What is HIMS?

Health Information Management Systems professionals play a critical role in maintaining, collecting and analyzing the data that doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers rely on to deliver quality healthcare. They are experts in managing patient health information and medical records, administering computer information systems and coding the diagnosis and procedures for healthcare services provided to patients. HIM professionals work in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry including hospitals, physician offices and clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance companies, government agencies and home care providers.

How do I become a Health Information Management System’s student?

SUNO grants a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Management Systems.  Students begin the HIMS Program Spring Semester of their freshman year. Accredited by CAHIM, the HIMS program prepares graduates to take the AHIMA national registration examination to become certified as a Registered Health Information Administrator.

What kinds of courses will I take?
Majors must take courses in health information covering:  medical terminology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, epidemiology, and an introductory course in health information management.  You will also take coding and reimbursement courses, electronic health record, healthcare statistics, legal aspects of HIMS, data management and complete a profession practicum experience in the senior year. Students must also take courses focusing on HIMS management, human resource, and finance. Students must satisfy the general education requirements of the university.


What are the internship opportunities?
Students must complete an unpaid professional practicum experience in the senor year of the program. Interns can work in Health Information Management Department of the hospitals, ambulatory facilities, behavioral health facilities and nursing homes. Students must work with their advisor to coordinate an internship that suits their career goals.



Why should I attend SUNO?

Benefits of attending SUNO include:

  • A highly qualified, credentialed faculty committed to helping you succeed.
  • Lots of practical, hands-on learning in addition to regular classes.
  • A great place to live and learn.


What are the career opportunities in HIMS?

HIMS professionals enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth. Based on your skills, education, and interests, here are some positions available to you with a Bachelor’s Degree: Health Information Management (HIM) Department Director, HIM Systems Manager, Data Quality Manager, Compliance Director, Chief Privacy and/or Security Officer, HIM College Professor, or a Consultant.

Examples of typical employers include: Hospitals, Information systems venders, Health clinics and group practices, Federal government, Insurance companies, State governments, Accounting firms, Colleges and universities (as faculty), Legal firms, Managed Care Organizations and Consulting firms. Please visit the following website for more information on career opportunities. http://www.hicareers.com/.


What credentials are available for HIMS?

Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)
Working as a critical link between care 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. RHIAs 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.


Certified Coding Associate (CCA)

The CCA distinguishes coders by exhibiting commitment and demonstrating coding competencies across all settings, including both hospitals and physician practices. Based upon job analysis standards and state-of-the-art test construction, the CCA is creating a larger pool of qualified coders ready to meet potential employers’ needs. The CCA designation has been a nationally accepted standard of achievement in the health information management field since 2002. The CCA is the only HIM credential worldwide currently.


Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Certified Coding Specialists are mastery-level professionals skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in the hospital setting. These coding practitioners review patients’ records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. To perform this task, they must possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM and CPT coding systems. In addition, the CCS is knowledgeable in medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this credential.


Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-Based (CCS-P)

The CCS-P is a mastery-level coding practitioner with expertise in physician-based settings such as physician offices, group practices, multi-specialty clinics, or specialty centers. This coding practitioner reviews patients’ records and assigns numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. To perform this task, the individual must possess in-depth knowledge of the CPT coding system and familiarity with the ICD-9-CM and HCPCS Level II coding systems. The CCS-P is also an expert in health information documentation, data integrity, and quality.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20% increase in employment before 2018 for the Medical Coding and Billing field, which includes medical coding and billing professionals. This represents more than 37,000 new jobs.

Certified Healthcare Data Analysis (CHDA)

CHDAs demonstrate expertise in health data analysis and the knowledge to acquire, manage, analyze, interpret, and transform data into accurate, consistent, and timely information, while balancing the “big picture” strategic vision with day-to-day details. CHDA-certified professionals also exhibit broad organizational knowledge and the ability to communicate with individuals and groups at multiple levels, both internal and external.


Certified Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS)

The CHPS credential is the only combined privacy and security certification available in the healthcare industry. CHPS denotes competence in designing, implementing, and administering comprehensive privacy and security protection programs in all types of healthcare organizations. Becoming certified in healthcare privacy and security demonstrates a choice to focus and advance by specializing in privacy and security dimensions of HIM. Being distinguished with this special expertise signifies a commitment to advancing privacy and security management practices and lifelong learning and professional development.


Do you offer online and night classes?

While HIMS is not an online or night program, we do offer some online and night classes each semester.


What GPA do I need in order to be considered for acceptance?
You need to have a minimum 2.0 GPA to have your application considered. The GPA is calculated based upon the grades of all of your prior undergraduate coursework.


Do you accept transfer credits?

Yes, you will need an official copy of your transcript(s).  The Admission Department will review and provide the information of transfer credits.


What grade must I maintain in my HIMS courses?

Students in the HIMS program must earn a C or better in all HIMS courses.  If a student does not earn a C or better, they must repeat the course(s) the following semester.  Please refer to the Program Handbook for specific information regarding repeating a course.


I have an Associate’s degree in Health Information Technology–can I apply immediately?
Yes, you can.  Please check with the registrar’s office for more information about undergraduates transfer credits.


Is financial aid available?
Students may apply for financial aid from SUNO Student Financial Aid Office and they can provide more information on grants, loans, and scholarships.


What scholarships are available?
Students accepted into SUNO’s HIMS program are eligible for merit scholarships as well as educational loans from the AHIMA Foundation. The Louisiana Health Information Management Association and the Greater New Orleans Health Information Management Association offer scholarships to students as well.