Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Health Information Management

Faculty: Health Sciences
Credits: 60.5
Length: Two years
Campuses: Coquitlam
Credential: Diploma
Admission Type: Limited enrolment
Learning Format: Full-time, Part-time
Offered: Fall
program overview
The Health Information Management Diploma Program is the only program in British Columbia that prepares individuals to manage health information in a variety of settings. The program combines aspects of health, computer science, business and research in a specialized curriculum. The profession of Health Information Management has a traditional employment base in acute care facilities, and expanding opportunities in a variety of non-acute facilities, community health, government agencies and industry.

curriculum framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60.50 credits
  • 25% (15 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • A minimum grade of "65%" is required to pass all HIMP courses*
  • A minimum grade of "60%" is required to pass all non-HIMP courses**
  • A minimum grade of "75%" is required to pass the lecture-practice component of HIMP 2470
  • A minimum grade of "75%" is required to pass HIMP 2575

Course Requirements:

Course Number Course Title Credits
Semester I
BIOL 1103** Human Biology I 3.00
CMNS 1111** Workplace Communications 3.00
HIMP 1120* Health Information Management I
(including practicum)
HIMP 1170* Introduction to Health Data Classification 3.50
Semester I Total Credits   13.50
Note: CSIS 1110 (Introduction to Computers) or equivalent is required to be taken prior to starting Semester II.
Semester II
BIOL 1203** Human Biology II 3.00
CSIS 2200** Systems Analysis and Design 3.00
HIMP 1220* Health Information Management II 3.00
HIMP 1270* Health Data Collection and Classification II 6.00
HIMP 1275* Health Data Collection and Classification Extramural I (2 weeks) 1.50
Semester II Total Credits   16.50
Semester III
BUSN 1335** Introduction to Biostatistics 3.00
HIMP 2320* Health Information Management III 3.00
HIMP 2330* Health Information Reporting 3.00
HIMP 2370* Health Data Collection and Classification III 6.00
Semester III Total Credits   15.00
Semester IV
CSIS 2300** Data Base Management 3.00
HIMP 2420* Health Information Management IV 2.00
HIMP 2430* Applied Research and Epidemiology 2.00
HIMP 2470 Health Data Collection and Classification IV 2.50
Semester IV Total Credits   9.50
Semester V - Practicum (8 weeks) 
HIMP 2520* Health Information Management Professional Senior Practicum (5-6 weeks) 4.50
HIMP 2575

Health Data Collection and Classification Extramural II (2 weeks)

Semester V Total Credits    6.00
Total Program Credits   60.50
career transfer pathways
As a health information management professional, you provide an essential information support service that contributes to the delivery and evaluation of patient care and administrative decision making. The profession has a traditional employment base in acute care facilities, with expanding opportunities in a variety of non-acute facilities, community health, government agencies, and industry.

Opportunities also exist for health information management professionals to further their education by specializing in health care administration, health informatics, quality management, research, and privacy. 

The Health Information Management Program is recognized by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM). Successful challenge of the national certification examination qualifies graduates to work across Canada.
admission requirements

The final intake to the Health Information Management (HIM) diploma program was Fall 2016.  Students interested in this field should apply to the HIM Post-Baccalaureate Diploma program.

Preferential Admissions
Applicants who have met the required Program admission criteria will be granted additional points in the preferential admission process. Recommended criteria includes:
  • University Degree or diploma
  • Post secondary education - successful (Certificate/citation/12 UT credits)
  • Related work/volunteer experience - successful (Minimum 6 months)
  • Math 12 or higher
  • Biology 12 or Chemistry 12 or higher
  • Post-secondary English/Communications
Refer to the Health Information Management Program Admissions Information Booklet for further information regarding the admission requirement equivalencies, the preferential admission process and the Program. The booklet can be downloaded from our web page or is available from the Registrar's Office, Student Services and the Faculty of Health Sciences.
program cost

You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

curriculum guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Is this program right for me?

Successful Health Information Management professionals usually display the following characteristics:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Team-player, but
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision for long periods of time
  • Comfortable working with confidential information
  • Responsible
  • Proficient with computers
  • have a passion for clinical sciences
  • dedicated to life-long learning

Where, when, how much, how long?

Most classes in the Health Information Management program take place at the Coquitlam Campus. Some lecture/practices are held at a local acute care facility to aid the application of theory in a practical environment.

Intake of students occurs every second September (in the even-numbered years). The next intake is September 2014.

