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.
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 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. BIOL 1060 is a continuation from BIOL 1050.
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.
As an accredited program by the Canadian College of Health Information Management, students are required to complete over 250 hours of practicum experience with an external organization.
Placement 1: Records Management - Second half of semester 2 (50 hours)
This placement exposes students to the health information lifecycle. Students will work with a health care agency that creates, uses and discloses personal health information to understand the policies and procedures which maintain data quality and enhance patient privacy.
Placement 2: Clinical Coding and Classification - occurs throughout semester 3 (70 hours)
In partnership with Kingston Health Sciences, students will apply their clinical classification, coding and abstracting skills in a living classroom in the Clinical Records department. Here students will create abstracts according to the National Ambulatory Care Reporting system submission standards.
Placement 3: Workplace Integration - occurs during the second half of semester 4 (160 hours)
This is the final placement opportunity where students can experience an entry-level HIM position. The main component of this placement is the administrative or research project that a student must complete on behalf of their placement organization.
Please Note: Placement sites in the immediate Kingston area or in areas accessible by public transportation are not guaranteed. Transportation and living expenses such as food and accommodations are not included as part of the program tuition and are at the student’s expense. Students should allocate $1000 - $2000 to cover the costs associated with their placement requirements.
Pre-Placement Immunization Requirements
For enrolled students: Immunizations are MANDATORY and may take several weeks to complete. Students cannot start any placement(s) without updated immunization status confirmed with the appropriate personnel within the College.
- Prior to arriving to campus, students are required to set an appointment to confirm/update their immunization status with their physician
- If a student does not have a physician, they can obtain their health records from their local Health Unit and then work with their local community walk-in clinic or contact Kingston Campus Health Centre to set an appointment
- PLEASE DO NOT email any medical information using private email accounts
Note: Medical coverage for vaccines received on or after September 1, can be claimed by full-time Students under their Student Sickness & Accident Insurance Plan. This insurance is made available to all full-time students once enrolled unless students opt-out.
Other Placement Requirements
To be eligible for unpaid placement, enrolled students will need to complete a series of MANDATORY program and agency-specific pre-placement requirements. These will be discussed with students during class time and a Student Placement Facilitator will be in place to assist and answer all placement-related questions.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
Police Record Check – Vulnerable Sector Screening
All students will be required to obtain a Criminal Records Check to begin placement.
Please note: Certain placement agencies may require a Vulnerable Sector Screening Police Check your Student Placement Facilitator will advise you of this requirement once placements are confirmed.
IMPORTANT: Students with criminal convictions may be prevented from participating or completing placements for this program. Applicants with criminal records are required to contact the Associate Dean of the respective school (see Program Contacts below) prior to accepting an offer to this program to discuss and confirm participation within this program is suitable.
- Students will be notified if required, when to apply for their Police Record Check by the Student Placement Facilitator to ensure the dates remain valid for their placement period.
- Many agencies require these updated every 3-6 months.
- All costs associated with obtaining a Police Record Check are at the expense of the student.
- Enrolled students will be notified of further instruction through their SLC email account or their Blackboards and should continue to monitor frequently.
ADDITIONAL PLACEMENT INFORMATION
Students with outstanding pre-placement requirements may be denied eligibility to begin placement or be required to pay additional fees (at their own expense) to continue and complete the placement component.
Pre-placement requirements are subject to change based on placement agency and/or legislative or regulatory changes.
Program-specific or additional questions? Please email the Program Contact(s) listed below.
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
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.
Megan Bailey and Victoria Obress
General Mailbox: email@example.com
Associate Dean Allied Health
Click here to message Recruitment.
International Students Contact
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514