Master of Health Information Management (M.H.I.M.) Major in Health Information Management

Major Program

The major in health information management (M.H.I.M.) offers current and emerging content about the evolving health information management field with the expanding reliance on patient data.  The educational objectives of the program are:

  • to prepare students for the emerging roles and functions withing the health information management domain,
  • to provide graduate level education that will prepare students to develop problem solving skills with the ability to analyze and evaluate systems, technology, regulations, data needs to assist in creating new methods, and in policy development,
  • to provide a broad-based program of coursework that supports the varied aspects of HIM practice focusing on health data management, data analytics, health information technology project management, and compliance with regulations including privacy of patient information,
  • to establish a framework for professional behavior and ethical principles to be used to guide decision-making and actions in the expanding role of health information management professionals, and
  • to conduct research that will illustrate and define the health information body of knowledge.

The curriculum will help prepare leaders in the areas of information technology, data stewardship, Health Information Exchange information governance, clinical documentation integrity, project management, and quality data analytics.   

Online Information

This program is taught exclusively online.  For students residing outside of Texas and not planning on relocating to the state, please visit http://www.distancelearning.txstate.edu/ before applying.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the 2017-2018 academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the 2017-2018 academic year can be found on the program’s web page. International students should review the International Admission Documents section of the catalog for additional requirements.

  • completed online ApplyTexas application
  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • $50 nonrefundable international evaluation fee (if applicable)
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts required from each four-year institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • background course work in statistics and computer information systems (to be completed before starting the program)
  • GRE scores not required
  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose
  • three letters of recommendation
  • interview  

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The M.H.I.M. degree is a 36-hour program with thesis and non-thesis options.  It requires a 30 hour core of Health Information Management (HIM) courses, plus 6 hours of electives or thesis.  The electives in Computer Information Systems (CIS), Health Administration (HA), and HIM Informatics allow the students to select a curriculum aligned with their career goals.

Course Requirements 

Thesis Option

Core
HIM 5311Informatics, Analytics and Data Use3
HIM 5320Research Methods for HIM3
HIM 5342Information Systems and Technology3
HIM 5351Data Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality3
HIM 5363Health Data Content Structure and Standards3
HIM 5370Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Management3
HIM 5380Quality Improvement in Health Care3
HIM 5382Compliance for HIM Topics3
HIM 5390Contemporary Leadership Principles for HIM.3
HIM 5397HIM Directed Practicum3
Thesis
Choose a minimum 6 hours6
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours36

Non-thesis Option

Core
HIM 5311Informatics, Analytics and Data Use3
HIM 5320Research Methods for HIM3
HIM 5342Information Systems and Technology3
HIM 5351Data Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality3
HIM 5363Health Data Content Structure and Standards3
HIM 5370Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Management3
HIM 5380Quality Improvement in Health Care3
HIM 5382Compliance for HIM Topics3
HIM 5390Contemporary Leadership Principles for HIM.3
HIM 5397HIM Directed Practicum3
Prescribed Electves
Choose 6 hours from the following:6
Healthcare Informatics
Healthcare Terminologies and Vocabularies
The Enterprise Electronic Health Record
Healthcare Organization and Delivery
Operational Decision Making for Healthcare Managers
Public Health for Healthcare Administrators
Human Resource Management in Healthcare Facilities
Policy Development in Healthcare Arena
Database Management Systems
IT Systems Project Management
Data Warehousing and Mining
Information Security
Enterprise Resource Planning
Total Hours36

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Thesis Proposal Form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, the graduate advisor’s signature if required by the program and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the Thesis Proposal Form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended that the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A. Failure to submit the thesis proposal in a timely fashion may result in delayed graduation.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. For a student's initial thesis course enrollment, the student will need to register for thesis course number 5399A.  After that, the student will enroll in thesis B courses in their field, e.g., ENG 5399AENG 5199BENG 5299BENG 5399BENG 5599B, and ENG 5999B, in each subsequent semester until the thesis is defended with the department and approved by The Graduate College. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

Students  must be enrolled in thesis credits if they are receiving supervision and/or are using university resources related to their thesis work.  The number of thesis credit hours students enroll in must reflect the amount of work being done on the thesis that semester.  It is the responsibility of the committee chair to ensure that students are making adequate progress toward their degree throughout the thesis process.  Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. Thesis projects are by definition original and individualized projects.  As such, depending on the topic, methodology, and other factors, some projects may take longer than others to complete.  If the thesis requires work beyond the minimum number of thesis credits needed for the degree, the student may enroll in additional thesis credits at the committee chair's discretion. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B.

The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis has been both approved by The Graduate College and released to Alkek Library.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during the summer, the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Fee Reduction

A master’s degree candidate for graduation may be eligible for a one-time fee reduction under V.T.C.A. Education Code, Section 54.054. Please refer to the section titled Fee Reduction in the Additional Fees and Expenses chapter of this catalog for more information.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted on The Graduate College website under "Current Students." The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee on or before the deadlines listed on The Graduate College website.

