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Pharmacy Students Certify with HIMSS in Healthcare Informatics

Belmont University College of Pharmacy students Josh Burton, Katie Hubbard and Sarah Ratzloff recently became certified by examination in the area of health care informatics. The Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) is the health IT certification distributed by the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and is designed to be a career pathway to further credentials for emerging professionals within the industry.

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Belmont Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Informatics and Analytics Anthony Blash is the sponsor of the CAHIMS certification initiative at Belmont and has created a four-course sequence of classes to prepare pharmacy students for healthcare informatics. The department saw its first student certify at the CAHIMS level in 2015 and expects 20-30 students to certify each year moving forward.

“Nashville is considered by many to be home to the U.S. healthcare industry, with nearly 300 companies providing healthcare synergies found in few other places,” said Blash. “If your interests lie in pharmacy and informatics, our program stands apart. With experiential rotation sites at the headquarters of the largest healthcare organizations in the world, faculty with experiences in the corporate boardrooms of many American healthcare companies and a Pharmacy / Healthcare Informatics experience facilitated by the current national chairman of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Educational Steering Committee on Informatics and Technology, our faculty represents the pinnacle of teaching experience. As an HIMSS Approved Education Partner, Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy becomes the only pharmacy school in the world with a healthcare informatics concentration leading to an internationally recognized certification in healthcare informatics which may be obtained before experiential rotations, residency inquiries and job searches begin.”

Burton, Hubbard and Ratzloff will each receive a 2016 HIMSS Conference backpack donated by Vice President of Professional Development for HIMSS North America JoAnn W. Klinedinst. The donated bags are awarded to the top grade-earners in healthcare information courses and to students like Burton, Hubbard and Ratzloff who obtain their CAHIMS certification before graduating from the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

“We would like to congratulate our students for earning this HIT certification and thank Vice President Klinedinst for her generous donation,” said Blash. “The students now enter their fourth-year experiential classes with the CAHIMS certification under their belts.”

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