Home Blog Candidacy Status for CAHIIM Accreditation: What You Need to Know

Candidacy Status for CAHIIM Accreditation: What You Need to Know

December 13, 2021
CAHIIM Logo overlayed on an image of a doctor using health informatics software

Kent State’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics program is a candidate for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Once accredited, our program will join other universities like Indiana University, Boston University and Drexel University. Of 350 accredited programs for all degree levels, only 18 online HI programs hold this prestigious accreditation. Kent State’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program is aiming to bump the online number up to 19, making us not only one of the most affordable HI programs in Ohio, but also one of the most elite as the only HI master’s program to hold this accreditation in the state.

Learn more about CAHIIM and what this accreditation candidacy status means for our program and for you and your career development.


CAHIIM is an independent organization that, in an unbiased manner free of influence by outside entities, sets policies, procedures and standards for institutions offering degrees in health informatics and health information management. CAHIIM became an independent organization in 2006, but is born out of a long history of related professional organizations dating back to when medical records first became professionally managed in the early twentieth century.1

The accreditation process is voluntary and takes into account self-evaluation and peer review assessments to assure the program in candidacy for accreditation meets the CAHIIM Standards of quality.2 Programs apply for accreditation as a way of ensuring the public knows the high educational quality of the program. Maintaining the accreditation is also a way to ensure the accountability of the program to those standards over time.

Kent State’s candidacy means that our HI program has been developed to meet the standards outlined by CAHIIM and that our program is sustainable according to the resource and needs assessment.3

What Does a CAHIIM Accreditation Mean for the Program?

Holding an accreditation from CAHIIM brings with it numerous benefits, which is why we are pursuing this application process. Being a CAHIIM accredited program gives us access to benchmark data and best practices that mean we will be able to continuously improve the program to ensure it meets the needs of our students and their future employers as the HI profession continues to grow and evolve.

As an accredited program, we will also have access to important professional development opportunities, including conference workshops and presentations on program management, assessment of student learning outcomes, quality improvement practices and numerous other resources.4

This accreditation will also be a public recognition of the quality of our program that will benefit our students and much as it will benefit the institution and program itself.

What Will the CAHIIM Accreditation Mean for You?

Attending a CAHIIM accredited program signals both to you and prospective employers the quality of the HI program and lets you know what you can expect from the program. According to CAHIIM, you benefit in the following ways:5

  • You can feel confident that the program has met standards supported by the HI profession.
  • Your prospective employers know that your educational program has met professional standards and that you have met the prerequisites to enter the HI profession.
  • You will have access to federal and state financial aid that is available to qualified students when you plan to attend an accredited institution.
  • You have assurance that your investment in your education is worthwhile.
  • You know that your chosen program reflects changes in knowledge and practice in the profession.
  • You know your institution follows professional standards developed by content area associations.

How Long Does the Accreditation Process Take?

Kent State has met the pre-application standards to achieve our candidacy status. This included submitting documentation, including our letter of intent, the program director’s CV, faculty CVs, a synopsis of our curriculum, class syllabi and profile page with contact information for the program. We also completed CAHIIM’s Self-Evaluation Tool. All of this pre-application information was approved by CAHIIM staff within a 90-day period.

We met the rigorous standards to officially become a candidate for accreditation, but what needs to happen now, and how long will the process take?

Kent State is now in the application stage. We will complete CAHIIM’s Self-Assessment, which has a due date of one year from the date we were granted candidacy. The candidacy holds an expiration date of two years.

For the Self-Assessment phase, we will submit3:

  • A program evaluation plan
  • A Student and Graduate Table
  • A Faculty Table
  • A synopsis of our curriculum
  • Information on the Learning Management System, which is especially important for an online program
  • A budget template

As an online program, we will provide CAHIIM with access to our learning management system, giving them full access to all courses so they can make a thorough assessment of the program.

One all of the required information is submitted, CAHIIM staff members will complete an assessment within 90 days of the submission date. Next, a site visit is conducted by a CAHIIM site visit team. After the visit, Kent State will submit a formal site visit response.

Finally, the accreditation recommendation and decision is provided. If CAHIIM sees that any of its standards are not being sufficiently met, accreditation may be offered with the condition that the program submit a six month Progress Report. a program may be awarded accreditation with a six (6) month Progress Report to be submitted.3

Accredited programs do through annual reviews and assessments to maintain accreditation status.6

Join the Next Health Informations Cohort

Do not miss out on your chance to join the next online cohort as our master’s program in Health Informatics moves closer to gaining accreditation by CAHIIM. Take advantage of the opportunities that are surging throughout the HI industry and become a leader in healthcare with our online Master of Science in Health Informatics. Build the skills you may need to transform the continuum of healthcare delivery.

Learn more about the program by scheduling a call with an Admissions Advisor. If you’re ready to embark on a healthcare career that can change lives, start your application today.