Health Information Management


Program Overview

Health Information Management (HIM) blends the sciences of medicine and information technology and focuses on applied healthcare statistics, information resources, legislative rules, and quality assurance to ensure that the most up-to-date information is available to make informed decisions. Health Information professionals are key advocates for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patient information and serve as the critical link between clinicians, patients, policy makers, and others by managing healthcare information in accordance with administrative, legal and ethical requirements. Health Information professionals are experts in the field of electronic health records, patient information, quality assessment, reimbursement, health planning, and applied research.

Alabama State University’s HIM program will equip its students with information needed to succeed in the Health Information Management arena. Each student will have a solid foundation with courses in biology, medical terminology, pathophysiology, healthcare financial management, informational systems/design, quality assessment and research methodology. Each student will explore the world of healthcare, and develop entry-level competencies in the field through year-long clinical affiliations in health information management departments within healthcare facilities.

A detailed description of the HIM program may also be found in the Undergraduate Catalog and the HIM Student Handbook. These sources accurately reflect the requirements and description of the entry-level Health Information Management baccalaureate program.


Accreditation is a mechanism for assuring academic quality in higher education. The institution that sponsors an accredited CAHIIM program is required to have institutional accreditation by a regional or qualified institutional accreditor which must be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and must have provisions for Title IV Eligibility. This allows that institution to provide:       

  • Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid.
  • Ability to Transfer Credits: Accreditation provides for establishing the acceptability of credits from school to school.
  • Ability to enroll in Graduate education: If your undergraduate degree was earned at an unaccredited institution you run the risk that the graduate school in which you would like to enroll will not accept your degree.

Professional programmatic accreditation means that in addition to the college or university's regional or national accreditation, programs in health information and health informatics may choose to seek CAHIIM accreditation, which is a voluntary peer review process to evaluate the program of study against CAHIIM Standards.

Graduation from a CAHIIM accredited program is necessary to be eligible for the AHIMA professional HIM certification exam. CAHIIM accredited programs are quality programs that provide professionally required knowledge and skills, and employment marketability. Graduating from a CAHIIM accredited program offers employers assurance that you have the expected professional knowledge and skills, and have experienced a curriculum that is relevant to today's electronic health record (EHR) environment.
Alabama State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the Health Information Management Program is accredited by CAHIIM. For more information, please visit the CAHIIM site at: Its offices are located at 233 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2150, Chicago, IL 60601.


Program Outcomes 

Alabama State University Health Information Management Student Goal #1

1.0 Students will demonstrate competences in relevant techniques of writing and speaking the language of medicine.
2.0 The goal is for all students to maintain a score of 75% or higher in the Language of Medicine course (HIM 210).
3.0 The plan is to monitor student’s activity through assessments and advisement.
4.0 The outcome scores for Calendar Year (CY) 2011-2014 illustrates the goal was obtained: CY 2011 = 80%; CY 2012 = 78.7%; CY 2013 = 79%; and CY 2014 = 90%

Mission and Objectives

The mission of ASU’s Health Information Management (HIM) program is to assure that graduates have achieved entry-level competencies in the development, dissemination, financial, technological and administrative skills needed for entry-level positions in a health care organization.

Upon completion of the professional HIM curriculum at ASU, graduates will be prepared to:

  1. Accurately collect, analyze and report healthcare data;
  2. Apply healthcare statistics and research to comprehensive health information analysis, including quality assessment and performance improvement;
  3. Apply legal and ethical standards to healthcare information requirements and standards;
  4. Demonstrate appropriate application of health information technology and systems to professional practice; and,
  5. Apply principles of organization and management to human resources and health information services decision making.


Admission Policies and Procedures

HIM Required Support Courses 

ACT 214 Principles of Accounting 3crs
CIS 205 Introduction to Computer Systems 3crs
ECO 254 Introduction to Economics 3crs
MGT 255 Business Law 3crs
SOC 361 Social Science Statistics or 3crs
PSY 306 Inferential Statistics  3crs
ENG 328 Technical and Professional Writing 3crs
HIM 210 The Language of Medicine 3crs
HIM  212 Anatomy and Physiology for Health Sciences 3crs

Admission Requirements 

>> Download



>> Download


The purpose of the Student Health Information Management Association (SHIMA) is to promote the welfare of the students in the HIM program, act as liaison between the students and faculty, and engage in activities to promote the general welfare of the profession and the university.

SHIMA’s mission is to promote educational and social interaction among students in health information management, provide an opportunity for involvement in community service, and to promote the HIM profession. This is done by encouraging members to apply their knowledge to various institutions and affiliations, and to share their knowledge and experience with classmates, the University community, and the surrounding areas. Our mission is also to provide students opportunities for professional and leadership development, service, and networking with other students, faculty, and professionals.

Additionally, SHIIMA provides students with a better understanding of the role/responsibility  of the health information specialists  by instilling a sense of leadership and dedication to their future career as Health Information Management professionals.

The goals of SHIMA include:

  • Participate in local, state and national professional association meetings;
  • Develop networks with HIM professionals in the area; and
  • Sponsoring activities to raise funds and heighten awareness of the HIM profession in the community.

Recent SHIMA Activities and Volunteerism

  • Health Information Professionals Week
  • Adopt-a-Family  for Thanksgiving
  • Community Clean-ups
  • University Recruiting Events and Career Fairs
  • Alabama Association Health Information Management Student Forum
  • National American Health Information Management Association
  • AHIMA National and State participation

SHIMA Constitution

>> Download

AHIMA Subdomains

>> Download


The Health Information Management program has two Professional Practice Experiences (PPE). Students must complete all prerequisite didactic courses prior to enrolling in the PPEs.

The first PPE is situated in the summer term between the junior and the senior year (Semester 3),   utilizing the Virtual Lab (VLAB©)  to gain technical experience using HIM software widely used in the industry. AHIMA developed the Virtual Lab, which is an Internet-based, practical, and participative HIM and health information technology (HIT) work environment, in order to help bring experiential learning to the HIM academic experience. Students access and experience state-of-the-art software like the master patient index (MPI), EHR (Cerner/Athens), encoders, electronic document management systems (EDMS), and other applications they are likely to use regularly in the working world. Lessons and activities designed specifically for the lab applications allow students to test their skills and decision-making ability without jeopardizing the privacy, security, or integrity of real medical records. Assessment questions allow the student to explore the significance of the tasks they complete as it relates to data quality and its impact on healthcare. Student activities are evaluated based on accuracy and completeness of the assigned VLAB exercises.

Technical skills pertaining to data entry, data analysis, coding, release of information, records tracking, and assignment of DRG are addressed in the Virtual Lab exercises. These activities are completed independently after orientation and demonstration with the instructor. Students rely on the instructor and AHIMA Virtual Lab technicians when software issues arise. Support is given within a 24 hour period.

Students will have their first encounter with standard processes such as identity management, identification and correction of medical records, prevention of duplicate records, and more. The Virtual Lab is essential in preparing students for their on-site experiences.

The second PPE is completed in the spring semester before graduation (Semester 5). For this PPE, students are placed in traditional and non-traditional healthcare facilities to complete 240 supervised hours of practice. The students report their hours on a time sheet that must be signed by the site supervisor. They must also keep a daily journal and link their experiences to their didactic learning. The projects and tasks that are completed are then attached. The site supervisor chooses a minimum of five projects listed in AHIMA’s PPE Guide. In this phase students are assigned to either acute care or nontraditional health related environments based on their interests and site availability.

Expectations of the students, such as health requirements and drug screens and background checks, are communicated upon entry to the HIM program each year at orientation. These expectations are restated in the HIM-321: Professional Development course which is situated in the spring of the junior year (Semester 2) before the first PPE experience.

PPE structure

Course Name HIM 339 HIM 459
Activity Virtual Lab Assigned Projects
Placement Independent Assigned Healthcare Facility
Hours 192 240

Faculty Profiles

>> View 

Student Handbook

>> Download 

Advisory Board

>> Download