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The Health Information Management program at East Central College has earned full accreditation.  ECC officials were notified Thursday, February 20, that the HIM program is now accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Infomatics & Information Management Education (CAHIIM).


CAHIIM is an independent accrediting organization with the mission to serve the public interest by establishing and enforcing quality.   Accreditation means that graduates from ECC’s program can sit for the certification exams required for careers in medical coding and HIM.


ECC’s HIM program began in 2010 with funding from the state’s Training for Tomorrow grant.  Last May the first students received Associate of Applied Science degrees in HIM.  


Deborah  Schultze,  director of ECC’s Health Information Management program, noted thatgraduates of  the college’s CAHIIM accredited program can offer employers assurance that they have the expected professional knowledge and skills, and have experienced a curriculum that is relevant to today's electronic health record environment.


“Health information management professionals have skills and competencies in health data management, information policy, information systems, administrative and clinical work flow,” stated Schultze.  “HIM is focused on operations management which is essential to ensuring an accurate and complete medical record and cost effective information processing.”  She said that health information management is a value-added bridge between clinicians, payers, regulators, patients, consumers and technology.


Schultze mentioned that anyone interested in a career in health information management should possess solid oral and written communication skills, be proficient with computer software and technology and also be open to continuing education.  “Fall registration for new students begins March 24, but I encourage anyone to contact our department now to begin the application process,” she said.  


“Many faculty and staff members were involved in taking this program from inception to fully accredited status,” stated Jean McCann, ECC vice president of instruction. “In addition to Deb Schultze, division chair Mary Beth Huxel, instructor Nanette Sayles and administrative assistant Claudine Ilko were dedicated to bringing this important program in its newly accredited form to our students and community.”


The Health Information Management program joins a growing list of accredited programs at ECC.  Those include culinary arts, industrial engineering technology, precision machining, occupational therapy assistant, radiologic technology and respiratory care.  In addition, the nursing, EMS/paramedic and education programs carry full approval and operate under the regulations of various Missouri agencies.         
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