Bachelor’s in Health Information Management (HIM) Degree

Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Examine How Data Accuracy and Confidentiality Impacts Patient Care

A BS in Health Information Management (HIM) can provide you with the knowledge, resources and tools needed to advance professional standards in healthcare and support delivery across many settings. The health information management degree program at Grand Canyon University can prepare you to understand the importance of information accuracy, information confidentiality and up to date analytics in providing first-rate healthcare.

In this degree program, you will be taught to adapt new methods of capturing and storing healthcare information and accessing it electronically. Health information professionals connect clinical, operational and administrative functions in healthcare settings. This is an important and expanding role in healthcare, especially as new technologies and systems are developed.

The work that health information professionals do is vital for patient care, as it provides a foundation for collaboration among clinicians, healthcare technology designers and other professionals involved with healthcare technology. By serving as custodians of critical and sensitive patient information, health information professionals fulfill a necessary support role in the care of patients. The function of health information management is ultimately to serve the patients’ best interests. 1

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GCU’s HIM bachelor’s degree is available through online or on-campus classes. If you choose to earn your degree online, you can look forward to the same quality of education that our on-campus students receive. You can benefit from our interactive online learning platform, which provides you with the opportunity to engage in academically stimulating discussions with your instructors and peers. Working toward your HIM degree online provides flexibility and convenience, as you can work through the course materials from anywhere with an internet connection.

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HIM Bachelor’s Degree Vision and Mission Statements

The vision and mission of our bachelor’s in health information management program is derived from the overall mission of GCU. Our learning community strives to graduate lifelong learners who are committed to making a positive difference through their knowledge and skills.

The vision for the bachelor’s in health information management program is to empower healthcare communities in transforming healthcare through the application of health information management and information systems, and to incorporate collaborative initiatives led by program students, faculty and alumni.

GCU’s BS in Health Information Management program can prepare you to promote quality health information for the benefit of the public, patients, providers and other users of clinical data. This mission is accomplished through a program that focuses on integrating Christian values and servant leadership.

Benefits of Pursuing a HIM Degree Online or On Campus

As a student of this health information management degree online or on campus, you will be taught to examine and embrace a Christian worldview. This can help you further your professional obligation to quality healthcare. This Christian perspective provides additional reason for moral and ethical standards of care to be preserved.

GCU offers a Christian outlook as well as lessons, proficient professors and relevant classwork. This includes utilizing technology for data collection, performing quality assessments and making organizational structures to support confidential and accurate data. You will be taught to maintain ethical and effective standards in data management.

The HIM bachelor’s degree focuses on five key functions of health information management in the field:

  • Information Governance: Gaining awareness of the policies, procedures and processes for managing information, evaluating health information systems and determining accuracy of diagnostic and procedural coding
  • Information Protection: Protecting health information and preserving its confidentiality, implementing security measures and performing data quality monitoring
  • Informatics, Analytics and Data Use: Designing, implementing and testing health information technologies, overseeing data quality and recommending organizational action
  • Compliance: Becoming equipped to apply ethical, legal and regulatory standards for all data storage, form policies and procedures to monitor for the potential abuse of data
  • Healthcare Business and Leadership: Becoming proficient in healthcare reimbursement, capital and project budgets and fostering an environment of growth and diversity

Career Opportunities in Health Information Management

As a graduate of this HIM degree program, you will have been taught to ensure healthcare data is stored, accessed and utilized correctly to facilitate information exchange and support organizational decision-making by healthcare professionals. This level of technology support ensures accurate clinical documentation and quality patient care.1

Although it’s not possible for any degree program to guarantee any particular career outcome, the bachelor’s in health information management degree program at GCU, along with the right experience, can prepare you to pursue careers such as:

  • Medical and health services manager
  • Medical records specialist
  • Health information technologist and medical registrar

Health Information Management Accreditation

The Health Information Management accreditor of GCU is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The College’s accreditation for the baccalaureate degree in Health Information Management has been reaffirmed through 2030-2031. All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to CAHIIM, 200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100, Chicago, IL, 60601; by phone at (312) 235-3255; or by email at info@cahiim.org.

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Bachelor’s in Health Information Management Degree FAQs

Before making the decision to pursue a BS in Health Information Management, it’s a good idea to learn more about the degree program and about working in the health information management field. Explore the following frequently asked questions and answers, and consider doing additional research on your own in order to make a fully informed career decision.

