Ontario College Diploma in Health Information Management
The Fleming College Health Information Management (HIM) program is one of only three Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) recognized college programs available in Ontario.
In this challenging two-year diploma program, students will learn to use computer technologies to capture and analyze data, and to create health information for healthcare delivery use, financial and management planning. Health records are the primary source of information used by hospitals and health care facilities to code services for reimbursement purposes. This information is also needed by public health officials to indicate disease patterns and trends, and by medical researchers for analysis, comparison and decision support.
Health service careers are among the fastest growing occupations in the economy. In the healthcare field, this really is the information age. There's a whole new growth market for the skills and training of health information management and health records professionals. An aging population and increasing health care needs, combined with the focus on accountability, efficiency and effectiveness of health care services delivery, has led to a skills shortage. You will graduate equipped with very marketable skills in the health information management sector. Some of those skills will include expertise in the following areas:
- data quality
- data collection and coding
- record /systems management
- privacy, confidentiality and security of health information
- transitioning to the electronic health record
This program has been granted formal recognition by the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA). Graduates will be eligible to write the Canadian College of Health Information Management's national certification examination, and upon successful completion, use the professional designation CHIM, meaning certified in Health Information Management.
"Now more than ever, a Health Information Management (HIM) career offers exciting and dynamic opportunities. Data Quality, Privacy and Electronic-Health Information Management (e-HIM) are our domains of practice. This diverse field offers positions to support the collection, analysis and management of health information; positions related to patient privacy and advocacy; and project management opportunities to assist in transitioning from a paper-based to electronic health record across all healthcare sectors."
Maria Muia, B.H.A., M.H.Sc., CHIM, C.H.E.
Director, Health Information Management, North York General Hospital
Why Choose Fleming
Fleming College has a reputation as a leader in technology-based learning. The HIM program at Fleming follows this trend with a vision of "Inspiring innovative students to become innovative leaders in HIM through applied learning." One of our mission statements is to "Espouse the state of the art in Health Information Management." We demonstrate this through our brand-new, fully-computerized lab with over 500 anonymized patient records and scanning equipment, to provide students with practical application knowledge that supports the move in healthcare to electronic health records (EHRs). A real-world populated database of patient information allows the learner to run realistic reports to support the needs of users for decision-making purposes.
Through its previous successful practicums, the HIM program has developed excellent relationships with numerous healthcare facilities throughout the region and beyond, resulting in good practicum and employment opportunities for graduates.
The program includes a strong practical component. Students will participate in two work placement experiences, a total of eight weeks in all. Students spend two weeks in a workplace setting in semester two, and four weeks in a workplace setting in semester four, with an additional two weeks planned in the on-site virtual HIM department. Practicum components will not necessarily be in the immediate Peterborough area. Practicum agencies may require proof of immunization and a criminal records check (vulnerable sector).
Is this You?
This challenging and rigorous program is for those who are interested in a career where healthcare meets the cutting edge of technology. The following attributes and skills are assets for this program and career path:
- ability/willingness to work as part of a team and independently
- dedicated to lifelong learning
- organized, with excellent judgment
- analytical, detail-oriented
- customer support oriented
- minimum keyboarding speed of 30 words per minute
It is strongly recommended that students possess basic Microsoft Office Suite skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer) for research, report writing and presentations.
Graduates will be qualified for employment in a variety of health service settings and can choose the area that most interests them, including hospitals, chronic and long-term care facilities, community healthcare, mental health agencies, rehabilitation services, private clinics, health information networks, insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and government agencies and services. Your job titles could include:
- Health Record/Information Technician
- Coding Specialist
- Release of Information Specialist
- Health Record/Information Administrator
- Data Analyst
- Data Quality Specialist
Starting salaries per year are in the $40,000 to $45,000 range. The recently released "Health Informatics and Health Information Management Human Resources Report" confirms the increasing demand for qualified Health Informatics (HI) and Health Information Management professionals, and projects significant labour and skills shortages in this field in the near future.
Minimum Admission Requirements
OSSD with the majority of credits at the College (C) and Open (O) level, including:
- 2 College (C) English courses (Grade 11 or Grade 12)
- 2 Grade 11 or Grade 12 College (C) Science courses
- 1 Grade 11 College (C) Math course
When (C) is the minimum course level for admission, (U) or (U/C) courses are also accepted.
Health and Non Academic Requirements
Your program has mandatory immunization requirements that include a "pre-entry" deadline date for submission. For more information, and to print a copy of the immunization form, please see the Immunization Information page.
Non Academic Requirements
Your program has mandatory requirements which may include a criminal reference check, first aid, CPR-C, etc. For more information, please see the Non Academic Requirements page.
Failure to provide any of the required Non Academic Field Requirements by the specified due date will result in an inability to participate in the mandatory placement components of the program.
If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission. Additional testing or academic upgrading may be necessary to meet specific course requirements for this program.
All applicants will be required to achieve course credit in the mandatory Sciences and, through Secondary School or through Academic Upgrading programs.
You should plan to spend approximately $1200.00 for books and software in your first year ($750.00 of this in first semester) and $650.00 for your second year. There may be additional living expense costs during the placements in Semester 2 and 4.
As well, in your role as a future HIM professional, you will be expected to join the national and provincial HIM organizations as a student member, a cost of approximately $60.00.
If you don't possess the required science courses for admission to this program, or if you want to enhance your likelihood for entry, consider the one-year Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas.
You may be able to use credits obtained at Fleming College to continue your postsecondary education in pursuit of a degree. The articulation and credit transfer agreements with our partner institutions are summarized below.
- Successful completion of program
- 36 out of a 90 credit degree;
Visit articulation agreement for details
- Minimum 70% cumulative average
- Must successfully complete a Conestoga College bridging module consisting of 1 week of full-time studies at the end of August before beginning full-time studies in September
- 16 out of a 46 course degree;
Visit ONTransfer.ca for further details
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
- Documentation of professional registration/certification with the CHIMA is also required.
- Visit ONTransfer.ca for details
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
- Minimum mid-70% cumulative average
- Successful completion of the Allied Health Sciences Bridge courses
- 57 out of a 120 credit degree;
Visit ONTransfer.ca for further details