UW-Parkside adds online health information degree
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is among the UW System campuses that will offer a newly approved online bachelor's degree in health information, one of the fastest growing professions. The new Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology (HIMT) will be coordinated by the UW-Extension and is aimed at returning students. UW campuses in Green Bay and Stevens Point also offer the program with the La Crosse campus contributing courses.
"This is a very timely degree," UW-Extension's Dean of the Online and Continuing Education David Schejbal was quoted as saying by Healthcare IT News. "The employment outlook is extremely positive for highly skilled professionals in the health information management and technology field."
Courses will be entirely online. Returning students with 60 credits of undergraduate work or an associate degree, can complete the program in as little as 24 months. The curriculum covers health and medical terminology, medical ethics, IT in healthcare, health benefit plans and providers, and leadership and change management. Jane Duckert, director of health information management at UW Hospital and Clinics, said: "Healthcare programs, electronic medical records and health information exchange are growing in number, size and complexity. Technological advancements require additional and expanded training for the profession. A degree program within Wisconsin will keep our state on the cutting edge of technology with its credentialed health information management professionals."
The program will offer two tracks:
- The technology track will prepare students for IT roles in the healthcare, health insurance, and government fields. It's the foundation for positions from health data analysis to insurance claims coordinator.
- The management track will prepare students to be leaders in providing better patient care, administering computer information systems and managing patient data.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the medical records and health information tech fields will increase 20 percent by 2018. And Dean Schejbal said Wisconsin has a shortage of four-year degree holders in this field. He also noted this will be the only HIMT degree in the UW System.Applications for fall 2012 are being accepted at http://himt.wisconsin.edu on the web.