The following must be submitted to The Graduate College by the thesis deadline listed on The Graduate College website:

  1. The Thesis Submission Approval Form bearing original (wet) and/or electronic signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the online Vireo submission system.  

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, Alkek Library will harvest the document from the Vireo submission system for publishing in the Digital Collections database (according to the student's embargo selection). NOTE: MFA theses will have a permanent embargo and will never be published to Digital Collections. 

While original (wet) signatures are preferred, there may be situations as determined by the chair of the committee in which obtaining original signatures is inefficient or has the potential to delay the student's progress. In those situations, the following methods of signing are acceptable:

  • signing and faxing the form
  • signing, scanning, and emailing the form
  • notifying the department in an email from their university's or institution's email account that the committee chair can sign the form on their behalf
  • electronically signing the form using the university's licensed signature platform.

If this process results in more than one document with signatures, all documents need to be submitted to The Graduate College together.

No copies are required to be submitted to Alkek Library. However, the library will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

Courses Offered

Health Information Management (HIM)

HIM 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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HIM 5300. Advanced Independent Study in Health Information Management.

This course provides an in-depth independent study of a singular problem or related problem in the rapidly changing field of health information management. Special emphasis will be placed on the problem's current relevance and the value to the participant. May be repeated for credit with a different emphasis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5301. The Enterprise Electronic Health Record.

This course provides an in-depth analysis of the concept of an organization-wide electronic health record system. A major focus will be on the analysis of how this technology impacts overall hospital operations from both a clinical and administrative perspective. Departmental approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5311. Informatics, Analytics and Data Use.

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of data analytics and decision support. A major focus will be quality-driven data-based decision making systems for business intelligence, consumer informatics and health information exchanges. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5320. Research Methods for HIM.

This course provides an introduction to research study design, methods, descriptive and inferential statisitcs need to conduct research studies in the Health Information Management domains. The foundation for compiling, analyzing, and displaying healthcare statistics needed to report and monitor healthcare statistics in the workplace will also be covered. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5340. Healthcare Informatics.

This course provides an overview and introduction to healthcare informatics. Topics in the course will include the information infrastructure, data needs, implementing heathcare information systems, decision making, privacy and security, consumer informatics and emerging technologies. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5341. Healthcare Terminologies and Vocabularies.

This course will provide an overview of healthcare terminologies, code sets and classification schemes, and associated standards. Mapping and the relationship of SNOMED to an administrative classification system such as ICD-9-CM will be explored. The purpose and differences encountered in mapping a terminology to a classification will be examined. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5342. Information Systems and Technology.

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of health information technologies and information management strategic planning. A major focus will be design and selection of data-driven systms that offer strategic advantages, facilitate compliance and provide a return on investment. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5351. Data Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality.

This course provides a detailed assessment of how state laws and federal regulations influence the development and management of policies and technology to protect date security, privacy, and confidentiality of protected health information. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5363. Health Data Content Structure and Standards.

This course provides an in-depth study of the components and use of health records. Interoperability and healthcare informatics standards for collecting, maintaining and tranferring healthcare data will be examined. The role of the HIM professional in developing an effective information governance program will be analyzed. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5370. Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Management.

This course will focus on healthcare financial and revenue cycle/reimbursement management issues that impact the practice of Health Information Management. Specific topics covered include financial management, coding compliance, case mix index, revenue cycle, and reimbursement methods. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5380. Quality Improvement in Health Care.

This course provides an in-depth study on quality improvement methodology to include data retrieval, display, outcomes analysis and the aspect of risk management for various sectors of healthcare. Mechanisms for promoting facility-wide participation in achieving optimum patient care as delineated in accreditation and government standards will be analyzed. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5382. Compliance for HIM Topics.

Compliance activities and methods will be covered for HIM topics to include HIPAA, fraud and abuse, coding auditing, severity of illness, data analytics, fraud surveillance, and clinical documentation improvement. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5390. Contemporary Leadership Principles for HIM..

This course explores the expanded role of the Health Information Management professional in the healthcare environment. Topics include public policy development, executive decision making, strategic business alliances, change management, enterprise wide strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, training and development, information governance, cultural diversity and ethics. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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HIM 5397. HIM Directed Practicum.

This course provides a one semester, part-time practicum experience in a healthcare or related organization. Included is an orientation to the organization and completion of a project suitable for implementation at the site. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 10 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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HIM 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student's initial thesis enrollment to initiate the thesis project. No thesis credit is awarded until completion of HIM 5399B. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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HIM 5399B. Thesis.

This course is a student's continued enrollment in the thesis. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. This course is repeatable for credit until the thesis is completed. Department approval required.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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