B.S. Health Informatics Areas of Study
The WGU Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics program was developed in consultation with our Information Technology Councilmade up of industry expertsand in consultation with the Health Informatics Working Group comprised of healthcare industry experts representing all facets of health care informatics. The competencies in quantitative literacy, language and communications, and problem solving ensure that the graduate has the well-rounded educational background that is required in today’s challenging environment. The courses of study included in the health informatics professional courses were developed in alignment with the areas of study, courses, and knowledge clusters established by CAHIIM.
The general education courses focus on basic subject matter knowledge that is typically included in baccalaureate level programs. Evaluation of your previous college transcripts may clear assessment requirements for some areas of the liberal arts domain, which could shorten your program of study by removing assessments. To waive or clear a course, the transcript must show that you have taken equivalent classes in the content areas and passed those classes with a C grade or higher at an accredited institution of higher education.
Foundations of College Mathematics
This course focuses on basic numeracy and calculation skills, basic algebra skills, basic geometry principles, and basic data and probability skills.
English Composition I
This course introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that is valued in college and beyond. Students will practice writing in several genres and several media, with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments.
Elements of Effective Communication
English Composition II
This course provides a detailed exploration into basic algebraic concepts and functions and their use in describing, interpreting, and modeling real-world situations. Topics include: real numbers, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities, graphs and functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and linear systems of equations.
Introduction to Biology
Topics in these courses include cell structure and function, bioenergetics, DNA structure and function, protein synthesis, cell reproduction, taxonomy, evolution, and ecology.
Anatomy and Physiology
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Introduction to Physics
This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the basic principles and unifying concepts of physics. You will integrate conceptual knowledge with practical and laboratory skills.
This course focuses on fundamentals of geography, places and regions, physical and human systems, and the environment.
Literature, Arts, and the Humanities
These courses focus on content, concepts, terminology, methodology, models, and issues within and across the disciplines of the humanities.
Collegiate Level Reasoning and Problem Solving
Content includes problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analysis and interpretation of information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in the disciplines and professions.
This course covers skills and competencies in relation to the organization, components, and operation of healthcare systems; licensure and accreditation, quality, and reimbursement; access to healthcare, federal healthcare, and legislative programs; and trends in healthcare delivery.
Health Data Management Across the Continuum
This course covers skills and competencies in health data structures, usage, and data collection tools, data quality assessment and integrity, types and content of health records, and health information standards and regulations for documentation.
Financial Resource Management
The focus of this area of study is developing competencies in the management of financial resources at the departmental or organizational level. Competency areas include analysis of reimbursement systems and how the coding and billing function impacts the revenue cycle; general accounting principles; legal, regulatory, and compliance issues related to finance; strategic financial planning, and management control processes.
Healthcare Statistics and Research
This course builds competencies in selecting, applying, and evaluating research methods in solving organizational problems or implementing outcome effectiveness strategies in a healthcare organization. It focuses on skills needed in daily operations for gathering statistical data used in planning and evaluating processes in the healthcare workplace. Also included is the role of the health informatics professional in biomedical research.
Health Information Technology
Information and Communication Technology Foundations
This course focuses on PC components, setting up a basic PC workstation, basic software installation, identifying compatibility issues and recognizing and preventing basic security risks.
This course builds competencies in project planning, management, and evaluation, as well as the adoption of new technologies in a healthcare organization. It includes competencies in evaluating medical practice workflow and functional needs of end-users, evaluating data infrastructure and information technology processes and systems, and analyzing the fiscal and human resource commitment needed in all phases of implementing and adopting new technologies. The use of health information management in diverse settings (such as health information exchanges, the personal health record, and various types of healthcare facilities) is included, as it applies to the electronic exchange of information.
Health Information Systems Design and Management
This course builds competencies in analyzing how information systems, computers, network architecture, the Internet, and emerging technologies influence health information management in healthcare organizations; database management; methodologies and policies for data mining and information retrieval; and risk assessment and contingency planning for the security of health information in compliance with federal and state law.
