Health Informatics Programs in Washington

Five health informatics programs in Washington are accredited by the CAHIIM to prepare skilled administrators for the clinical record keeping arena.

Positioned south of British Columbia in the Pacific Northwest, Washington spans 71,362 square miles and has the 13rd largest state population at 7.28 million. Health informatics students will benefit from a sizable healthcare sector in Washington’s $425 billion economy. Among the “Evergreen State’s” 10 biggest employers are Providence Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, Peace River Medical Center, and MultiCare Health System.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Washington employs 4,550 health information technicians with an annual mean wage of $43,720. Advanced training can open jobs like clinical informatics director, where the median salary is $91,568. Use your tech-savvy skills to foster better medical communication systems with these health informatics degrees for Washingtonians.

Shoreline Community College

Health and Wellness Division

Established in 1964, Shoreline Community College is a public, two-year junior college led by President Dr. Cheryl Roberts to serve over 13,700 Dolphins from an 83-acre suburban campus in Shoreview Park just 10 miles north of downtown Seattle and online. Ranked America’s 221st “Best Trade School” on Niche, Shoreline was placed 26th among all community colleges by StateUniversity.com with an average lifetime ROI of $456,269. The Health and Wellness Division maintains a 17:1 student-faculty ratio for associate majors from dentistry to pharmacy.

Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences in Health Information Technology

Shoreline’s Virtual Campus confers an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences (A.A.A.S.) in Health Information Technology 100 percent online for students working toward the RHIT credential. Costing Washington residents just $101 per credit, the two-year program focuses on coding, analyzing, managing, and securing patient data in advanced computer systems. Courses from pharmacology to medical reimbursement will span seven quarters full-time. Like other CAHIIM-accredited health informatics programs in Washington, clinical practicum is required for 15 days in real-world healthcare facilities. Students could also take the AHIMA Certified Coding Specialist exam. Shoreline alumni can be found at Cascade Valley Hospital, Fairfax Behavioral Health, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and more.

Accreditations

Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Contact

16101 Greenwood Avenue N.

Shoreline, WA 98133

(206) 546-4101

ecadwell@shoreline.edu

Program Link

Spokane Community College

Business Technology Department

Occupying 148 suburban acres along the Spokane River just eight minutes from Gonzaga, Spokane Community College is a public, two-year technical institution belonging to the CCS system to educate approximately 25,350 students in over 60 academic programs. Although the college placed 684th among America’s “Best Community Colleges” on Niche, Spokane itself was ranked 128th for education according to Forbes. The Business Technology Department admits 100 percent of qualified students for A.A.S. degrees from customer service to legal office management.

Health Information Management (HIM) Major

Leading to an Associate of Arts and Sciences, the Health Information Management (HIM) Major at SCC takes six quarters for students to transform into technologists with the computer proficiency to document patient records. This CAHIIM-accredited curriculum stands out among health informatics programs in Washington State for a low average net price of $4,468 per year. In 2015, graduates also achieved an impressive 92 percent pass rate on the RHIT exam. Students meet face-to-face to take courses like acute care coding, medical terminology, computer applications, quality improvement, pharmacology, and health data analysis. The 103-hour degree culminates with an HIM clinical practice in facilities like Deaconess Hospital or Franklin Park Urgent Care.

Accreditations

Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Contact

1810 N Greene Street

Spokane, WA 99217

(800) 248-5644 ext. 8001

Deby.Hanson@scc.spokane.edu

Program Link

Tacoma Community College

Health Careers Division

Attracting around 15,000 Titans at an average age of 28, Tacoma Community College is a public, lower-division institution founded in 1965 that’s partnered with Evergreen State College to deliver 46 technical programs in Tacoma just 31 miles northeast of Olympia. Graded B as America’s 154th “Best Community College” on Niche, TCC was ranked 46th nationally for social mobility and service by Washington Monthly. Boasting an 86 percent placement rate, the Health Careers Division in the Harned Center has eight associate degrees from nursing to radiologic science.

Health Information Technology A.A.S. Degree

Another of the online health informatics programs in Washington State is TCC’s Health Information Technology A.A.S. Degree, which consists of 106 credits total. This CAHIIM-accredited curriculum is accessed via SoftChalk Cloud for busy working adults to master the medical knowledge needed to manage computer applications on patient records. Fulfilling the RHIT requirements, the program integrates courses like revenue cycle, inpatient coding, healthcare statistics, pathophysiology, and project management. During the final sixth quarter, professional practice is gained in students’ own hometowns. Students could add the 19-credit Medical Scribe Certificate for additional credentials. Transferring into the B.A.S. in Health Information Management program is also seamless with the 2+2 Track.

Accreditations

Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Contact

6501 South 19th Street

Tacoma, WA 98466

(253) 566-5188

jeastabrooks@tacomacc.edu

Program Link

University of Washington

School of Public Health

Endowed for $2.98 billion, the University of Washington is a flagship public, land-grant RU/VH institution within the Pac-12 Conference that’s educating over 46,000 Huskies and employing more than 5,800 faculty upon a sprawling 703-acre urban campus in Seattle. Picked as America’s 20th “Best Big College” on Niche, UW is ranked the 54th best national university and 16th top public school by the U.S. News. The School of Public Health is also recognized for the United States’ sixth best graduate healthcare degrees, including two health informatics programs in Washington.

Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics & Health Information Management

Retaining 94 percent of freshmen on average, UW confers a CAHIIM-accredited Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics & Health Information Management in Seattle for $395 per credit hour. Using a mentorship model, the upper-division program fulfills RHIA entry-level competencies by teaching the high-tech skills needed to manage vast volumes of medical information. Courses like clinical documentation standards and operations management are taught primarily by PhD-level faculty trained at Seattle Pacific, Georgia Southern, Central Michigan, and more. Transfers spend one to two years full-time tackling the 65-credit curriculum and the five-credit capstone project. Seniors practice with Seattle-based medical centers like Swedish Cherry Hill Campus and Virginia Mason Hospital before AHIMA certification.

Master of Health Informatics & Health Information Management

Admitting students with a 53 percent acceptance rate each September, the Master of Health Informatics & Health Information Management is a CAHIIM-accredited graduate option for advanced RHIA leadership positions. The unique, 59-credit curriculum integrates administrative training with in-depth knowledge on medical record keeping. Cohorts meet face-to-face in Bellevue just once monthly on Fridays and Saturdays while taking online webinars. Courses delve into four major pillars: Health Information Systems, Health Data Analytics, Information Governance, and Patient Information Privacy and Security. In the final sixth quarter, students tackle a culminating project with a health industry organization. Costing $829 per credit, the program also offers an Advanced Standing program for recent MHA grads.

Accreditations

Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Contact

UW Tower, T-14 Room K110

4333 Brooklyn Ave NE

Seattle, WA 98195

(206) 543-8810

hihim@uw.edu

Program Link

Majoring in health informatics is an excellent idea since today’s healthcare system is being flooded with electronic patient data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that health informatics jobs will rise rapidly by 15 percent through 2024. That translates to over 29,000 new positions, such as informatics nurse, health information technician, medical coding, billing specialist, and clinical informatics manager. Preference is generally given to job candidates who are certified by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), which will require at least an associate degree. Market yourself for this in-demand, well-paid digital career with these health informatics programs in Washington State.

See also: 50 Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Informatics 2015