B.S. Health Information Management Areas of Study

The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management provides a solid foundation in computer information systems and technologies for healthcare organizations including healthcare regulation, project management of health systems, databases, and security. In addition to the health information management content, the degree program includes a broad collegiate education. The program is designed for those who have some technical or clinical knowledge in a health care environment and are ready to move to increased levels of expertise and knowledge in the health information management field. The health information management component of the Bachelor of Science program consists of the following areas of study: Healthcare Data, Health Information Technology, Medical Terminology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology. There are a number of other areas of study that students master including Fundamentals of IT in Healthcare, Legal and Ethical Considerations in Healthcare, Leadership and Management, Anatomy and Physiology, Healthcare Compliance and Coding, Project Management, Financial Resource Management, and Healthcare Statistics. There are two professional practice experiences required with a portfolio project in each. At the end of the program students complete a capstone project.

Foundations of Success

Inter-Professional Leadership and Communication in Healthcare
The Leadership and Communication course is designed to help students prepare for success in the online environment at Western Governors University and beyond. Student success starts with the social support and self-reflective awareness that will prepare students to weather the challenges of academic programs. In this course students will participate in group activities and complete a number of individual assignments. The group activities are aimed at finding support and insight from other students. The assignments are intended to give the student an opportunity to reflect about where they are and where they would like to be. The activities in each group meeting are designed to give students several tools they can use to achieve success. This course is designed as a eight-part intensive learning experience. Students will attend eight group meetings during the term. At each meeting students will engage in activities that help them understand their own educational journey and find support and inspiration in the journey of others.

Healthcare Management

Healthcare Ecosystems
Healthcare Ecosystems explores the history and state of healthcare organizations in an ever-changing environment. This course covers how agencies influence healthcare delivery through legal, licensure, certification, and accreditation standards. The course will also discuss how new technologies and trends keep healthcare delivery innovative and current.

Introduction to Healthcare IT Systems
Introduction to Healthcare IT Systems introduces students to information technology as a discipline. This course also exposes students to the various roles and functions of the health information manager to support the business of healthcare. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Health Information Law and Regulations
Health Information Law and Regulations prepares you to manage health information in compliance with legal guidelines and teaches you how to respond to questions and challenges when legal issues occur. It also presents the types of situations occurring in health information management which could result in ethical dilemmas, and establishes a foundation for your work based on legal and ethical guidelines.

Healthcare Information Systems Management
Information Systems Management provides an overview of many facets of information systems that are applicable to business and healthcare. The course explores how information technology (IT) is an organizational resource that must be managed so that it supports or enables organizational strategy. The course will discuss how decision support and communication are securely facilitated in a global marketplace. The course also explores current and continuously evolving technologies, strategic thinking, and issues at the intersection of management and technology.

Foundations in Healthcare Data Management
Foundations in Healthcare Data Management introduces students to the concepts and terminology used in health data and health information management. This course teaches students how to apply data management and governance principles in the healthcare environment. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Medical Terminology
Medical Terminology focuses on the basic components of medical terminology and how terminology is used when discussing various body structures and systems. Proper use of medical terminology is critical for accurate and clear communication among medical staff, health professionals, and patients. In addition to the systems of the body, this course will discuss immunity, infections, mental health, and cancer.

Pathophysiology is an overview of the pathology and treatment of diseases in the human body and its systems. This course will explain the processes in the body that result in the signs and symptoms of disease, as well as therapeutic procedures in managing or curing the disease. The content draws on a knowledge of anatomy and physiology to understand how diseases manifest themselves and how they affect the body.

Introduction to Pharmacology
Introduction to Pharmacology provides information about drug development and approvals, pharmaceutical classifications, metabolism, and the effect of drugs on body systems. The course will introduce advancements in pharmaceutical technology, regulatory requirements within electronic health record systems, and the financial implications of pharmaceutical coding and billing. This course has no prerequisites.