The program can be completed in two years with full-time study. Part-time students may take 3-4 years to complete the program, depending on intake date.

How and when do I apply?

Students are accepted every second September (in even-numbered years). Applications and all related documents are due on May 1 of the same year.

Apply online (click the big green Apply Now button at the top of this Program page) or in person through the Registrar's Office.

Note: You do not need to wait until the year of intake to apply as there is a lot of preparatory work that can be done in the interim. Contact the Coordinator for further information at 604 777 6422.

Can I still apply to the program if it is past the application deadline?

Applications may still be accepted past the application deadline if seats are available and you have met all of the admission requirements.

I have completed some courses at another post-secondary institution. How can I have them assessed?

You need to submit your official transcript and complete the Request for Transfer of Credit form to the Registrars Office. This can be submitted with your application or at a later date.

I am a mature student and do not meet the academic admission requirements. How do I get started?

  1. Attend an HIM Program information session.
  2. Submit an application to the Registrar's Office with the processing fee indicating General Studies as your course of study and include all official transcripts (high school and relevant post-secondary). Note: it is important that you apply in order to receive a student number which you must have in order to arrange appointments with Assessment Services for Math and/or Writing testing.
  3. Go for the tour of a Health Record/Information Management Department as this will help solidify your choice of HIM Program as a career.
  4. Apply to the HIM Program when you have met all the academic admission requirements.

Can I study part-time?

It is recommended that you take the HIM program on a full time basis as there is only a full-time intake every two years. Taking the program on a part-time basis would mean taking three or four years to complete the program depending on the date of your application. However, in a non-intake year, you could enter the program on a part time basis and decrease your workload by completing some or all of the non HIM courses such as communications, computers, statistics. Contact the Health Information Management program for more information.

What about distance education?

At this time, courses are only offered in a face-to-face classroom environment.

What is a health care record and why do we need it?

The Health Care Record is a paper or electronic file that is accessible to any health care provider. Its functions include:

  • Keeping track of all hospital care and treatment so patients can receive the most efficient care during their stay in hospital
  • Storing past and current medical health information that is critical for monitoring quality of care
  • Allowing physicians and nurses to retrieve previous clinical information for better decision-making and for research

What are the foundations of Health Information Management?

  1. Data Quality
    With the ultimate goal of patient safety, we ensure patient information is accurate, reliable, consistent and timely
  2. Electronic Health Information Management (e-HIM)/Electronic Health Record (EHR)

    A computer-based electronic file that is accessible to any health care provider. It is a longitudinal health record (birth-to-death).

  3. Privacy
    Ensuring the public’s privacy is protected by ensuring that all access to health information is ethical, moral and legal.

Why are Health Information Management professionals important?

This career combines health, computer science, business and research. In their day-to-day work, HIM professionals

  • Protect patient information and promote confidentiality and awareness
  • Implement the electronic health record (EHR)
  • Work with health information systems and databases
  • Collect and analyze health information
  • Apply pathophysiology, anatomy, physiology and medical terminology knowledge to the coding process

HIM professionals provide essential information for clinical research, quality improvement, utilization review, budgeting and hospital decisions.

Where do Health Information Management professionals work?

The profession has an employment base in:

  • Acute care facilities (hospitals)
  • Non-acute facilities (e.g. long-term care)
  • Health research facilities
  • Community health
  • Government agencies

What jobs do Health Information Management professionals have?

Within these settings, Health Information Management professionals work in a wide variety of roles, including:

  • Clinical Applications Coordinator
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Collection Specialist (Coder)
  • Database Manager
  • Document Management Coordinator
  • Privacy Officer
  • Process Improvement Manager
  • Project Manager, Clinical Applications
  • Records and Information Coordinator
  • Risk Management Officer

For more information, see Employment.

Can I work part-time while in this program?

It is not recommended that you work part-time during the program as the workload can be onerous. We recognize that some students must work for financial reasons and if it is a necessity, we recommend that you consult with the HIM Program Coordinator regarding course load for a particular semester.

What is your advice for new students in this program?

  • Use time management skills
  • Focus on Biology (anatomy and physiology) - try to take prior to program if possible
  • Be prepared to be overwhelmed
  • Try not to work during school
  • Find a study buddy
  • Do not procrastinate
  • Ask for help - don't wait
  • Keep your hobbies
  • Eat a good breakfast (bring snacks)

tuition deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required.