Health Informatics Programs in Arkansas

Health Informatics Programs in Arkansas are becoming increasingly popular among students registering for college. Health informatics is a growing specialization in the industry that combines information technology, communications and health care.

In July 2013, Arkansas took steps to reduce healthcare costs by implementing a performance pay policy, reimbursing doctors based on quality rather than quality. The state has created specific standards regarding the costs for treating specific health conditions and will begin tracking each provider’s costs for certain cases. At the end of the year, the provider is evaluated based on how their average costs compare to the state standards. If the costs are lower, the provider is paid a bonus while those that are higher must pay the difference back to the state.

The program began after health informatics specialists analyzed historical data and set standards for five specific health conditions:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Late pregnancy
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Total joint replacement

Because the policy is just being implemented, there is no data to determine whether the program is working to save money in the state. However, it does indicate a strong need for people with health informatics background who can analyze data, implement technology to track the data and who understand the special needs of those in the healthcare industry.

Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University was founded in 1909 as the Second District Agricultural School with a mission to provide high school level education. Not long after it was founded, the school began offering two-year degrees, and the name was changed to Arkansas Polytechnic College in 1925. The school stopped issuing high school degrees in 1931 and became Arkansas Tech University in 1976. Today, Arkansas Tech has more than 11,000 students enrolled between two campuses and over 400 faculty members.

College of Natural and Health Science

The College of Natural and Health Science at Arkansas Tech is divided into four departments, each with their own program areas:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing

Students enrolled at the college follow a curriculum that involves both classroom and hands-on learning. Students receive specialized academic instruction in order to gain the skills necessary to succeed in their careers upon graduation. Faculty and staff are dedicated to student success, and the curriculum places an emphasis on scientific method, data collection and theoretical knowledge.

Health Information Management

The Bachelor of Science degree program in Health Information Management at Arkansas Tech prepares students for a career in a healthcare industry that is growing more dependent on computerization and data analysis. Students are prepared for a career as health information manager where responsibilities include:

  • Obtaining complete health records
  • Gathering statistical information
  • Setting long-range planning goals
  • Determining legitimacy of requests
  • Controlling circulation and integrity of confidential data
  • Maintaining efficiency of the health information system

Students participate in professional practice experience at affiliated hospitals in nearby cities for six hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. In addition, a management affiliation is required with students often fulfilling the requirement during summer months. Students must earn a “C” or better in all professional courses.

Accreditation

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

Contact

Valli Wanzer, Secretary
Arkansas Tech University
College of Natural & Health Sciences
1701 North Boulder Avenue
Russellville, AR 72801
Telephone: 479-968-0498
Email: vwanzer@atu.edu
Program Website

National Park Community College at Hot Springs

National Park Community College at Hot Springs is the fourth largest community college in Arkansas, with approximately 4,000 students attending classes on campus. The college was created when Garland County Community College and Quapaw Technical Institute merged into a comprehensive two-year institution in 2003. The campus is located in the resort community of Hot Springs where one of the largest industries is medical science. There is also a large retirement community in the area as well. The campus is surrounded by parks, hiking trails and lakes, as well as a thriving art community.

Health Sciences Division

The Health Sciences Division of NPCC offers students educational opportunities in the area of healthcare, including nursing, lab technology, emergency medical technician and other industries associated with health. The goals of the division are:

  • To provide students with the chance to develop knowledge and skills
  • To provide students with ability to improve their professional image
  • To provide students with critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • To remain sensitive to the needs of the community

Health Information Technology

The Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology provides students with the knowledge and skills to organize, analyze and evaluate health information. Students also learn how to compile statistics and maintain a wide variety of health indexes, registries and storage systems using modern technology while maintaining proper confidentiality. Students are qualified to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) examination upon completion.

Accreditation

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

Contact

National Park Community College
101 College Drive
Hot Springs, AR 71913
Telephone: 501-760-4222
Email: info@npcc.edu
Program Website

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is the only academic health center operating in every county and regional campus in Northwest Arkansas. They are the largest public employer in the state, and are an economic engine for Arkansas with an annual impact of $3.92 billion. In 1879, eight doctors pooled resources, investing $5,000 to begin the first medical school in Arkansas, opening in what was the Sperindo Restaurant and Hotel in downtown Little Rock. In 1951, a new cigarette tax secured $7.4 million for a new University Hospital on West Markham Street. Today, almost 3,000 students are enrolled at the facility in a variety of programs.

College of Health Professions

The College of Health Professions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences fosters accountability and transparency in the healthcare industry. They are committed to the diversity of the workforce, and provide an environment where all cultures are welcome. Faculty and staff work to encourage teamwork and creativity, while helping students strive for excellence in their chosen careers.

Health Information Management

The College of Health Professions offers an Association of Science degree in Health Information Management with convenient online or evening courses. Students are required to complete professional practice rotations in hospitals and other healthcare related agencies. There is travel involved in completing the degree requirements. Students are admitted to the program based on academic achievement, academic aptitude, computer competency, leadership and professionalism. Students must provide letters of reference and submit written essays to be considered for the program.

Accreditation

  • The Joint Commission
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

Contact

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
Telephone: 501-686-7000
Email: comments@uams.edu
Program Website

With the healthcare industry growing at a rapid pace, and technology becoming increasingly important, health informatics programs in Arkansas are a developing degree field at many colleges throughout the state.