Health information technology program granted reaccreditation

Health information technology program granted reaccreditation

Alfred State is pleased to announce that the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) has approved reaccreditation of the college’s health information technology (HIT) program.

An independent, non-profit organization founded in 2006, CAHIIM accredits health information management and health information technology programs to ensure that they meet the necessary standards. Accreditation of the HIT program is required for students to sit the national Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam.

The reaccreditation, which lasts for eight years, was granted as a result of a very lengthy self-study process, recommendations from Health Information Management (HIM) Advisory Committee members composed of local HIM professionals, and the on-site review panel that submit its finding to the CAHIIM Board of Commissioners, which makes the final determination.

Tracy Locke, associate professor of Physical and Life Sciences and director of Alfred State’s Associate in Applied Science HIT program, MS, RHIA, said the college’s self-study began in July 2013 and its onsite visit took place Dec. 1-2, 2015. She noted that the reaccreditation was the result of hard work by many individuals.

“The reaccreditation demonstrates the quality of our HIT program, the largest online program at Alfred State,” she said. “We have students from all over the US, and even students around the world. The reaccreditation results also speak to our pass rate for the RHIT exam that students take upon graduation, which is generally 95 percent.”

Locke noted that graduates of CAHIIM-accredited programs who have the RHIT credential find employment in health systems such as hospitals, associated clinics, single or multi-physician offices, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, electronic health records (EHR) or electronic medical records (EMR) companies, and billing and coding services companies.

Among those who worked to ensure the reaccreditation are the HIT faculty and staff, including Locke; Lecturer Erica Matteson, RHIA; Instructional Support Assistant Lisa Boyle, RHIT; Physical and Life Sciences Department Chair Mark Amman; Physical and Life Sciences Secretary Annette Burdett; and the students and HIM Advisory Committee members who participated in the onsite visit with the CAHIIM Review Panel.

Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “We are delighted at the reaccreditation of our health information technology program, which stands as a testament to the continued excellence of the program’s faculty, staff, students, and curriculum. Our students are the ones who benefit the most from the reaccreditation, and I thank all of those who made this possible.”

Dr. Robert Curry, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, said, “I’m very pleased with the health information technology program’s reaccreditation. Though I know our program director, Tracy Locke, and our faculty and staff do an outstanding job delivering a top-notch program, this external accreditation affirms the quality of their work. It’s an excellent accomplishment for the Physical and Life Sciences Department.”

Mark Amman, chair of the Physical and Life Sciences Department, said, “Our accrediting body is an independent organization whose mission is to serve the public interest by establishing and enforcing the highest quality of education in health information technology, both didactic and experiential. This recent full reaccreditation validates not only the program, which we all knew was inherent, but also encourage prospective students to engage in an academic endeavor that will lead to job security in health information technology.”