Classification Systems
Classification Systems provides a comprehensive approach to learning about medical coding classification, coding audits and quality standards. Students will be exposed to electronic health record systems and leadership principles as they relate to management of ICD and CPT codes. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Healthcare Compliance
Healthcare Compliance examines the role of the coding professional within Healthcare Information Management. The course covers the compliance plan, issues that arise with noncompliance, and management of internal and external audits.

Healthcare Statistics and Research
Healthcare Statistics and Research explores the use of statistical data to support process improvement through health information research. Health information management (HIM) professionals use information systems to gather, analyze, and present data in response to administrative and clinical needs. This course has no prerequisites.

Healthcare Reimbursement
Healthcare Reimbursement explores financial practices within the healthcare industry as they relate to reimbursement policies. This course identifies how reimbursement systems impact the revenue cycle and a health information manager's role. This course has no prerequisites.

Quality and Performance Management and Methods
Quality and Performance Management and Methods examines quality initiatives within healthcare. Quality issues cover human resource management, employee performance and patient safety. This course focuses on quality improvement initiatives and performance improvement with the health information management perspective.

Healthcare System Applications
Healthcare System Applications introduces students to information systems. This course includes important topics related to management of information systems (MIS), such as system development and business continuity. The course also provides an overview of management tools and issue tracking systems. This course has no prerequisites.

Health Information Management Capstone
Health Information Management Capstone Project is the culmination of the student's degree program. It requires the demonstration of competencies through a deliverable of significant scope in the form of a research project. The capstone project consists of a technical work product applicable to the field of health information management. Students should consider creating this final product with the aim of expanding the body of knowledge within the profession. The topic of the Capstone must be presented to and approved by the Capstone Mentor before starting the project.

General Education

English Composition I
English Composition I introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that are valued in college and beyond. Students will practice writing in several genres with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments. Instruction and exercises in grammar, mechanics, research documentation, and style are paired with each module so that writers can practice these skills as necessary. Comp I is a foundational course designed to help students prepare for success at the college level. There are no prerequisites for English Composition I.

English Composition II
English Composition II introduces undergraduate students to research writing. It is a foundational course designed to help students prepare for advanced writing within the discipline and to complete the capstone. Specifically, this course will help students develop or improve research, reference citation, document organization, and writing skills. English Composition I or equivalent is a prerequisite for this course.

Introduction to Communication
This introductory communication course allows students to become familiar with the fundamental communication theories and practices necessary to engage in healthy professional and personal relationships. Students will survey human communication on multiple levels and critically apply the theoretical grounding of the course to interpersonal, intercultural, small group, and public presentational contexts. The course also encourages students to consider the influence of language, perception, culture, and media on their daily communicative interactions. In addition to theory, students will engage in the application of effective communication skills through systematically preparing and delivering an oral presentation. By practicing these fundamental skills in human communication, students become more competent communicators as they develop more flexible, useful, and discriminatory communicative practices in a variety of contexts.

Survey of United States Constitution and Government
This course is an introduction to the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. government. Topics include (1) structure and relevance of the U.S. Constitution, (2) structure and function of governmental branches, and (3) political participation and policy making.

Introduction to Humanities
This introductory humanities course allows students to practice essential writing, communication, and critical thinking skills necessary to engage in civic and professional interactions as mature, informed adults. Whether through studying literature, visual and performing arts, or philosophy, all humanities courses stress the need to form reasoned, analytical, and articulate responses to cultural and creative works. Studying a wide variety of creative works allows students to more effectively enter the global community with a broad and enlightened perspective.

Intermediate Algebra
This course provides an introduction of algebraic concepts and the development of the essential groundwork for College Algebra. Topics include: A review of basic mathematical skills, the real number system, algebraic expressions, linear equations, graphing, exponents and polynomials.

Critical Thinking and Logic
Reasoning and Problem Solving helps students internalize a systematic process for exploring issues that takes them beyond an unexamined point of view and encourages them to become more self-aware thinkers by applying principles of problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analysis and interpretation of information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in the disciplines and professions.

