The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is an independent organization that provides accreditation oversight of the health informatics profession. They evaluate and recognize educational programs that meet a set of quality standards to ensure that new professionals are fully prepared for future issues and trends impacting their occupation. The commission is based in the United States but has achieved international recognition for thought leadership and development of higher standards for the health information management industry.
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Health Informatics and Information Management
Health informatics and information management are parallel disciplines that integrate the practices of several technical fields for healthcare applications. As data-oriented practices, these professions rely heavily on statistical analysis, data science and emerging technology to address challenges and discover new opportunities. Even though the study of health information is relatively new, the field is growing rapidly and has profound implications on almost all disciplines in the broader field of healthcare. Typical roles for professionals range from executive or administrative positions to research and technical work.
Core Mission and Objectives
The stated mission of the commission is to serve the interest of the public by furthering the educational standards of health informatics and information management programs, according to CAHIIM. While the organization respects the autonomy and diversity of educational programs in their field, they also recognize the importance of core educational, assessment and performance standards. They emphasize the need for continuing education and development for active professionals who work in a rapidly-evolving, technology-reliant profession.
Accreditation and Outreach Programs
Health informatics degree programs aren’t required to be accredited by CAHIIM, but this recognition can be significant for graduates seeking employment. Educational institutions can seek this status by sculpting their program to include all of the necessary core competencies and standards of excellence set forth by the organization. Institutions must submit an application and undergo a formal assessment before receiving accreditation. Aside from accreditation services, the commission also supports public outreach and educational efforts that build public awareness of the health informatics and information management professions.
Organizational Governance and Structure
The commission is sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), which is a professional organization for people working in health informatics. The general membership of the AHIMA is responsible for electing the majority of the CAHIIM board members, which is currently made up of 12 volunteers who are recognized as leaders in their field. The organization is classified under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code, which makes it a non-profit that benefits from tax-exempt status.
Developments in computer technology and data science have fueled the evolution of many specialized disciplines across most modern industries. Healthcare is no exception to this and can even be cited as a prime example of how modern technology can transform traditional professions. While it’s impossible to predict exactly how these trends and transitions will impact the field, CAHIIM has taken a leading role in guiding students and educators towards higher standards of excellence to prepare them for the challenges ahead.