Dalton State Adds Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management
June 8, 2015
Beginning this fall, students will have one more bachelor degree option at Dalton State.
The Georgia Board of Regents recently approved adding a bachelor of science in health information management bringing the number of bachelor degree program offerings at Dalton State to 19.
Much of the degree is available online, though some classes will be available on campus and others will be a hybrid.
Health information management professionals work with health data management, information policy, information systems, and administrative and clinical workflow, said Dr. Andy Meyer, interim vice president for Academic Affairs. Health information administrators organize information used in evidence-based medicine. They arm the provider with organized evidence to support patient care, reimbursement, teaching, research, quality improvement, and legal inquiries, according to information from the School of Health Professions about the degree.
Health information administrators are employed by hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, medical research centers, health data organizations, insurance companies, accounting firms, law firms, pharmaceutical companies, and many other agencies in the public and private industries. Jobs are plentiful as there is a nation-wide shortage in professionals working in this career, Meyer said.
“This is an important degree program for Dalton State to offer students in Northwest Georgia and beyond,” said Dr. Margaret Venable, interim president of Dalton State. “Due to the high demand for healthcare professionals with this expertise, we expect students to be readily employable upon graduation. The upper level classes will be available online to best serve the needs of adults returning to extend their education.”
The courses in the program emphasize critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, and interpersonal and communication skills. The program is interdisciplinary, combining a concentration in the health sciences with technology and business. Courses include accounting, programming, healthcare statistics, essentials of pharmacology, healthcare compliance and coding, managerial practicum-medical records, and healthcare communication.
“I think this is a great addition to our already outstanding programs in the School of Health Professions,” Meyer said. “Since it is a mostly online program it will be easily accessible and attractive to students who are already working in the field and want to further their education and careers.”
The program will enable Dalton State to engage with the local community through service learning projects in which students will participate, as well as through potential student internships or faculty research in partnership with community based healthcare providers and related businesses.
“Feedback from healthcare agencies in the area suggest a high demand for students trained in this field,” said Dr. Gina Kertulis-Tartar, dean of the School of Health Professions. “We are looking forward to partnering with these agencies to create a robust program for them and for the students.”
Dalton State offers a robust array of healthcare education programs ranging from bachelor’s degree programs in nursing, respiratory therapy, and social work to associate programs in radiologic technology, registered nursing, medical laboratory technology, respiratory therapy to certificate programs in licensed practical nursing, medical assisting, phlebotomy. The School of Health Professions is housed in the former Technical Building, which is currently being renovated to meet the school’s needs.
Those interested in learning more about the bachelor’s degree in health information management can contact the School of Health Professions at 706-272-4516.