Review of Certifications Available for Informatics and Health Information Management Professionals

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Certifications offered through AHIMA:

The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) offered through AHIMA oversees the following AHIMA certification programs:

  • RHIA[1]] Registered Health Information Administrators work as a liaison between providers, payers and patients.
  • RHIT[2] Registered Health Information Technicians who work to ensure high quality medical records, utilize tools to gather and analyze patient data to help improve care and/or manage costs and specialize in the use of coding for reimbursement and research.
  • CCA[3] Certified Coding Associates have coding competencies that cover the entire spectrum of care delivery.
  • CCS[4] Certified Coding Specialists in the hospital and research settings who evaluate patient records to determine codes for diagnoses and procedures using ICD-9 and CPT coding standards.
  • CCS-P[5] Certified Coding Specialist , Physician-based are specialists in physician offices and group practices who review patient records to assign appropriate coding for diagnoses and procedures and ensure accurate submission of claims for reimbursement.
  • CHDA[6] Certified Health Data Analyst are experts in health data analysis who are able to examine, attain, manage, convert and interpret patient data into accurate, timely information that can be used by varied stakeholders in the care delivery spectrum.
  • CHPS[7] Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security are specialists who are responsible for planning, implementing and managing comprehensive privacy and security systems for any healthcare organization.
  • CDIP[8] Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioners are professionals specializing in achieving many of the goals of audits, ARRA/HITECH and other quality improvement initiatives.

Certifications offered through the ONC/CCHIT: HIT Pro

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) & Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) offer free exams that validate an individual's competencies in:

Information on how the HIT Pro exams benefit both professionals and employers, as well as testing administration information can be found on this HIT Pro PDF.

EHR Alternative Certification of Healthcare Providers (EACHTM) is one final certification offered through ONC/CCHIT for healthcare providers who are not able to meet EHR certification requirement through use of technology purchased from vendors. It is designed to allow professionals to pursue certification of existing legacy or home grown EHR system not already covered by a vendor certification.

Certifications offered through HIMSS

HIMSS offers two certifications: CAHIMS & CPHIMS

The Certified Associate in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CAHIMS)[9] certification is a certification offered by HIMSS that will assist new professionals entry into health IT careers. It is intended for individuals with 5 or less years of experience and is intended to lead to the Certified Professional in Healthcare & Management Systems (CPHIMS) credential.The certification validates an individual's knowledge of HIT and information management systems .

The Certified Professional in Healthcare & Management Systems (CPHIMA) [10] credential is a professional certification program for HIM systems professionals. It is highly demanded by healthcare organizations and covers 9 domains in 3 sections:

A. General

  • 1.Healthcare Environment
  • 2. Technology Environment

B. Systems

  • 3.Analysis
  • 4.Design
  • 5.Selection, Implementation, Support, and Maintenance
  • 6.Testing and Evaluation
  • 7.Privacy and Security

C. Administration

  • 8.Leadership
  • 9.Management

Submitted by Elizabeth Parker, MBA