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UMDNJ's Health Information Management Program Trains Students for Careers in Fast-Growing Field
Date:2/23/2010

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to the U.S. Labor Department, employment opportunities for health information and medical records professionals are expected to increase by twenty percent in the next eight years -- far outpacing the growth rate of other occupations. Technological advances and proposed legislation mandating electronic health records are expanding opportunities for individuals trained in Health Information Management (HIM) in a wide variety of organizations including managed care organizations, insurance companies, law firms, physician offices, consulting firms, software companies and the pharmaceutical industry.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's (UMDNJ) School of Health Related Professions offers a Bachelor's degree in Health Information Management (HIM) in conjunction with Kean University, Thomas Edison State College, Georgian Court University, Felician College, Saint Peter's College and Fairleigh Dickinson University which, according to program director Barbara Manger, "provides a broad based education that results in graduates who are prepared to step into a multitude of roles in  the health information profession, which is an essential connection between physicians, patients, payers and others in the healthcare industry."

"UMDNJ offers a top notch HIM program that prepares graduates very well for a productive career. With dedicated professors that are leaders in the industry, UMDNJ graduates are equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed," said Tim Keough, MPA, RHIA, Vice President of New Jersey Hospital Association - Healthcare Business Solutions and current President of the New Jersey Health Information Management Association.

"Information collected in healthcare settings must be managed to ensure compliance with regulations and standards, protected from inappropriate use and disclosure, evaluated to measure the quality of care and services rendered and translated into computer readable codes for reimbursement and planning," said Professor Manger. "The UMDNJ program includes courses that bring together business, healthcare and technology and allows students to identify specific areas of interest, which can then be studied in more detail through electives and professional practice experiences."

Students enroll in one of the affiliate colleges or universities and take 59-70 credits in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Science & Mathematics, Health, Concentration Courses and other electives. They then enroll in UMDNJ for 61 credits in Health Information Management courses such as Medical Terminology, Legal Aspects of Health Information, Classification & Reimbursement Systems, and Electronic Health Records. Health Information Management courses at UMDNJ are taught primarily in the evening from 5:00-9:00 p.m. with a few exceptions.

After completing the program, graduates can become Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) by passing a national examination. As an RHIA, they collect, utilize and disseminate many kinds of data from a variety of sources, monitor the integrity of the information, ensure appropriate access to health records and manage the analysis and use of this data. Health information professionals who choose to work as department managers in hospital centers have major areas of responsibility which include: determining health information policies; planning; budgeting; acting as a liaison with other departments; evaluating employee performance; educating departmental staff, medical staff and ancillary departments to assure quality information; and serving on important committees such as quality management and utilization review.

"The HIM Program placed me in a class of people who understand the importance of patients, their medical information, and the need for safety measures to protect this sensitive information. It has taught me how dire the need for transparency across health care providers is and has given me the tools to go out into the 'real world' to make a difference," said Shane Perkins, Coordinator, Health Record Services, Merit Mountainside Hospital.

The Medical Coding Certificate, which is offered at the UMDNJ Newark campus, is designed to provide students who are interested in a non-degree program with the skills necessary to classify medical data from inpatient, outpatient and physician office records. Changes in reimbursement methods and an increased demand to report coded data to insurance companies has made coding a skill in high demand in all health care settings. Coded data is also critical to medical research, medical and allied health education as well as planning and monitoring public health.

For more information about UMDNJ's Health information Management program contact: Program Director Barbara Manger at mangerbj@umdnj.edu or visit the program website at http://shrp.umdnj.edu/programs/HIM/index.html.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest freestanding public health sciences university with more than 5,600 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.

The School of Health Related Professions is comprised of nine departments: Allied Dental Education, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Health Informatics, Interdisciplinary Studies, Medical Imaging Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, Primary Care, Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences, and Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Professional Counseling, offering more than forty undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs on UMDNJ's Newark, Scotch Plains, Piscataway, and Stratford campuses and online via the Internet and currently enrolling more than 1,200 students.

SOURCE University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

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SOURCE University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
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