The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) has studied the issues and needs of programmatic accreditation at the graduate level in health informatics since 2006 by incorporating the health informatics discipline in CAHIIM's official scope of accreditation and utilized the work of a blue ribbon Health Informatics Workgroup in 2008 and as the foundation of initial accreditation standards for this field of study.

2017 Revised Accreditation Standards and New Professional Competencies Launched

Beginning in 2015, the CAHIIM Health Informatics Accreditation Council (HIAC) set a goal to move toward an educational model based on outcome competencies to provide the core foundation of knowledge and skills needed by the health informatics garduates. HIAC developed a framework built on the AMIA Board White Paper: Definition of Biomedical Informatics and Specification of Core Competencies for Graduate Education in the discipline, Kulikowski, C.A., et al.;J AM Med Inform Assoc. 2012 Nov-Dec; 19(6); 931-8. Considerable work evolved as AMIA and CAHIIM and AMIA created a task force charged with analysis of the braod scope of health informatics spanning clinical informatics, population informatics, consumer health informatics, translational bioinformatics and clinical research informatics with a resultant set of core professional competencies. See AMIA 2017 Core Competencies for Health Informatics Education at the Master’s Degree Level

In addition the 2017 Health Informatics Accreditation Standards - Masters Degree were revised by the HIAC and approved by the CAHIIM Board of Directors to meet current accreditation good practices and changes in higher education.

All health informatics masters degree programs seeking Initial Accreditation will comply with the 2017 Accreditation Standards and 2017 Curriculum Competencies effective January 1, 2018 and all CAHIIM Accredited masters degree programs must be in full compliance by January 1, 2020.

2015 AMIA Becomes a Member of CAHIIM

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) became a valued stakeholder Member of CAHIIM in January 2015. AMIA's Membership demonstrates support of quality assurance in higher education within CAHIIM's scope of Accreditation Services, contributes to Accreditation Standards and quality performance measures and processes driving improvements in health informatics graduate education. The Health Informatics Accreditation Council (HIAC) was formed reporting to the CAHIIM Board of Directors to focus on maintenance of quality on health informatics education, recommend action on program reviews, periodically revise accreditation standards, oversee and approve CAHIIM Peer Reviewers volunteers, and collaborate with the AMIA organization on maintenance and updates to curriculum requirements.

2009 Commissioners Meet to Draft Standards for Health Informatics Masters Degree Programmatic Accreditation

A special health informatics committee of the CAHIIM Board of Commissioners met in Chicago, IL, in June 2009 to draft a set of programmatic accreditation Standards for master’s degree programs in health informatics. These Standards adhere to the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) Member Code of Good Practice and follow accepted practice in higher education academic quality assurance. The Standards address the mission, sponsorship, responsibilities of the academic institution, the program mission and goals, curriculum, faculty, resources, students, and fair practices. The Standards were released for Public Comment, adopted by the CAHIIM Board and officially lanched in 2010 as the Standards and Interpretations for Accreditation of Master's Degree Programs in Health Informatics.

2009 Health Informatics Committee photo

L to R: Angela Kennedy, MEd, MBA, RHIA, CPHQ; Joan Hicks, MS, RHIA; Merida Johns, PhD, RHIA;
Claire Dixon-Lee, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, CPH; Patt Peterson, MA, RHIA, George Payan; Steven Steindel, PhD, FACMI; John Holmes, PhD, FACMI; and Rosemary Walker, DDS, MBA, MS.

2008 The CAHIIM Scope of Accreditation Includes Health Informatics

The CAHIIM Board of Commissioners determined at its November 2007 meeting that a proactive stance was necessary for an expanded scope of CAHIIM accreditation and to explore the domain of health informatics education. The target audience for the workgroup included local (Chicago and vicinity) health informatics educators, administrators, and several recognized national leaders in health informatics. A pre-planning group of co-chairs were identified and a facilitator commissioned to guide the workgroup. The workgroup session took place June 19-20, 2008 in the CAHIIM (AHIMA) Chicago office.

The charge to the HI Workgroup was to examine definitions of health informatics, frame marketplace need, explore elements of core curriculum and prerequisites, faculty requirements, examine student characteristics, define outcome assessment measures, explore various stakeholder groups including the role of professional associations, and develop quality measurements for program delivery criteria for the organization, management, accreditation, and marketing of such academic programs.

The HI Workgroup provided guidance and support to clarify the academic domain of health informatics education, share core curricula, build on the efforts of AMIA, AHIMA, IMIA, and others in this regard, identify stakeholders to target for public comment on quality Standards, as well as market and deliver a CAHIIM Accreditation System (CAS) for health informatics if such was deemed necessary. Clearly the employer market and the student/public buyer of health informatics academic programs is confused and currently no other accrediting organization beyond the discipline-specific accreditors of medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, etc., are poised to take this on. Health informatics stands alone with no accreditation home at this point in time.

The HI Workgroup examined several key challenges and outlined potential actions that by consensus was felt to be necessary to move forward. Subcommittees were formed, other stakeholders will be added to the discussions, commitment to issue a clearer definition of the field of health informatics as a trans-disciplinary field, recognition and support of competency development work by other groups, and formalization of programmatic CAHIIM Standards were identified as next steps.

Health Informatics Workgroup photo

Health Informatics Workgroup Participants and Staff, Chicago, IL, June 2008

Back row (left to right): John Holmes, Joel Shapiro, Merida Johns, Rosemary Walker, Karen Patena,
Annette Valenta, Samir Chatterjee, Mark McCreary, Amanda Dorsey, Brian Malec, Josette Jones, and
John Lynch.

Front row (left to right): Wesley Valdes, Claire Dixon-Lee, Jonathan Silverstein, Linda Salchenberger, and
William Hersh.