(Bethesda, MD) September 18, 2014 -- AMIA has joined the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) as an organizational member. CAHIIM will establish a new health informatics accreditation council that will include AMIA thought leaders who will revise Accreditation Standards for masters' degree programs in health informatics. The steps toward this important decision were championed by the AMIA Academic Forum, and approved by the AMIA Board of Directors and the CAHIIM Board of Directors.
The creation of a separate informatics accreditation council, as a direct result of AMIA joining CAHIIM, ensures that informatics will retain a professional identity distinct from health information management. AMIA becomes an equal partner with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in CAHIIM’s governance.
AMIA Academic Forum Chair Charles Friedman, PhD, FACMI, Chair of the Department of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School, and co-director of the University of Michigan Health Informatics Program states, "Informatics has matured as a field. To support the distinct profession of informatics, accreditation of professional preparation programs is essential. By becoming a part of CAHIIM, AMIA is taking important steps that parallel the development of accredited fellowships for physicians seeking clinical informatics board certification. I’m delighted that the Academic Forum played such an important leadership role in advocating for CAHIIM membership."
The AMIA Academic Forum fosters the development of biomedical and health informatics as an academic discipline. With close to 60 full, emerging, and affiliate members, the Academic Forum provides a vehicle for promoting and sharing best educational practices across its member programs.
"Participation in CAHIIM provides a pathway for AMIA’s member programs to speak in a more unified voice while respecting the unique differences and diversity that makes informatics such a dynamic field. I also hope the move will lend some clarity to employers who seek skills, competencies, and talent that informatics graduates possess in the nation’s effort to proliferate clinical information systems using informatics tools and techniques," said Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc, FACMI, Chair, AMIA Board of Directors.
CAHIIM is an independent, non-profit organization founded in 2006 that serves the public interest by establishing quality Accreditation Standards for Health Informatics (HI) and Health Information Management (HIM) educational programs, and formally accrediting programs that achieve these standards. CAHIIM is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and is a member in good standing of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA), the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), AMIA’s Academic Forum, and the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA).
Mervat N. Abdelhak, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, CAHIIM Board Chair comments "The CAHIIM Board and staff are delighted to have AMIA join representing a significant milestone for Health Informatics graduate education, the HI discipline and the profession. By taking this important step AMIA can, within CAHIIM, establish quality performance measures to drive improvements in HI graduate education."
AMIA would like to acknowledge the members of the CAHIIM leadership and Claire Dixon-Lee, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, CPH, Executive Director for their support.
For those interested in learning more there will be three sessions at the AMIA 2014 Annual Symposium scheduled November 15-19, 2015, in Washington, D.C:
- Sunday, November 16, 3:30-5:00 p.m., S10: Featured Presentation - Latest Developments in Informatics Certification and Accreditation
- Monday, November 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Update on Health Informatics Accreditation hosted by the AMIA Academic Forum Executive Committee
- Tuesday, November 18, 7:00-9:00 a.m., Academic Forum Members Meeting
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a rigorous evaluation and monitoring peer review process assuring that education programs and institutions meet professional standards of academic and operational integrity and quality.
What is the difference between accreditation and certification?
Both convey an assurance that a standard of quality is met. Accreditation is intended for institutions, organizations, or programs and certification typically applies to individuals.
Certification is usually a designation or credentialing process that demonstrates a qualification that an individual can perform a specific position, professional role, or set of tasks.
What is the benefit of CAHIIM accreditation to the public?
Accreditation provides an effective and consistent quality monitoring process, tools for assessing continuous quality improvement, and data representing key information pertinent to describing informatics educational programs to the public. Accreditation also assures that basic educational standards are met when supporting the matriculation of graduates into the workforce so that the goals of Health Informatics programs are clear to students, faculty, and the health care community.
Why has AMIA decided to join given that CAHIIM already offers Health Informatics program accreditation?
An accreditation process integrally associated with AMIA ensures continuing participation of AMIA thought leaders in establishing Standards and evaluation of programs against those Standards.
When will the Health Informatics Standards revision occur?
We expect this revision will take approximately one year. Health Informatics programs can continue to apply for accreditation under the existing Standards, with the revised Standards reflecting an updated view of our evolving field.
How much does Health Informatics program accreditation cost?
Fees are determined by CAHIIM. AMIA’s organizational membership fee to CAHIIM helps defray the costs associated with Health Informatics program accreditation. Current accreditation fees can be found on the CAHIIM website.
Will all emphases of Health Informatics programs be addressed by accreditation?
The Academic Forum established the initial focus on degree-granting programs at the master's level in clinical informatics under the Health Informatics Council and will eventually include programs emphasizing clinical, consumer, public health, and translational bioinformatics.
Who should I contact if I have a question of need guidance about Health Informatics program accreditation?
Please direct requests for interviews or informatics-related information to Krista Martin, Director of Marketing and Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-657-1291 x139.
AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 4,000 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics. More about AMIA is online at www.amia.org.