Florida International University’s Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics (MSHIA) program has earned the prestigious Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accreditation, becoming the nation’s only health informatics program housed in a business school to earn the commission’s seal of approval.
“CAHIIM is the gold standard for academic quality,” said Gloria Deckard, associate professor in the Information Systems and Business Analytics department, who led the accreditation effort as MSHIA program director. “It assures students that their program provides the core competencies they will need to succeed in health informatics careers. As a business school, we are very proud to achieve this distinction for FIU.”
Through its interdisciplinary approach, the College of Business’ MSHIA gives graduate students with prior experience in a broad range of health and business backgrounds the opportunity to enter and advance in one of today’s fast-growing professions. The program has graduated five hybrid cohorts and is currently offering its first fully online version.
“It’s noteworthy that we are one of only 12 accredited health informatics programs in the nation, and the only one housed solely in a business school, to achieve CAHIIM accreditation,” said Richard Klein, chair of the Information Systems and Business Analytics department, which houses MSHIA, and assistant dean of undergraduate education at FIU Business. One health informatics program, Marshall University, is a joint collaboration between business, engineering and health sciences, he noted.
Focus provides a “distinct” advantage.
Since its start in fall 2012, the FIU Business program has attracted students from nursing and medicine, healthcare management, business and information technology, “which allows us to teach the value of working with a multi-disciplinary healthcare team,” Deckard said. “That makes us distinct. Our students build analytical skills that bring everything together.”
Many MSHIA students have been promoted, or assume new roles involving data informatics and analytics, while they’re still in the program, Deckard said. In addition, a study of FIU’s MSHIA alumni found that 80 percent of graduates realized a significant salary increase after graduation, with the vast majority of these alumni (80 percent) attributing these changes to knowledge and skills gained through the MSHIA program.
Students also received regional Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) chapter scholarships.
“Our healthcare system continues to expand its reliance on data, making professionals who understand informatics central to all healthcare organizations,” said Joanne Li, dean of the College of Business. “CAHIIM’s accreditation of our program is confirmation that we are amongst the nation’s leaders in training professionals for leadership positions in this vital field.”