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Health Information Program Earns CAHIIM Accreditation

Western Governors University’s (WGU) Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management (BSHIM) program at the Michael O. Leavitt School of Health (LSH) recently received the prestigious programmatic reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The accreditation affirms that the university’s BSHIM program prepares students with industry-standard management strategies, information management implementations, and information technology concepts to prepare them well for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) examination that enhances their employability in the current competitive job market. The accreditation is received after a thorough review of the curriculum, faculty qualifications, and program outcomes.

WGU’s BSHIM program is designed for students aspiring to enter or advance their careers in the healthcare industry, with a focus on the fields of healthcare management, healthcare technology, and information systems and technology. After the program’s successful completion, the students are eligible to take the RHIA exam, offered by American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), to become a credentialed health information administrator. Passing this exam demonstrates that the student achieved the most relevant and high-quality education in health information management that should bring a competitive advantage in the workforce with more job opportunities after graduation.

“CAHIIM accreditation for the BSHIM program is a badge of honor for the university and our students. It is a testament that our competency-based model of education is working well to meet the required standards of education in the field of health information management,” said Stephanie LaPuma, LSH academic director and associate dean. “The program is designed to meet the changing demands of the healthcare industry and the non-traditional mode of teaching enhances accessibility to produce a steady stream of competent professionals.”

This 36-course program culminates with a capstone project that prepares students to study the nuances of their chosen field in depth and add to the field of health information management to expand the body of knowledge in the profession. The university’s competency-based model of education allows students to advance their program as soon as they prove mastery of the material through rigorous assessment.

“Acknowledgment from CAHIIM demonstrates that we’re progressing in the right direction in our mission as a university to change lives for the better through an innovative and affordable education system,” said Pam Borsum, LSH department chair for BSHIM. “I believe it’s our faculty’s strong commitment toward the field and our unwavering student-focused approach that we have received this valuable accreditation.”

More than 2,000 students have graduated from WGU’s BSHIM program since it launched in 2009. The university’s RHIA pass rate for 2021-2022 was 82 percent, markedly higher than the national average of 55 percent. The program’s alumni body consists of professionals working at reputed organizations including Ascension, Optum, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group. Advancing the university’s principle of meeting students where they are to expand access and enhance inclusivity, this program can be completed online and is available throughout the year.

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