USC Upstate News

Health Information Management Program Receives Accreditation

03- 23- 2010

Spartanburg, S.C. - The Health Information Management (HIM) program at the University of South Carolina Upstate recently received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), making it the only accredited four-year program of its kind in the state of South Carolina and one of about 50 such programs in the entire United States.

Fulbright“A four-year degree and certification is necessary for career advancement in this field and South Carolina has been hemorrhaging qualified graduates from the state’s accredited two-year programs for a number of years,” said Dr. Ron Fulbright, chair of the Department of Informatics at USC Upstate. “The state’s healthcare industry has been hiring people from other parts of the country over and above our own residents because we have lacked the capability to produce our own certified professionals. This accreditation is a large step forward for South Carolina.”

The HIM program prepares graduates for careers in the records management field, particularly in the areas of insurance coding and health informatics. Graduates of the program receive the Bachelor of Arts in Information Management & Systems and are eligible to take the exam for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), which is an important professional certification in the field. The HIM program offered at USC Upstate is a “completion program,” which means that students who enter the program must have graduated from an accredited two-year program and must have achieved the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification or be able to acquire the RHIT soon after being accepted into the program.

The accredited HIM program is part of the Information Management & Systems (IM&S) program at USC Upstate. IM&S is a four-year undergraduate multidisciplinary information technology program focusing on the production of new knowledge gained from the gathering and analysis of information and the utilization of information processing technology.

“We offer a unique combination of coursework in computer technology, business, communication, and sociology resulting in a Bachelor of Arts in IM&S,” said Fulbright. “Almost every office job today is dependent on the use of a computer or some other information technology and this program prepares professionals to be ‘information workers.’ Our graduates find employment in almost every department of a company including, but not limited to: IT support, customer service, sales, marketing, human resources, public relations, logistics, shipping, and manufacturing.”

For more information about the accredited HIM program, visit www.uscupstate.edu/informatics (then follow the link to Health Information Management) or contact Dr. Ron Fulbright at him@uscupstate.edu or (864) 503-5683.