relates to medical documentation and incident reports. Analyzes various types of consents.

HLIN 442. Legal Aspects of Health Information Administration II. 3 Units.

Compares federal and state laws regarding access and disclosure of patient information, including application of the preemption rule. Release of general, mental health, substance abuse, and HIV patient documentation. Release of information in response to subpoenas, court orders, and search warrants. Introduces the contents of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), with in-depth emphasis on the privacy section. Components of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). Examines security breaches. Overview of medical identity theft. Elements of reporting requirements. Assignment pertaining to the Federal Register.

HLIN 444. Corporate Compliance in Health Care. 3 Units.

Practical application of the guiding principles of corporate compliance in health care organizations. Analyzes standards and policies established by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Studies in-depth Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), qui tam laws, and fiscal intermediaries—emphasizing business ethics and integrity. Includes the process of institutional audits. Includes Clinical Documentation Improvement Theory as it relates to health care.

HLIN 445. Coding Seminar. 2 Units.

Advanced coding concepts and comprehensive review of all health-care coding systems. Current procedural terminology (CPT) at the beginning and intermediate levels. Reviews the federally supervised coding auditing process, including state and federal coding and billing regulations, chargemaster maintenance, coding ethics, coding quality, and coding compliance. Various code sets and terminologies used in health- care systems. Overview of E & M coding.
Prerequisite: HLIN 304; or equivalent.

HLIN 451. Quality Improvement in Health Care. 3 Units.

Quality improvement methodology. Data retrieval, display, and follow-up for various sectors of health care. Mechanisms for promoting facility-wide participation in achieving optimum patient care, as delineated in medical staff-information management, accreditation, and government standards. Risk management as an integral facet of quality improvement. Relationship to corporate compliance.

HLIN 462. Professional Practice Experience IV. 1 Unit.

Supervised experience in health information departments and other areas of health care or health-related facilities, with emphasis on management. Includes applied laboratory assignments for HIIM professional courses.

HLIN 463. Professional Practice Experience V. 1 Unit.

Supervised experience in health information departments and other areas of health care or health-related facilities, with emphasis on management. Includes applied laboratory assignments for HIIM professional courses.

HLIN 475. Research Methods in Health Information Management. 3 Units.

Introduces the scientific method in research. Focuses on the major steps of the research process as these steps relate to research report evaluation, proposal writing, literature review, development of conceptual framework, identification of variables, statement of hypotheses, research design, and analysis and presentation of data. Common research design and assessment of risk in epidemiologic studies.

HLIN 483. Alternative Delivery Systems in Health Care. 4 Units.

Focuses on aspects of health information management in delivery systems other than acute care, and their interrelationships. Health record content, format, regulatory and accreditation requirements, the role of the HIM professional, data collection/reporting, risk management, utilization management, and quality improvement areas. Long-term care, hospital-based ambulatory care, free-standing ambulatory care, hospice, home health care, dialysis treatment centers, veterinary medicine, consulting, correctional facilities, mental health care, substance abuse, dental care, rehabilitation and managed care organizations.

HLIN 484. Current Topics in Health Information Administration. 3 Units.

Focuses on career planning, management skills, and professional development. Health information management professionals working in various health-care settings share their knowledge and experience with students. Includes preparation exercises for the national credentialing examination.

HLIN 493. Health Information Management I. 4 Units.

Introduces basic management functions, philosophies, principles, and tools of health-care management. Emphasizes management theory, management tools, and application. Specific topics include: planning, organizing, controlling, management by objective, problem solving and decision making, and group dynamics.

HLIN 494. Health Information Management II. 4 Units.

Advanced management study of topics relevant to the HIM profession. Topics include: ergonomics and workplace design; transcription management; individual and organizational productivity; project management; attracting, developing, and maintaining a workforce; innovation and change management; federal labor legislation; ethical and social responsibility in management; disaster preparedness and entrepreneurism. Six-to-eight hour administration management laboratory addresses contemporary administrative management strategies, strategic planning, business planning, and employee relations at the administrative level. Organizational, interrelational, and managerial functions and concepts in the health care setting. Laboratory assignments include, but are not limited to, management case studies, Visio software training, and office layout development using Visio software.

HLIN 495. Professional Practice Experience Senior Affiliation. 3 Units.

Directed experience at an approved health care or health-related facility. Applies skills and knowledge to management. Written and oral reports of experience, with classroom discussion. International experience may be available.

HLIN 496. Project Management. 2 Units.

Project management as related to health information systems and data management.

HLIN 499. Health Information Administration Independent Study. 1-4 Units.

Student submits a project or paper on a topic of current interest in an area of health information administration. Regular meetings to provide the student with guidance and evaluation. Elected on the basis of need or interest. May be repeated.