The Daily Express

Owens Health Technology Program Receives Application for Initial Accreditation

Your Success Starts Here Owens Community College's Health Information Management Technology program has received an application for initial accreditation by a report of findings resulting from materials submitted for review to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

The Owens program has completed the first step in a rigorous accreditation process based upon the standards and guidelines of an Accredited Educational Program for the Health Information Technician and Health Information Administrator.

"This report of findings is designed to offer a cursory view of the program's readiness for the survey," said Jill Buathier, Chair of the Health Information Management Technology program.

Serving the health care industry, Owens' Health Information Management Technology program provides students with knowledge and skills in the areas of medicine, information management and computer technology. Career opportunities available include working in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, physician practices, home health care, hospice, information system vendors and insurance companies.

"Based on the report, the first step in the process has been completed," Buathier said. "As the program is complying with the three recommendations, the next step will include the completion of a self-study document."

Provided for informational purposes, the report of findings prepares program officials for the intensive self-study where they will collect information relating to the education program, administration, governance, resources and student outcomes. The self-study process results in a detailed document assessing compliance of the program with standards for accreditation of AHIMA and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).

"When completed, the self-study will include data about the program, and describes the program's strengths and areas for improvement, as well as plans to address continuous quality concerns," Buathier said.

Upon completion of the document, an initial on-site accreditation visit will be scheduled by AHIMA education/accreditation staff to verify results of the program's self-study. The information then will be reviewed by a AHIMA Council on Accreditation with a final recommendation made to the CAAHEP. The CAAHEP will make the final accreditation award.

The Health Information Management Technology program anticipates an official letter of notification from the CAAHEP by spring of 2002, Buathier said.

Employment of health information technicians is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2008, due to rapid growth in the number of medical tests and procedures, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The organization also cites health information technology as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the nation.

"It is anticipated that job titles will change as health care enterprises expand their reliance on information systems and technology," Buathier said. "Registered health information technicians have positions that support efforts toward the development of computer-based patient record systems and a national health information infrastructure."

Approved by the Ohio Board of Regents as an associate degree in 1996, the 70 credit hour Health Information Management Technology program is offered at the Owens Toledo-area Campus. For more information on enrolling in this program, call (567) 661-7777 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7777.



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