Master of Health Informatics and Information Management

Gov. Bredesen with Mamel McCain and Rebecca Reynolds During the 2007 HIMSS Annual convention Tennessee Governor Bredesen visited with Mamel McCain and Rebecca Reynolds.

The MHIIM program is an on-line degree with no on-campus component.

The goal of the MHIIM is to provide the competencies for health care professionals to manage the information in an increasingly complex electronic health environment. This is directly related to the overall mission of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) which is "...to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service."

Information is a key resource in the delivery and financing of healthcare and as such, it must be managed effectively. Health informatics deals with a broad range of issues to manage data to support decision-making activities. This knowledge base includes information technology as well as interpersonal skills necessary to communicate with clinicians and others to make change happen in health care organizations. The healthcare system has become a complex health information environment requiring all healthcare professionals to need greater skills in managing patient information through the continuum of care. Skills for data management and data integrity are imperative to improving quality and reducing medical errors and costs.

Over the years, advances in information technology and changes in healthcare delivery have expanded the demand for healthcare information within and beyond institutional boundaries. The environmental trends that have contributed to this expansion include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Governmental initiatives for electronic health records and regional health information exchange
  • Growth and expansion of information technology, e-health, e-prescribing, telemedicine and Internet-based information systems
  • Increased concern for population health surveillance, biohealth, and bioterrorism
  • Increased concern regarding legal and social issues related to security and technology, especially with the HIPAA privacy and security regulations
  • Development and proliferation of electronic health record and/or computer-based patient record systems and electronic interchange of information
  • Increased concern about costs, safety and quality of care by consumers and business and industry with such national efforts as the Leapfrog Group
  • Increased emphasis on cost reduction through process reengineering, critical pathways and practice guidelines
  • Increased emphasis on outcomes and evidence-based medicine
  • Growth of integrated delivery systems requiring shared databases (e.g., health information networks)

The Health Information Management professional acquires these capabilities at a conceptual and application level through baccalaureate degree academic preparation. Other healthcare professionals receive no academic preparation in the informatics and information management areas. With increasing demands for broader information services and a gradual transition to hybrid and totally electronic systems, there is a need to enhance the depth and breadth of these information management capabilities through academic preparation at the master's degree level.

The curriculum focuses on emerging frameworks for creating integrated health care information, data management and decision support systems. It is specifically designed to prepare professionals to thrive in a technology-supported and information-driven health care environment.

This advanced education prepares the graduate for responsibilities in areas such as health care data resources administration, health care data security oversight, strategic and operational information resource planning, clinical data analysis, clinical classification systems, medical vocabularies, enterprise-wide master patient index systems, clinical decision support systems, information systems development and implementation of systems such as electronic health records.

Contact Us

Dr. Marcia Sharp
Program Director
920 Madison Avenue
Suite 518
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-6486
E-mail: informatics@uthsc.edu

AMIA Chater Member

The Entry-Level Masters program and the Post-graduate program are both accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The entry-level program has excellent outcomes and results on the national certification examination are above the national average. For more information about CAHIIM go to www.cahiim.org to verify the accreditation status of the programs.