Introduction to Psychology
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).

Introduction to Probability and Statistics
In this course, students demonstrate competency in the basic concepts, logic, and issues involved in statistical reasoning. Topics include summarizing and analyzing data, sampling and study design, and probability.


Organizational Behavior
Organizational Behavior and Leadership explores how to lead and manage effectively in diverse business environments. Students are asked to demonstrate the ability to apply organizational leadership theories and management strategies in a series of scenario-based problems.

Business Ethics
Business Ethics is designed to enable students to identify the ethical and socially responsible courses of actions available through the exploration of various scenarios in business. Students will also learn to develop appropriate ethics guidelines for a business. This course has no prerequisites.

Health Information Technology

Foundations in Healthcare Information Management
Foundations in Healthcare Information applies theories from business, IT, management, medicine, and consumer-centered healthcare skills. Students will learn to evaluate and analyze health information systems for implementation in health information management. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Health Sciences

Anatomy and Physiology I
Anatomy and Physiology I examines the structures and functions of the human body. The course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology, including the interdependent operational relationships among them. Students will use a dissection lab to study organ systems of the human body in their healthy state including the digestive, skeletal, sensory, respiratory, reproductive, nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic, integumentary, endocrine and renal systems. By examining these organ systems in a healthy state, healthcare professionals are more adept to recognize when a something is functioning abnormally, which is a key component to providing effective care to patients. For nursing students this is the first of two anatomy and physiology courses within the program of study. This course has no pre-requisites.

Leadership and Management

Principles of Management
This course addresses strategic planning, total quality, entrepreneurship, conflict and change, human resource management, diversity, and organizational structure.

General Science Content

Introduction to Biology
This course is a foundational introduction to the biological sciences. The overarching theories of life from biological research are explored as well as the fundamental concepts and principles of the study of living organisms and their interaction with the environment. Key concepts include how living organisms use and produce energy; how life grows, develops, and reproduces; how life responds to the environment to maintain internal stability; and how life evolves and adapts to the environment.

Healthcare Data

Data Analytics and Information Governance
Data Analytics and Information Governance explores the structure, methods, and approaches for using health information in the healthcare industry. By focusing on quality data collection, analytics, and industry regulations, students will examine tools that ensure quality data collection as well as use data to improve quality of care. This course has no prerequisites.

Healthcare Financial Resource Management
Healthcare Financial Resource Management examines financial practices within healthcare industries to promote effective management at department and organization levels. Focusing on financial processes associated with facility operations in the healthcare field, this course will analyze the impact of strategic financial planning and regulatory control processes. This course has no prerequisites.

Business of IT

Business of IT - Project Management
In this course, students will build on industry standard concepts, techniques, and processes to develop a comprehensive foundation for project management activities. During a project's life cycle, students will develop the critical skills necessary to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, and close a project. Students will apply best practices in areas such as scope management, resource allocation, project planning, project scheduling, quality control, risk management, performance measurement, and project reporting. This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Project+.

Professional Practice Experience

Professional Practice Experience and Portfolio - Management Level
This course supports the assessment for Professional Practice: Management Portfolio II. The purpose of PPE II is to expound your experience by having you practice your future profession at the supervisory level. Any site where health information is used and you can be mentored by a department or facility manager is appropriate for PPE II.

Professional Practice Experience and Portfolio - Technical Level
The Professional Practice Experience (PPE) is your opportunity to put into practice all the health informatics/information management (HIIM) theories you have been studying. Any site where health information is managed in any form is a potential PPE site. PPE sites can be healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical firms, software vendors, regional health information exchanges, insurance companies, or healthcare research organizations. In addition, larger healthcare organizations may have experiences available to you in their cancer registries, information technology department, finance/business offices, compliance office, quality assurance, utilization review, or risk management departments.

Schema Markup for WGU Washington Logo

You’re using an unsupported version of your browser..

You’ll still have full access to the site, but some functionality may be lost. For the best wgu.edu experience, upgrade your browser by following the links below.