Get started on your career as a Health Information professional and help fill the national shortage of skilled practitioners. If you want to work in healthcare, have a strong interest in computers, and know that direct patient care isn't for you, becoming a Health Information professional may be the ideal career choice.
This program prepares graduates to work in many different health settings, using the latest technology to contribute to quality patient care. You’ll study biomedical sciences, digital health, health analytics, privacy and health law.
This program is recognized by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM). Graduates will be eligible to write the national certification examination administered by CCHIM and will be entitled to use the credentials CHIM to denote their professional designation.
The Canadian College of Health Information Management is a national, not-for-profit corporation that sets the accreditation standards for educational institutions and certification standards for health information professionals in Canada.
The College, incorporated in 1972, protects the public interest by governing and regulating the professional practice of more than 4,300 certified health information member registrants. In enhancing the status as a regulatory body, the College advances the professionalization of the health information industry and acknowledgement of its professionals as a key driver of policy, funding, and the care that Canadians receive.
The Canadian College of Health Information Management sets the accreditation standards for educational institutions offering health information programs in Canada.
Accreditation demonstrates to the public that a program is aligned to industry standards, as identified through the College’s needs assessment and consultation with industry. It is a voluntary, self-regulatory process to recognize those that meet or exceed the standards set for health information education. The purpose of accrediting programs is to ensure continuous quality improvement of the educational content to support the evolving health information industry.
The HIM professionals are the only certified experts in the science and technology of health information. Their key role is to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of personal health information within the Domains of Practice:
- Electronic Health Information Management (e-HIM®);
- Data Quality;
- Health Information Management Standards.
Our program offers three external placements, where you will apply the skills you learned in the classroom while working with our industry partners such as:
- Kingston Health Sciences
- Providence Care Hospital
- Ongwanada Resource Center
- Lennox and Addington County General Hospital
- Brockville General Hospital
- Quinte Health Care
- Cornwall Community Hospital
- Kingston Community Health Center
- The Ottawa Hospital
The skills gained as a HIM professional are portable and can be applied in a variety of roles, including:
- Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist
- Chart Management Specialist
- Cancer Registrar
- Information Governance Analyst
- Terminology Technical Specialist
- Quality and Patient Safety Advisor
- Consultant | Clinical Records Director
- Privacy Officer
- Utilization Management Officer
This course provides a foundation for the development and application of the fundamentals of health information management. Throughout the course students study the history and evolution of health records keeping, including the evolving roles and functions involved in health information management and the transformation from hard copy to electronic documentation. The primary focus of this course will be on the role of the Health Information Management Professional within the healthcare system. It will include the regulations and professional standards that are required for the management of health information, including health data sources, data collection, use and disclosure and the various systems used to house health information. In addition, it will demonstrate how this pertains to care and treatment of the client and support the concept of the patient record as a tool for care, research and education.
In this course, students learn effective, practical writing and computing skills for successful communication in Health Information Management. An emphasis will be place on maintaining a professional environment for communicating and learning. Students learn how to use the institutional database, learning management system, and MS Suite. Emphasis will be placed on the application of these systems to produce well-written documents for the Health Information Management field.
This course introduces students to terminologies, nomenclatures and classification systems, basic coding guidelines, the importance of data quality and the uses of coded data. Students learn the primary clinical coding systems used for hospital data in Canada. Folio software is used to teach the coding of diagnoses and interventions. Students navigate the search engines needed to find codes in the abstracting software and identify the differences between coding classifications. CIHI coding conventions and standards are taught in conjunction with this course to provide the student with the understanding that coding and data quality work simultaneously.
Students explore the current model of Health Care delivery in Canada including the role of provincial and federal governments. Trends and issues in utilization and allocation of health services in Canada are studied. Students begin to learn health care laws and investigate how legislation and professional regulation influences health information management practices and patient care.
In this course, students study the human body in health and disease. Students learn each body system according to its structure and function, pathological conditions, disease etiology, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. The study of each system combines medical terminology, anatomy and physiology and clinical pathophysiology.
This field placement provides the student with an opportunity to perform foundational skills in a Health Information Management related work setting under the supervision of a qualified professional. This seven day practicum will provide the student with an opportunity to apply the learned theory and skills taught within the first and second semester.
Note: To be eligible for placement the student must have successfully completed the first semester and be on track to successfully complete semester 2.
This course will provide HIM students the opportunities to learn more about the functions, roles and responsibilities of the modern manager with emphasis on privacy and confidentiality. The course material builds on the administrative, technical and science skills learned in other HIM core courses. The courses will focus on the principles of management and the needs of the customer in the health care industry. The course will encourage students to integrate their knowledge of health information and data management with the fundamentals of management theory in preparation as a professional seeking employment within a health care or related agency.
In this course, students prepare for their field placement in a health care facility or agency. Students focus on professionalism, communication skills, including writing techniques and strategies, listening, speaking and nonverbal skills, and critical thinking skills. Resume writing, interview preparation and career planning are discussed. Students reflect on their strengths, skills, knowledge and suitability for working in a professional environment with personal health information.