The function of health information management is to manage and secure patient medical data and records. Accurate and confidential patient records are vital for enabling clinicians to care for their patients.1 In contrast, the healthcare administration subfield concentrates on overseeing and optimizing healthcare facilities and operations.

Healthcare administrators manage health departments and supervise aspects of healthcare delivery including operations, services, ancillary support, billing and reconciliation and human resources. If you’re interested in a management and supervisory role, GCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration and a Master of Science in Health Administration.

Health information managers work with data management systems (such as patient health records) and perform data analytics functions to ensure effective and efficient healthcare services delivery. Health information management professionals also manage health data and clinical record integrity, healthcare reimbursement and electronic health record (EHR) operations at all levels of leadership in healthcare organizations. They manage healthcare reimbursement, coding and billing operations, and they ensure the privacy and security of clinical information to comply with HIPAA and other government regulations.

Prior experience in the healthcare industry is not required to apply to the health information management degree program. In addition, you can apply for enrollment in a bachelor’s in health information management degree without having prior college education. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree, you may be qualified to apply for enrollment in a related graduate degree program, if you wish to further your education.

These two subfields are closely related and overlap in certain areas. Both health information management and health informatics focus on healthcare data and technology. Similarly, HIM and health informatics professionals both need certain healthcare knowledge and technology skills. However, HIM professionals are more focused on the organization and management of healthcare data. They also work to ensure accuracy, appropriate access and confidentiality. In contrast, health informatics professionals focus on creating and maintaining the software systems that allow for the safe storage of the information.2

It is possible to earn a health information management degree online. If you decide to complete coursework online, you’ll work on an e-learning platform that provides access to lectures from your instructors and other course materials. You may find that online education programs provide the flexibility you need to earn your degree while meeting other obligations. However, it’s essential to practice good time management as well as hold yourself accountable for attending online classes and completing your assignments.

Health information management can be a meaningful and rewarding career path if you’re the type of person who enjoys working with computers and with data. It may also be a good choice for you if you’re passionate about healthcare, but don’t think that a clinician position is the right choice for you. Health information management is a growing career field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates job growth for health information technologists and medical registrars to be 17% from 2021 through 2031, much faster than average.3 As of May 2021, these professionals had a median annual salary of $55,560, according to the BLS.4

You can prepare to make a worthwhile contribution to the healthcare information field by supporting the work of clinicians and other patient care specialists. Apply today for enrollment in GCU’s HIM degree online or on campus and learn more by filling out the form on this page.

The American Health Information Management Association. (n.d.). What is health information? The American Health Information Management Association. Retrieved August 10, 2023.

Das, B. (2023, July 17). Health information management vs. health informatics. Indeed. Retrieved August 10, 2023.

COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars, retrieved on August 10, 2023.

4 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars as of May 2021, retrieved on August 10, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as Health Information Technologists or Medical Registrars. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
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Online: 7 weeks
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TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $485 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
78 credits
Open Elective Credits:
2-8 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; genetics; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-Requisite: BIO-191L.

Course Description

This laboratory course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis, complementing the lecture portion with a focus on anatomy. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-Requisite: BIO-191.

Course Description

This course provides a foundation for programming and problem solving using computer programming, as well as an introduction to the academic discipline of IT. Topics include variables, expressions, functions, control structures, and pervasive IT themes: IT history, organizational issues, and relationship of IT to other computing disciplines. The course prepares students for advanced concepts and techniques in programming and information technology, including object-oriented design, data structures, computer systems, and networks. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements concepts discussed in lecture and on gaining initial exposure to common operating systems, enterprise architectures, and tools commonly used by IT professionals. Prerequisite: MAT-154 or MAT-261.

Course Description

This course surveys the field of health information management. Students investigate potential career paths and learn the fundamental medical, legal, ethical, and professional issues and standards affecting the field. The course also includes an overview of the health care industry, hospital operations, and electronic health records and documentation standards and practices.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis. This portion includes the study of metabolism; energetics; fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance; and the endocrine, hematologic, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Prerequisite: BIO-191. Co-Requisite: BIO-192L.

Course Description

This laboratory course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis, complementing the lecture portion with a focus on anatomy. This portion includes the study of the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. Prerequisite: BIO-191L. Co-Requisite: BIO-192.

Course Description

This course covers the language of medicine that will be used as a foundation for understanding upper level undergraduate and graduate level courses to follow. It will include pronunciation, definition, usage and origins of medical terms. Medical terms presented will be used to identify signs, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment options for selected pathologies. With these skills the student will be able to effectively interpret and communicate in a healthcare setting. Prerequisite: BIO-192 or BIO-202 or BIO-211 or BIO-364.

