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New Allied Health Accrediting Agency
28 January 2005
by Karla Baxter, RHIA

      During 2004, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Council on Accreditation and staff has been actively engaged in the development of the Commission on Accreditation For Health Informatics and Information Management Education. CAHIIM is AHIMA's own accreditation organization as established by the House of Delegates in a unanimous vote in summer 2004.

      Effective March 1, 2005, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Council on Accreditation will separate from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and will become a freestanding accreditation body as the Commission on Accreditation For Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Beginning March 1, 2005, the evaluation and accreditation of all health information management educational programs will be the responsibility of CAHIIM. New CAHIIM accreditation certificates will be issued to all accredited health information management programs by March 2005.

      CAHIIM is the newest accrediting organization. They launched their new website on January 3, 2005 (www.cahiim.org). The new Standards for HIM Program Accreditation will be posted to this site in the near future. You are encouraged to monitor this website and provide comments regarding the new standards during the upcoming public response period. The AHIMA House of Delegates will hear the public response comments and vote on the Standards on or about March 1, 2005.

      Students enrolled in an accredited HIM program will not experience any change in their student membership benefits, resource reference opportunities, or graduate eligibility for the credentials examination. The transition to CAHIIM provides accredited HIM programs with great opportunities to improve upon the educational experience, in fact. AHIMA, CAHIIM leadership, and the House of Delegates members are excited about the future of HIM higher education and the ability to offer a new array of resources as well as the formalized accreditation agency CAHIIM represents.

Karla Baxter, RHIA
Health Information Technology Program Chair
North Dakota HIM Association President 2004-05
House of Delegates Member 2004-05