This course builds a student’s ability to use nomenclatures and classification systems, basic coding guidelines, the importance of data quality and the uses of coded data. Students learn the primary clinical coding systems used for hospital data in Canada. Folio software is used to teach the coding of diagnoses and interventions. Students navigate the search engines needed to find codes in the abstracting software and identify the differences between codes within a classification. CIHI coding conventions and standards are taught to provide the student with the understanding that coding and data quality work simultaneously. This course will focus on abstracting ambulatory patient information according to the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System – Emergency Department.
In this course, student’s use a relational database application to create a database to be used for managing health information for a fictional small clinic. Students learn how to create tables, enter data, build queries on data, and create useful reports. Discussions of database maintenance with emphasis on the consistency, accuracy and confidentiality of health information occur.
In this course, students participate in a field placement experience to intentionally integrate concepts learned in the classroom into a professional environment. Students reflect on their professional experience and behaviours to identify goals for further development as an HIM professional. Students will be complete this placement at a hospital and demonstrate entry level skills for release of information and clinical coding.Note: To be eligible for placement the student must be on track to successfully complete semester 3.
In this course, students evaluate the evolving role of electronic systems within the context of the field of health information management. Students learn about the different types of electronic systems being implemented in Canadian hospitals and health care facilities. Furthermore, students discuss the larger scheme for electronic health data and systems across Canada and the organizations and committees involved in developing the electronic health record in Canada. Common information and data standards, to support consistent and comparable collection and reporting of clinical and administrative data to meet the information needs of users.
This course will prepare students with the analytical and business intelligence skills to analyze health information from multiple or single sources. During the course students will respond to queries, anticipate the types of information clinicians, administrators, government, and other external agencies need, identify the appropriate sources of data, understand the limitations of data and its sources, and utilize software packages that allow for analysis and presentation of the data.They will apply their statistical knowledge when completing routine statistical reporting requirements based on case study examplesFocusing on introductory statistical principles and calculations students will learn determine statistical significance of the findings and demonstrate their ability to calculate basic descriptive statistics. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of statistical principles by considering how data will be analyzed and how it will be presented.
This course enhances a student’s ability to use coding guidelines, the importance of data quality and the uses of coded data. Students learn the primary clinical coding systems used for hospital data in Canada. Folio software is used to teach the coding of diagnoses and interventions. Students navigate the search engines needed to find codes in the abstracting software and identify the differences between coding classifications. CIHI coding conventions and standards are taught in conjunction with this course to provide the student with the understanding that coding and data quality work simultaneously. A focus on abstracting ambulatory patient information according to the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System – Day Surgery.
This course will provide a strong foundation in the theories and concepts of leadership and management. This includes understanding the business aspects of health care organizations, the principles of human resource management and concepts relating to organizational behaviour and culture. Students will use case studies based on real-life HIM scenarios to move their knowledge from theory to application and analysis.
The focus of the course will be on developing an understanding of the concepts of Decision Support/Utilization Management programs within a health care system. National and provincial health data sources (such as CIHI, DAD and NACRS databases) as well as current reporting software programs will be used for analysis and presentation of the data.
This is the final practicum experience of the Health Information Management Program - a four-week placement with a health care facility. Students will complete an administrative or research project for a health care organization.
Note: To be eligible for placement the student must be on track to successfully complete semester 4.
This is the final course focusing on classification systems, coding guidelines, the importance of data quality and the uses of coded data. Students learn the primary clinical coding systems used for hospital data in Canada. Folio software is used to teach the coding of diagnoses and interventions. Students navigate the search engines needed to find codes in the abstracting software and identify the differences between coding classifications. CIHI coding conventions and standards are taught in conjunction with this course to provide the student with the understanding that coding and data quality work simultaneously. A focus on abstracting inpatient information according to the Discharge Abstract Database.
In this course, students are introduced to scientific research principles and applications to HIM. Students explore the different methods, techniques and study considerations that need to be addressed when designing a scientific research study in the field of HIM. Emphasis is placed on the ability to apply specific methodological research approaches to collection and presentation of health information.
This course provides an introduction to quality management theories, concepts and practices. Students will focus on developing and implementing appropriate processes, policies and practices to improve the quality of the data collection and production. Management techniques such as strategic planning, critical pathways, project management, change management and standard setting are explored.
This course will focus on developing a project management plan for a major research or administrative project for a health care organization.
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:
- Grade 12 English at the C or U level
- Grade 11 Math at the C, U or M level
- Grade 11 or 12 Biology at the C or U level
For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.
If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older.
Immunization - Communicable Disease Requirements
Completion of the Immunization - Communicable Disease Form is a mandatory condition.
for your clinical/practical placement. THIS FORM IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Download your Immunization - Communicable Disease Form
Questions regarding completion of this form can be submitted to Immunizations@sl.on.ca
Note: Full-time students coverage for vaccines received on or after September 1, can be claimed under the Student Sickness & Accident Insurance Plan.
