Draft 2018 HIM Curricula Competencies Released for Public Comment

Draft 2018 HIM Curricula Competencies Released for Public Comment

By Christi Lower, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA, and John Richey, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA

In response to AHIMA’s HIM Reimagined (HIMR) initiative and its call to update the skills of health information management (HIM) professionals, the Council for Excellence in Education (CEE) Curricula Workgroup and two HIMR workgroups have developed the draft 2018 HIM Curricula Competencies, AHIMA-revised Bloom’s Taxonomy levels, and related resources. AHIMA is asking HIM practitioners to review the draft curricula competencies and comment through an official survey.

The draft competencies aim to align HIM education with the skills and knowledge required to meet long-term future HIM workforce needs. The development groups also focused on revamping curricula in a way that builds pathways for HIM practitioners to current, evolving, and future HIM jobs in areas such as data analytics, auditing, and information governance. Another goal of the group was to help HIM practitioners develop an overall skill set geared towards managing data and integrating business, clinical, and information systems. (Visit the HIM Reimagined website to learn more about the initiative.)

The development of the draft 2018 HIM Curricula Competencies involved thoughtful and purposeful intent to deliver a carefully-crafted educational roadmap across all academic levels, according to AHIMA officials. Each academic level is comprised of six common domains, representing the areas of mastery important for all HIM students and practitioners, regardless of academic degree. The domains are:
• Domain I. Data Structure, Content, and Information Governance
• Domain II. Information Protection: Access, Use, Disclosure, Privacy, and Security
• Domain III. Informatics, Analytics, and Data Use
• Domain IV. Revenue Cycle Management
• Domain V. Health Law & Compliance
• Domain VI. Organizational Management & Leadership

At the associate degree level, schools may elect to teach one or both specialty tracks Data Management (DM) and Revenue Management (RM). Each student would enroll in the DM and/or RM specialty track. The DM and/or RM competencies are to be completed in addition to the other curricular competencies at the associate degree level. The Supporting Body of Knowledge has been updated to include Math Statistics, along with Medical Terminology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Computer Concepts and Applications. The addition of Math Statistics supports the need for students to have a stronger statistics foundation.

All HIM professionals have a vested interest in the draft competencies. Two key considerations are progression and laddering. Progression means that the competencies were designed to provide a foundation in which HIM skills and knowledge can be acquired in a learning hierarchy across all academic levels. Laddering is closely-related to progression in education as well as within the industry. Both are critical components of HIMR, intended to deliver a thoughtful, purposeful educational roadmap across all academic levels and professional practice. Academic competencies outline progression through the academic environment. AHIMA’s Career Map demonstrates promotion and transition pathways for HIM practitioners to move from entry to mid to advanced to mastery-level positions.

To comment on the draft competencies, visit the Academic Curricula Competencies website, click the “Draft 2018 HIM Curricula Competencies tab,” review the materials, and then submit your comments via the official survey links.

The public comment period will be open from June 25 to September 14. After further refinement following the public comment period, the final competencies are planned to be handed-off to CAHIIM in December. An official start date for using the competencies has not yet been determined by CAHIIM.


Christi Lower and John Richey are both academic affairs subject matter experts at AHIMA.