The Health Information Management Program consists of two academic years and a summer session for 69-quarter credits of graduate level course work. The curriculum is based on a series of structured learning sequences, which include didactic, laboratory and professional practice experiences. Include courses about finance, administration, information technology and law. The curriculum is offer during evening hours, from 5:00 to 9:00, except the experience of professional practice performed in daytime.
Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredits the program. Program graduates are eligible to apply for the registration examination of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to qualify as a Registered Health Information Manager (RHIA) and practice the profession as a qualified health information administrator.
“Health Information Management (HIM) professionals, an allied health profession, lead efforts to ensure the availability, accuracy, integrity, and security of all data related to patient healthcare encounters that result in better clinical and business decisions to enhance healthcare quality” (AHIMA, 2017). As a member of the health team, the (HIM) professional performs tasks regarding the definition, design, management, and evaluation of the health information system. They serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions.
The health information manager can offer services in general and specialized hospitals; nursing homes, health care and outpatient treatment; outpatient surgery center, colleges and universities; insurance companies and pharmaceutical industries in general. It offers advice on various areas and you can create your own business in billing for medical services, among others. Visit AHIMA’s Career Map for additional information on job titles, descriptions, salaries, and career pathways.
Health Information Management (HIM) professionals enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth. Based on skills, education, and interests, some of the positions available include HIM department director; HIM system manager, data quality manager, information security officer, HIM college instructor, and consultant. Other job titles include privacy officer, compliance officer, health data analyst, patient information coordinator, physician practice manager, and director of quality management. Jobs in health information management are available in every state as well as internationally. A degree in health information management is portable, preparing graduates to work nearly anywhere.
HIM professional works as a critical link between healthcare providers, payers, and patients. The RHIA is an expert in managing patient health information and medical records; administering computer information systems; collecting and analyzing patient data; and using classification systems and medical terminologies. RHIA’s possess comprehensive knowledge of medical, administrative, ethical and legal requirements and standards related to healthcare delivery and the privacy of protected patient information. They often manage people and operational units, participate in administrative committees, and prepare budgets.
A career in HIM is right for you if you:
- See yourself in a career that offers diverse opportunities.
- Would like to work in health care, but not directly with patients.
- Have an aptitude for science, but also like management, law, and technology.
- Enjoy working with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives.
- Want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or both.
HIM program incorporate the disciplines of medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one curriculum. Because of this unique mixture, HIM graduates can choose from a variety of work settings across an array of healthcare environments.
Program of Study
The program leading to a Master’s Degree at the School of Health Professions, of the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico. The duration of the program is two years and is offered in evening hours, excluding visits to institutions and internships that are made in daytime.
In order to be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited university.
- General grade point average of at least 2.50.
- Specific grade point average of at least 2.00
- Have approved a three-credit course with no less than “C” in each of the following areas: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, and Fundamentals of Information System (Skills in MS OFFICE or equivalent). (Admissions are accepted with evidence of almost one of these courses in order to evaluate candidates. If accepted, you must have the courses approved at the time of enrollment).
- Submit graduate entrance examination (EXADEP only with 3 years or less).
- Interview with the program’s faculty.
- Fluency in Spanish; must also have knowledge and comprehension of English.
Students are admitted to the program once a year beginning in August of the current academic year. Applicants to the program should have submitted all application. Deadline for submitted application is February 28. In order to evaluate candidates (admission) transcripts evidence the specific courses required should be received. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office at 787-758-2525, extension 5228.
Apply for admission to the Program
Admission application should be electronically filed at http://de.rcm.upr.edu/oficina-de-admisiones/ between September 1st and February 28. For additional information, contact the Admission Office of the Medical Sciences Campus at telephone number 787-758-2525, extension 5212.
In order to graduate, students must:
- Obtain a general grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
- Satisfactorily complete (with B or higher) in courses specified in the curriculum sequence.
- Complete all theoretical and clinical practice activities specified by the program.
- Complete graduation requirements within a five-year period.
- A 100% of students score 80% or higher in the PPE evaluation. The general students’ in self-evaluation questionnaire assessment average was 97% (APAR, 2017-18).
- The 100% graduates expressed to be satisfied with the Program for a 100% general satisfaction (APAR, 2017-18).
- The 100% employer and graduates indicates that possess the knowledge, competencies, professional conduct and communication skills necessaries to perform their duties (APAR, 2017-18).
- In the last 4 years (2015-2019) the student profile shows that 92% work in the workforce of our country and 91% of them work in the health industry. Graduates obtain employment on or before 6 months. Many in the same professional practice facility hire them, others obtain a position in their same place of employment, since 91% are part of the health industry’s workforce and profession with demand. With respect to graduation and retention rates in the last 5 years as of 2010 it is 82%. Graduation rate 15.15% because our students working (APAR, 2017-18).
Certification passing rate*
* The law in Puerto Rico required RHIA only for HIM Department Director. AHIMA, CAHIIM and the Program encourage the student to obtain the RHIA, since it is presupposed to provide a greater opportunity for employment or for climbing within a job. However, there are more than 40 employment categories and over 200 different positions that an HIM can occupy and do not necessarily require RHIA.
As for other certifications, AHIMA has been a nationally accepted standard of achievement in the health information management (HIM) for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exhibits coding competency in any setting, including both hospitals and physician practices. In academic year 2018-19, two students was motivated to take this certification and both approved the (CCA). According to AHIMA 2019:
Becoming a CCA positions you as a leader in an exciting and growing market. CCAs:
- Exhibit a level of commitment, competency, and professional capability that employers are looking for
- Demonstrate a commitment to the coding profession
Prof. Amarilis Rivas Vidal, Program Director
Dra. Sandra Santos Nieves, Faculty Member
Dra. Sandra Silva Cintrón, Faculty Member
Medical Center Complex
Monacillo Area, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico
School of Health Professions, Main Building, 6th Floor, Office #626
Phone: 787-758-2525, ext. 4509, 3499
Secretary: 787-758-2525, ext. 3521, 4507
Admission: 787-758-2525 ext. 5211, 5212
Last Modified: September/2019