Criminal Background Check:
Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) and Vulnerable Sector Checks conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) are required for programs with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in placements and program completion may not be possible. Attaining and paying for a CBC and Vulnerable Sector Screening is the responsibility of the student, and these may have to be renewed every three to six months. Applicants with criminal records are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective school prior to applying.
Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.
Health Information Management (HIM) professionals participate in the collection, analysis and organization of health data to provide information that is used by management teams, clinical care teams, government statistical and funding bodies, researchers as well as information technology product developers. HIM professionals are important members of interdisciplinary health care teams contributing to quality patient care.
Career opportunities exist in a variety of settings such as:
- community health services
- health networks,
- research institutes,
- legal firms,
- government ministries and agencies
In addition to our placement partners who routinely hire our graduates, we also currently have graduates working with these organizations:
- Canadian Institute for Health Information
- Analyst, Canadian Patient Experiences Reporting System
- Coordinator, Client Engagement and Support
- Statistics Canada
- Senior Medical Classification Specialist
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Program Officer
- Vancouver Island Health Authority
- Privacy Specialist
- Unity Health Toronto
- Clinical Coding and Classification Specialist
- Manager, Project Management
- Queen's University
- Research Assistant
- Analyst, Department of Family Medicine
- Data and Quality Improvement Analyst
- St. Joseph's Health Care, London
- Decision Support Specialist
- London Health Sciences
- Support Analyst, Clinical Reporting
- Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
- Release of Information Analyst/Auditor
- Sick Kids
- Health Information Management Coordinator
- Government of Northwest Territories
- Privacy Specialists
- Nova Scotia Health Authority
- Clinical Coding & Classifications Specialist
- South West Local Health Integration Network
- Health Information Analyst
- Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
- Public Health Surveillance Analyst
- Alberta Health Services
- Health Information Management Specialist
At The Ottawa Hospital we recognize that St. Lawrence has a very comprehensive program to prepare new graduates for the HIM workforce. We have hired many over the past five years who now are in advanced roles such as HIM analyst. With the skill set they bring they are often able to fast track their careers. As the Coordinator of Coding and Data Quality I am looking for new graduates who are able to accept coding positions and perform to expectations with minimal training. Hospitals are challenged with training resources particularly since the Health System Funding Reform changes were implemented a few years ago. St. Lawrence graduates consistently prove they are well prepared by bringing thorough knowledge of coding and abstracting standards as well as knowing the resources available to them.
At TOH we screen potential applicants by having them write a coding skills test. St. Lawrence graduates consistently score very high on these tests and many have scored 100%. One of your 2017 graduates is already in a leadership role responsible for training new employees, mentoring HIM students as well as supporting our coding team with educational support and answering questions. The skill set she brought for technical writing skills was also beyond expectations. We hired two from 2017 and also recently recruited two from the 2016 class.
Every year we look forward to accepting a St. Lawrence student for their practical experience for six weeks (reword term where necessary) because we know we are going to get a good quality student and potential new employee. Ottawa does not offer a college HIM program so we look forward to St. Lawrence graduates applying. Ottawa is a beautiful city and there are many hospitals faced with upcoming retirements. There are good opportunities in Ottawa for St. Lawrence graduates looking for careers in Ottawa
Karen M. Smith, CHIM
"At HDH/KGH we offer placement experience for some of the St. Lawrence College HIM students in our Health Information Services Department. Students work closely with confidential client information in a variety of applied ways, and learn how health statistics contribute to the management of the organization and client care. The student will get “hands-on” experience applying the classification of diseases and interventions to the actual patient charts as well as experience in release of confidential patient information applying PHIPPA, Public Hospital Act and the Mental Health Act. This partnership in education has been a mutually rewarding experience both for our organization and the HIM students."
Rajan Gill, Manager, Health Information Technical Services HDH/KGH Kingston, ON Gill, Manager, Health Information Technical Services HDH/KGH, Kingston, ON
Note: MacIntosh computers (Macs) are not compatible with certain HIM software applications.
Programs at St. Lawrence College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Program delivery can be run weekdays, weekends or evenings. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided a St. Lawrence College email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Students from health sciences program on placement are covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance Board(WSIB) coverage in the event of an incident.
To be eligible:
- A student must be currently registered in the program;
- The placement must be sanctioned by the educational institution;
- The student must not be paid for the placement.
The HIM program offers students up to 332 hours of practicum experience through the year. Students will have an opportunity to apply the learned theory and skills taught within the first and second semester in a real work setting. Practicum experiences are sought in health information departments in hospital environments or in other healthcare agencies. Students are expected to help secure their placements for the final semester requirement. An in-house practicum lab has been established to provide students with a comprehensive learning opportunity for patient care system modules.
Contact a member of our recruitment team
1.800.463.0752 and ask for Recruiting
International Students Contact
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514