Professional Organizations Links

AHIMA's Component State Associations

In addition to the national-level AHIMA organization, state chapters exist to provide resources and opportunities that are geared locally. Click on each state to be connected with the relevant component association. Although you are not required to join the state-level associations, your membership provides increased opportunities such as networking events and local scholarships.

AHIMA Certification 

The landing page for general information about certification options offered through AHIMA, including links to pages dedicated to each of the specific credentials. Also reference AHIMA's Candidate Guide for in-depth information regarding examination guidelines and requirements.

AHIMA Membership

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the primary professional organization within the field of health information management. By the time you start HIM 217 Electronic Health Records, you will need to be a member of AHIMA. You are personally responsible for applying for and paying fees related to membership. Note that you will qualify for a reduced rate as a student member and that benefits include discounts on textbooks, program toolkits, and access to the community for networking.

The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management (BSHIM) is a program within the College of Health, Human Services & Science. This page provides links to resources that may be helpful when planning for a career in the field of Health Information Management (HIM). To get started, there are three main areas to focus on when developing your career plan. Click on the buttons below to learn more about each of these areas.

Meet the Program Chair

"This is an exciting time to be
entering the Health Information
Management field. We are honored to be a part of
your career journey."
 
Karen Bakuzonis
PhD, MS, RHIA
BSHIM Program Chair

Volunteer and Internship Resources

Volunteering is one way to gain experience before you start looking for paid employment. It is also a good opportunity for creating some lasting connections. The general resources linked here provide helpful information regarding looking for and having a successful volunteer or internship experience.

Other Career Services

HIMSS Student Membership

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the other main professional organization in health information management. While membership in HIMSS is not required as part of Ashford coursework, participation in any professional organization can be beneficial.

Professional Practice Experience

RHIA Certification Exam Information

View information about AHIMA's Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam, including links to registration information. This is the exam that BSHIM students are advised to take immediately, when/if they become eligible to sit for the examination. Please see Program Disclosures

HIMSS Certification Candidate Handbook

Learn about the Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) certification exam offered through HIMSS. While not as common as RHIA certification, CAHIMS is another certification option that BSHIM students may be qualified to take upon graduation.

Bachelor of Science, Health Information Management Resources (BSHIM)

Program Disclosures 
This program is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). CAHIIM is an independent accrediting organization whose mission is to serve the public interest by establishing and enforcing quality Accreditation Standards for Health Informatics and Health Information Management (HIM) educational programs.
 
Academic leadership will pursue programmatic accreditation for this program with CAHIIM after the program launches. The new Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management (BSHIM) program is aligned with CAHIIM accreditation standards (sponsorship, mission and goals, faculty, resources and fair practice) for Baccalaureate Degree Programs in Health Information Management. By adhering to these standards, graduates of the BSHIM program will be prepared to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam; however, eligibility for students to sit for the RHIA certification examination is not available until the program receives formal Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accreditation.
 
Students should be aware that, if Ashford does not receive CAHIIM accreditation before they graduate, they will not be eligible to sit for the RHIA national certification exam. Students also should know be aware that without the RHIA certification, their options in relation to employability and salary potential will be significantly reduced.

Successful completion of this program does not guarantee certification from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), which may be a requirement for certain positions in this field. Prospective students are advised to regularly review the requirements for job postings in their intended field of employment, which are subject to change. Other factors, such as a student’s criminal history, may prevent an applicant from obtaining employment in this field.

Networking Resources

Start building your professional network early in order to build relationships that will later help you when setting up your Professional Practice Experience.

Certification Resources

For more information regarding the Professional Practicum Experience (PPE) please contact: BSHIMPPE@ashford.edu