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New credential for health info professionals

TORONTO – A unique new professional credential is being launched for Canadian health informatics (HI) practitioners through a collaboration between COACH and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). This is the combined Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) and Canadian Supplement Credential.

Awarded to candidates who successfully complete the related exam, the new credential will provide proof of your professional competency according to widely respected industry criteria. The exam will consist of the CPHIMS exam plus a Canadian supplement exam that COACH is creating in partnership with HIMSS.

Who can write the exam?

Candidates must meet the following requirements.

• Bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent) plus five (5) years of associated information and management systems experience, three (3) of those years in healthcare

• Graduate degree (or global equivalent) plus three (3) years of associated information and management systems experience, two (2) of those years in healthcare

Associated information and management systems experience includes experience in the following functional areas: administration/management, clinical information systems, e-health, information systems, or management engineering.

You will soon be able to register to write the complete combined credential exam and Canadian supplement exam during the e-Health conference, to be held in Quebec City next spring.

Exam options
The complete exam will be available next spring when COACH will hold a sitting of both the CPHIMS and Canadian supplemental exams during the e-Health 2009 conference. Meanwhile, candidates can write the CPHIMS exam in advance at a designated AMP Assessment Center. (Visit and select Canada for locations and application information.)

The Canadian supplemental exam will also be available through AMP Assessment Centers after e-Health 2009.

Onsite sittings for employers
Hospitals and other organizations with large workforces can arrange to have exam sittings at their location or a convenient location for two or more employers. Contact Alison Gardner, COACH Director, Programs at to arrange.

Candidates who successfully complete the exam will receive a certificate issued jointly by COACH and HIMSS.

How will you benefit?

Here is what industry leaders are saying.

“As a major employer in the province, Manitoba ehealth recognizes the value of the new credential in recruiting capable, qualified staff, particularly as we deal with shortages in our profession across the country. The credential will clearly indicate to employers that a candidate has been tested and found to meet respected measurements of what it means to be a competent health informatics professional. The designation will also flag other important characteristics for hiring and performance evaluation – commitment to professional development and interest in learning and improvement.” Roger Girard, Chief Information Officer, Manitoba ehealth

“The new credential is a valuable career development resource for nurses and other clinicians. It will provide clinicians with a means of demonstrating competence in health informatics to existing or potential employers. It also has the potential to demonstrate clinician’s competence in HI to patients – thereby enhancing the confidence of patients who may not be familiar with or possibly even fear the information technology that is rapidly becoming an everyday element of healthcare today. As a long time COACH member and nurse, I also see the credential providing a consistent means of evaluating the skills and knowledge among HI professionals and thus adding an additional dimension to patient safety.” Kathryn Hannah, Ph.D., R.N., Life Member, COACH

“The new credential provides health informatics students and recent graduates with goals to strive for as they launch their careers. When they’ve finished their education, they can concentrate on gaining the healthcare and HI experience they need to write the exam. This generation is eager to pursue professional development and gain professional recognition and the credential is a valuable resource for doing this.” Andre Kushniruk, Associate Professor and Director, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria