The Medical Record Administration Program was implemented during the 1976-77 academic year as a program in the Department of Health Administration. The program was first accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education in 1978. The first four students graduated from the MRA Program in May 1978. Over the years, the program has continued to grow and adapt to the changing medical record field. In 1993 it was renamed the Health Information Management (HIM) Program to reflect the changing focus of the profession. The curriculum has continued to evolve to reflect the HIM profession and to proactively prepare the graduates of the program to assume positions leadership in this dynamic profession. The most recent changes in the curriculum are in the areas related to the electronic health record, legal aspects, financial and strategic management, and data analysis. The continued growth and development of the HIM Lab is also reflective of the evolution of the field moving from typewriters, movable filing shelves and dictating equipment to a networked computer lab with a wide variety of industry-related software available for student use. The faculty utilize the on-line AHIMA virtual lab to provide an experiential learning experience for the students, exposing them to industry software.
In the 2000-01 academic year a distance education web-based RHIT to RHIA progression program was implemented. In 2006, the program expanded to allow others who do not have the previous health information education to enter the distance education program. Current full-time faculty teach the distance education courses as well as teaching the counterpart course on campus. This program allows individuals who are working and do not have access to a BS level education, an opportunity to pursue the degree.
In the fall of 2015, the department implemented an online Master of Health Information Management degree. The program is fully online and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). Students completing the program are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification.
To date, over 1000 students have graduated from the BSHIM program. The kinds of positions held by the graduates reflect the diversity of the field and the opportunities available to one with a degree in HIM. Many graduates have also continued on with a graduate education. Quite a number of graduates have also held positions of leadership in local, state and national professional associations and shared their professional expertise through presentations and publications.