Health Information Management Certificate

Program Outline

Learn new job skills or refresh your current ones with Penn Foster Career School's Online Health Information Management program. What is health information management? Workers in this field typically handle and maintain patient records while following local and federal laws. These valuable team members need a sharp eye for detail and must be comfortable with the coding system used within the healthcare industry.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

This outline covers all the courses required for your study-at-home certificate program.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal
The Health Information Management Certificate program helps students learn new job skills and expand existing health care management knowledge to improve performance in their current positions.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Review patient records for timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of data
  • Organize and maintain data for clinical databases and registries
  • Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
  • Use classification software to assign clinical codes for reimbursement and data analysis
  • Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting
  • Protect patients’ health information for confidentiality, authorized access for treatment, and data security


Course 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Course 2

Law, Ethics, and Confidentiality
In this course, students will learn how law affects healthcare practitioners, the origin of law that affects medical professionals, the basics of the process of litigation and its alternatives, the common-law basis for the confidentiality of healthcare information, and the laws regulating healthcare information collected and maintained by government agencies.


  • Describe civil and criminal law, sources of law, and the steps of litigation
  • Distinguish between liability, negligence, and malpractice in relation to healthcare
  • Determine medical malpractice and criminal charge defenses
  • Identify the various ethical issues that healthcare professionals face
  • Examine contemporary medical ethical issues
  • Analyze ethical reproductive health issues
  • Recognize ethical end of life issues
  • Analyze the court's role in healthcare information and litigation
  • Examine patient's medical record requirements and common issues
  • Summarize the common-law basis for confidentiality
  • Apply privacy rules to patient information
  • Describe OSHA's safety rules
  • Identify special types of health information
  • Recognize special rules and social-policy issues of HIV patients
  • Evaluate risk management's affect on quality and electronic medical records

Additional Course Material
Textbook: Law & Ethics for Medical Careers

Course 3

Electronic Medical Records


  • Discuss the history of electronic health records
  • Perform administrative health information management functions
  • Build an electronic health record
  • Enter information into an electronic health record
  • Utilize templates to increase productivity

Additional Course Material
Textbook: The Electronic Health Record for the Physician's Office with SimChart for the Medical Office


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.