Quality and Performance Management Methods
The focus area in this course requires demonstrated competencies in analyzing how quality improvement programs are developed, implemented, and improved; and skills necessary for management in the healthcare environment.
Legal and Ethical Considerations in Healthcare
Legal and Ethical Considerations in Healthcare
This course builds competencies in applying conceptual aspects of legislation, law, regulations, and standards in health informatics, evaluating legal aspects of risk management and quality improvement initiatives, applying ethics to health information management, and analyzing how compliance requirements impact healthcare organizations.
Information Technology Fundamentals
These courses cover the foundations of the field of information technology. It prepares the student for the subject matter domains of the program. To clear a course, the transcript must show that students have taken equivalent classes in the content areas and passed those courses with a C grade or higher at an accredited institution of higher education. Certain industry certifications will also transfer.
IT Fundamentals I
This course focuses on networked resources, hardware and software for the Internet business, and web browser function, use, configuration, and customization. The student will also organize and produce a simple but functioning website.
IT Fundamentals II and III
These courses focus on understanding the personal computer components, and their function, in a desktop system as well as computer data storage and retrieval; classifying, installing, configuring, optimizing, upgrading, and troubleshooting printers, laptops, portable devices, operating systems, networks, and system security; recommending appropriate tools, diagnostic procedures, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components in a desktop system; strategies for identifying, preventing, and reporting safety hazards and environmental/human accidents in a technological environments; and effective communication with colleagues and clients as well as job-related professional behavior.
This course focuses on the anatomy of word building and medical terminology as it relates to body organization and directional terms, the integumentary system, special senses of the eye and ear, the musculoskeletal system, the digestive system, blood, lymphatic, immunity and infections, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, nervous system and mental health, urinary system, endocrine system, male and female reproductive systems, and cancer.
Leadership and Management
Understanding how to lead and manage in the business environment is critical to a business graduate’s success in the workplace. Students are asked to demonstrate the ability to apply these concepts in Organizational Behavior and Leadership and Management in a series of scenario-based problems in the leadership concepts and applications tasks. Prior coursework does not transfer to meet the requirements of this domain.
Organizational Behavior and Management
This course focuses on management and leadership concepts and applications.
Principles of Management
This course focuses on the organization of the human body, tissues, glands and membranes, the integumentary system, the sensory system, skeletal and muscular systems, the digestive system, blood, vessels and circulation, lymphatic system, immunity and disease, heart and respiratory system, nervous, urinary and endocrine systems, and male and female reproductive systems.
This course focuses on basic principles of pharmacology as well as pharmacology for the peripheral nervous system, the central nervous system, the heart, vascular and renal systems, respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, the endocrine system, and of infectious diseases. It also includes antineoplastics and drugs affecting the immune system.
Healthcare Compliance and Coding
Healthcare Compliance and Coding Management Effectiveness
This course covers skills and concepts in analyzing the structure and organization of the coding function as it relates to the revenue cycle. It includes coding management considerations, process improvement, and reporting issues related to compliance. It also builds competencies in structuring, developing, and implementing a compliance program within a healthcare organization including internal and external auditing, staff training, and program evaluation.
ICD and CPT Coding
This course focuses on skills and concepts students need to select and accurately use the International Classification of Diseases and Current Procedural Terminology for the coding function.
This course focuses on core database concepts, manipulating data, data storage, and database administration.
Focuses on skills and concepts students need to know to plan and implement projects. The project initiation and planning process is covered in-depth, culminating in the creation of a project schedule. Learning how to manage business concerns such as cost and risk is balanced by thorough coverage of best practices in managing people and resources. Students will also learn how to manage change and the steps necessary in closing a project.
Professional Practice Portfolio
Professional Practice - Technical Level
This course includes competencies students will apply in the first of two clinical practice experiences. They include analyzing operational management of a healthcare organization and applying health informatics/ information management skills.
Professional Practice - Management Level
This course includes competencies students will apply in the second of two clinical practice experiences. They include analyzing operational management of a healthcare organization; applying health informatics/ information management skills; and demonstrating leadership skills as a health informatics professional at a healthcare organization.