Health Informatics Programs in West Virginia

Four health informatics programs in West Virginia have earned CAHIIM accreditation to prepare residents of America’s ninth smallest state for a flourishing medical career.

Located in the Mid-Atlantic Appalachian Region, West Virginia has around 1.84 million patients’ records to maintain. Although the $63.34 billion economy is best known for mining and natural gas, six of West Virginia’s top 15 employers are health-related. Health informatics training can lead to jobs at Charleston Area Medical Center, Mon General Hospital, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Cabell Huntington Hospital, and more. According to the BLS, West Virginia employs 1,290 health information technicians with an annual mean wage of $35,800, or $17.25 per hour.

Consider the following health informatics schools in West Virginia to jump into the hot healthcare sector.

Marshall University

College of Health Professions

Endowed for $110.4 million, Marshall University is a public, co-educational research institution named after the fourth Chief Justice in 1837 that’s now led by President Jerome A. Gilbert to educate approximately 13,630 Thundering Herd from its 100-acre urban headquarters in the Huntington-Ashland Metropolitan Area. Named America’s 182nd “Most Conservative College” on Niche, Marshall is ranked the 47th best Southern college and 16th top public school by the USNWR. The College of Health Professions maintains a 19:1 student-faculty ratio for conferring 24 degrees from biomechanics to nursing.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

Unlocking an average salary of $69,000, Marshall’s Master of Science in Health Informatics is the most advanced of health informatics programs in West Virginia focused on training clinical workers to develop electronic medical record systems mandated under the HITECH Act. The 39-credit curriculum has three components: Information Systems, Informatics, and Information Technology. With the College of Business, the program ensures graduates have the technical expertise for information management jobs in healthcare. Courses from project management to data analytics are blended with 400 practicum hours at settings like Marshall University Medical Center. There’s also an Accelerated Master’s Degree (AMD) for seniors taking 12 graduate credits. The CAHIIM-accredited program would satisfy Registered Health Information Administrator credentialing.

Accreditation

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

• Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

Gullickson Hall Room 107

1 John Marshall Drive

Huntington, WV 25755

(304) 696-2718

berhie@marshall.edu

Program Link

Mountwest Community and Technical College

Allied Health Occupations Division

Originally part of Marshall University until 2008, the Mountwest Community and Technical College is a two-year public, co-educational career institution in the CTCS system that’s enrolling around 3,120 students with 100 percent acceptance in Huntington within the Appalachian foothills. Graded B+ for location as America’s 487th “Best Community College” on Niche, MCTC was ranked the #1 best for vets school statewide by Military Times EDGE in 2014. The Allied Health Occupations Division has an 18:1 student-faculty ratio for 12 associate degrees, including one of the health informatics programs in West Virginia.

Health Information Technology, A.A.S.

Currently charging $172 per credit in-state, the Health Information Technology A.A.S. awards an Associate of Applied Science for MCTC undergrads to gather the fundamental skills for the ethical, secure transportation of patient healthcare information digitally. Featuring an 85 percent retention rate, the 62-credit curriculum piques students’ interest in coding and analyzing health records. Expect courses like anatomy, pharmacology, written communication, CPT procedural coding, and medical office claims. In addition to 20 observation hours before admission, majors complete four credits of clinical practicum. Graduates have excelled at Cabell-Huntington Hospital, King’s Daughters’ Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and more. There’s also a 60-credit Health Informatics A.A.S. that isn’t yet CAHIIM-accredited.

Accreditation

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

• Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

One Mountwest Way

Huntington, WV 25701

(304) 710-3516

smithjan@mctc.edu

Program Link

Pierpont Community and Technical College

School of Health Careers

Established in 1974, Pierpont Community and Technical College is the West Virginia CTCS system’s second-largest public, co-educational institution led by President Dr. Johnny Moore to educate over 2,780 students in 13 counties from Randolph to Monongalia from a 120-acre urban campus in Fairmont. Graded B for student experience as America’s 411th “Best Trade School” on Niche, Pierpont was ranked the ninth best community college in West Virginia on BestColleges.com. The School of Health Careers keeps a 15:1 student-faculty ratio for engaging students in seven associate degrees and the Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate.

Health Information Technology (AAS)

Placing 91 percent of graduates in jobs immediately, the Health Information Technology (AAS) at Pierpont is another of the health informatics programs in West Virginia that fulfills RHIT requirements for entry-level employment or transfer to Fairmont State University. The CAHIIM-accredited program teaches undergrads to collect, maintain, and analyze patient records in compliance with confidentiality laws. Currently costing $4,150 per year in-state, the 60-credit curriculum has courses like diagnostic data, medical terminology, quality assessment, and computer applications. Second-year students will engage in supervised practicum before the healthcare IT capstone project. Admission remains open until March 31st for students with a minimum ACT Math score of 15 and English score of 18.

Accreditation

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

• Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

Advanced Technology Center 116K

500 Galliher Drive

Fairmont, WV 26554

(304) 367-4764

amy.cunningham@pierpont.edu

Program Link

West Virginia Northern Community College

Healthcare Professions and Human Services

Based in the original Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Terminal in Wheeling with two regional branches in Weirton and Martinsville, West Virginia Northern Community College is a public, co-educational trade school founded in 1972 with open admissions to train around 2,850 students in 70 career fields. Graded A+ for safety as America’s 510th “Best Community College” on Niche, WVNCC had the 50th lowest net price nationwide at $3,546 according to the U.S. Department of Education. The Healthcare Professions and Human Services division holds “Military Friendly” status for one of the health informatics programs in West Virginia too.

Health Information Technology, A.A.S.

Structured as a full-time, two-year program in Wheeling or Weirton, WVNCC’s Health Information Technology A.A.S. grants an associate degree for a solid background in medical records management that satisfies Registered Health Information Technician eligibility. The CAHIIM-approved curriculum is concerned with both the secure collection of patient data and basic clinical procedure indexes. For in-depth ICD-10 experience, students could add the Medical Billing and Coding C.A.S. to their 60 credits. Courses integrate hands-on practicum at facilities like Wheeling Hospital, Amedisys Home Healthcare, and Ohio Valley Medical Center. Prospective freshmen with a 2.0 GPA or better can submit the Health Science Application until the July 13th deadline.

Accreditation

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

• Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

1704 Market Street

Wheeling, WV 26003

(304) 214-8858

ksilvestri@wvncc.edu

Program Link

Computer-savvy high school or college grads in the “Mountain State” could enter the booming healthcare pipeline without direct patient contact. According to Modern Healthcare, the medical field grew by 35,000 jobs per month on average in 2016. Getting facilities compliant with EHR regulations has been one of the biggest demands of the 21st century so far. The BLS predicts that employment in health informatics will continue spiking by 15 percent through 2024. Health information administrators with the RHIA credential can expect rapid job growth of 17 percent for the same period.

Sharpen your tech skills for complex patient care delivery in these CAHIIM-accredited health informatics programs in West Virginia.

See also: 50 Most Affordable Healthcare MBA Degree Programs