Course Description

This course introduces the etiology, pathogenesis, morphology, and clinical manifestations associated with various altered health states and diseases. Students also learn basic principles of pharmacotherapeutics and major classes of drugs used to treat disease. Emphasis is on clinically relevant terminology required to support accurate and effective communication in the health information management field. Prerequisites: BIO-192 and BIO-192L, or BIO-202 and BIO-202L, or BIO-211 and BIO-211L.

Course Description

This course introduces the functions and relationships between health care classification systems, vocabularies, terminologies, and standards required for the privacy, security, storage, utilization, and standardization of clinical data. Students differentiate systems for clinical classification and coding as well as for various health information exchange models. Prerequisites: BIO-192, BIO-192L, and HIM-200.

Course Description

This course introduces the principles of and industry guidelines for diagnostic classification systems in health care settings. Focus is on the application of classification systems in health care facilities. Students examine types of diagnostic classification systems and coding guidelines as well as practice coding. Prerequisites: BIO-330 and HIM-310.

Course Description

This course introduces the principles and industry guidelines for procedural classification systems in health care settings. Focus is on the application of classification systems in health care facilities. Students examine types of procedural classification systems and coding guidelines as well as practice coding. Prerequisites: BIO-330 and HIM-310.

Course Description

In this course students evaluate health information systems architecture and data storage design and apply concepts of the systems design life cycle in order to facilitate the use of information assets to meet strategic goals and objectives within health care organizations. Students also assess information systems to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and examine information security measures including performing risks assessments, data protection, and recovery procedures. Prerequisite: HIM-310.

Course Description

This course examines the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of relational database structures. Emphasis is on appropriate application and implementation. Prerequisite: BIT-200 or BIT-205 or CST-110, or CST-111 or CST-105 or ITT-111.

Course Description

This writing intensive course discusses the principles and processes of research and common communication techniques utilized in health care and science. This course allows students to begin the research and preliminary background process necessary to complete a research-based capstone project. Students conduct a literature review, investigate appropriate research design, explore data collection techniques, apply statistical analysis, and practice professional writing skills. Prerequisite: BIO-365 or MAT-274.

Course Description

This course focuses on the management and integration of health care data within health care organizations for ensuring the accuracy and accessibility of data used for reimbursement and in the revenue cycle. Students examine health care informatics standards and apply processes and techniques for collecting and reporting data to meet enterprise needs and for supporting clinical documentation and quality improvement initiatives. Prerequisites: HIM-350, HIM-355, and HIM-370.

Course Description

This course examines basic business analytics concepts with specific emphasis on descriptive analytics. Students are introduced to techniques and selected industry tools relevant for describing data behavior. Prerequisites: BIT-200, BIT-205, or CST-111; and MAT-274 or BUS-352.

Course Description

In this course students apply quality assessment techniques, quality management tools, and performance improvement processes to recommend measures to improve quality and patient care and safety. Students participate in clinical information analysis through mining, exploring, and analyzing clinical data to recognize trends that demonstrate quality, safety, and effectiveness and identify best practices for the management of health care information, systems, and quality to support organizational decision making. Prerequisite: HIM-415.

Course Description

This course focuses on principles related to management and administration of health information services with emphasis on organizational culture, effective leadership and communication, and financial management. Students assess organizational and departmental needs, propose appropriate solutions, and apply project management techniques to foster efficient use of resources within health care organizations. Prerequisite: HIM-200.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course is a study of legal, ethical, and regulatory principles and frameworks that guide data governance within health care organizations. Students examine policy issues and current laws related to uses of health information and determine processes and organizational policies to effectively and ethically manage data and personal health information. Prerequisites: HIM-310 and HIM-370.

Course Description

This course is a study of the human resource management function in organizations, including detailed coverage of staffing, organizational development, compensation and benefits administration, and employee relations. Emphasis is placed on how human resource management as a whole enhances organizational performance and success. Prerequisite: HIM-425, MGT-420, or MGT-422HN. Equivalent to AMP-434.

Course Description

The capstone course provides students with the opportunity to integrate and synthesize the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their coursework in the health information management program. Students complete an applied project that demonstrates critical thinking and attainment of professional health information management competencies. Practicum/field experience hours: 80. Prerequisites: HLT-364, HIM-425, and HIM-452.

Program Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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