What is Health Information Administration (HIA)?

Informatics encompasses (a) understanding the impact of technology has on people, (b) the development of new uses for technology, and (c) the application of information technology in the context of another field. Augusta University offers an applied informatics degree in Health Information Administration that prepares graduates for informatics-related roles in the health care delivery system. Graduates of this program are eligible to take a national credentialing exam to become a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). Frequently, health information administrators (HIA) are referred to as health information managers (HIM).

  What is an RHIA?

Registered Health Information Administrators organize the evidence used in evidence-based medicine. They arm the provider with organized evidence to support patient care, reimbursement, teaching, research, quality improvement, and legal inquiries. Accomplished in the art and science of electronic information systems, these professionals serve as advocates of the patient-provider relationship and the information suppliers for the business side of evidence-based medicine.

  How do I become a health information administrator?

Students choosing the Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Administration complete two years of liberal arts and sciences courses, then enroll for two years of specialty education in health information administration beginning fall semester of their junior year. Graduates prepare for the  AHIMA national registration examination to become certified Registered Health Information Administrators.

  Why should I attend Augusta University?

We specialize in preparing health professionals. Our programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and and Information Management Education. Our highly qualified faculty are committed to helping you succeed and are dedicated to providing a top-notch education with plenty of practical, hands-on learning in addition to regular classes. And, Augusta is a great place to live and learn!

  What GPA do I need to be considered for acceptance?

A minimum 2.5 GPA is needed, and is calculated on all prior undergraduate coursework.

  What is the application deadline?

We encourage admission applications to be submitted by June 1, but continue to process applications until the class is filled.

  Is your program offered online?

Yes, the four year 2+2 bachelor of science degree program is offered online.

  I have a master's degree but not a bachelor's degree. Do I qualify for the certificate program?

Your application and transcripts would have to be evaluated to assess whether you meet the program criteria.

  I am attending a technical college. Will my credits transfer to Augusta University?

In Georgia, credits will transfer if the course number is 190 (quarter system) or 1100 (semester system) or above. For example, ENG 190 or ENG 1101 would transfer; ENG 101 or ENG 1001 would not. In other states, generally, if credits from a technical college are transferable to the state's flagship university, Augusta University would accept them as well. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions.

  I have an associate's degree in health information technology. Can I apply immediately?

You will need to complete the remaining core curriculum courses.

  I will complete my Health Information Technology degree soon and would like to transfer my HIT credits to begin Augusta University's HIA program. Is that possible?

HIT courses will not transfer to Augusta University.

  When does the program start?

Classes begin during fall semester.

  I would like to begin this program as soon as possible. Can I start in the spring or summer?

Because courses must be taken sequentially, the programs only begin in the fall semester.

  What courses will I take in the HIA program?

The curriculum offers classes in medical science, law, computer science, management, statistics, and much more.

  What prerequisites are required?

View the list of the core curriculum for the Health Information Administration program.

  I would like to apply but haven't finished my prerequisites yet. What should I do?

Prerequisites should be completed prior to enrollment in the program. If you anticipate completing prerequisites prior to the fall semester enrollment period, please apply to the program by no later than the published deadline for application.

  Is financial aid available?

Students accepted into Augusta University's HIA program are eligible for merit scholarships as well as educational loans from the AHIMA Foundation. The Georgia Health Information Management Association and the Augusta Area Health Information Management Association offers scholarships, and the Charlotte Johnston and the Carmen Reyes scholarships are offered by our program.

Please refer to the student manual for more information. The Financial Aid Office has information on grants, loans, and scholarships.

  I can't afford to quit work to attend school. Would I be able to continue working while enrolled in the program?

It is possible for students with good time-management skills to continue their employment while enrolled in the program.

  What mandatory fees should I expect to pay?
  If accepted for the online program, how often would I be required to come to the Augusta campus?

You are not required to come to the Augusta campus. You are, however, invited to participate in the campus graduation ceremony.

  Are online students required to have all the immunizations listed for on-campus students?

Yes. To meet the University System of Georgia immunization standards, your immunizations must be documented and verified on the Certificate of Immunization Form. ALL students MUST meet immunization requirements to register for classes. For more information, contact Student Health Services at 706-721-3448.

  How do online students obtain an ID badge?

Augusta University does not require ID badges for online students; however, practicum sites may require students to obtain an ID provided by the site.

  Are online students required to pay for parking?

Online students who are on campus infrequently may purchase a daily parking permit for $2. Call the Parking Office to register for parking.

  What are the software and hardware requirements for the HIA program?

These requirements are for ALL programs: IBM-compatible PC Pentium III processor or higher (Pentium IV highly recommended) 512MB of RAM (1GB or higher recommended) CD-ROM, CD-RW or DVD-RW recommended 40GB hard drive (60GB or higher preferred); SVGA (1024 x 768 or higher) display Full duplex sound card with speakers/headphones and microphone Web Cam highly recommended Windows operating system, Windows XP or higher required High-speed Internet connection through an ISP account or a network; cable, DSL or satellite high-speed access required. (Dial-up Internet connection is NOT acceptable for this program). Software Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher Microsoft Office 2010 Professional (to include Access 2010) Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or higher

  What types of jobs do graduates get after completing the program?

HIA professionals enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth. Based on skills, education, and interests, graduates with a bachelor's degree may find employment as a Health Information Management (HIM) department director, HIM system manager, data quality manager, chief privacy officer, HIM college instructor, or consultant. Typical employers include hospitals, information systems venders, health clinics and group practices, governments at all levels, insurance companies, accounting firms, colleges and universities (as faculty), legal firms, managed care organizations, and consulting firms.

  What about the job market?

HIA professionals can expect to be in high demand as the health sector expands. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites health information technology as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S.

  Is there a difference, from an employer's perspective, between the bachelor's degree and the post-baccalaureate certificate?

All employers will be interested in your professional credential. Taking and passing the RHIA examination is crucial to future opportunities in the HIM profession. Our degree program permits you to take the RHIA examination.

  What is the salary range?

On top of strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await HIA graduates. More than half of new graduates with a bachelor's degree earn starting salaries in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. After five years, annual salaries can average $50,000 to $75,000. Many HIA professionals report even higher salaries.

  What is my next step?

Consider taking an in-depth look at the field and our campus by attending a Augusta University Closer Look Tour, designed for prospective students who are still exploring career choices and would like a first-hand, no obligation look. For more information, call the Office of Admissions  at 706-737-1632.

  How do I ask a question that is not listed here?

Please contact Lori Prince, MSA, RHIA, CCS, at lprince@augusta.edu or 706-721-3436.