Curriculum Requirements

2014 Health Informatics Master's Degree
Curriculum Requirements

For purposes of assessing an academic program in health informatics, CAHIIM views the discipline through the lens of three major facets or domains:

  1. Information Systems curriculum components focus on such issues as information systems analysis, design, implementation, management and leadership. 
  2. Informatics curriculum components are concerned with the study of structure, function and transfer of information, socio-technical aspects of health computing, and human-computer interaction. 
  3. Information Technology curriculum components focus on computer networks, database and systems administration, security, and programming.

These three facets are aligned for the purpose of meeting the information needs of the various stakeholders within health care and related systems. Components of each of these facets are highly interactive with each other, requiring knowledge and skills that are shared between them. The result is a critical synergy within the discipline of health informatics. Graduates of a program must have formal exposure and show an understanding of the interconnections between the three facets. An academic program in health informatics must include the curriculum components from all three facets. Programs and students may choose to emphasize one or more facets consistent with their mission, goals and objectives. The kind of knowledge learned (knowledge dimension) and the process used to learn (cognitive processes) within each facet must be consistent with the program’s emphasis, goals and objectives.

Using a meta-data analysis approach, the following published competencies were assessed by the CAHIIM Health Informatics Committee for frequency and commonalities, which resulted in the curricular components as viewed through the lens of the three major facets:

  1. Recommendations of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) on Education in Biomedical and Health Informatics; First Revision (2010)
  2. AMIA Board White Paper: Core Content for the Subspecialty of Clinical Informatics, JAMIA Vol. 16: No. 2, March/April 2009.
  3. The Development of A Model Curriculum for Applied Health Informatics (H.D. Covvey; J.E. MacNeill)

Joint Work Force Task Force: Health Information Management and Informatics Core Competencies for Individuals Working With Electronic Health Records (AHIMA and AMIA 2008

Competencies for Public Health Informaticians 2009

It was determined that the analysis of existing published competencies would be used to populate each of the three broad facets with specific curriculum components. The five published documents combined with the work of the 2008 Health Informatics Workgroup, and assessment of curricula from existing health informatics academic programs provide a basic framework on which to build and assess a graduate level program. As the process evolves refinements to the health informatics master’s degree curriculum components will be made.