East Carolina University graduated its final class of Health Information Management students May 10, completing a long history of educating close to 600 health information management professionals.
The Medical Records Administration department was created in 1970, with Peggy Wood as the first chairperson. She remained in that position for 26 years. In 1993, the department was renamed Health Information Management. It was later expanded to include the BS in Health Services Management, and renamed the Department of Health Services and Information Management in 2002.
Since its beginnings, more than 90 percent of the health information management professionals in eastern NC received a degree from ECU.
The decision to discontinue the bachelor’s degree is due to the change in health information technology. In the future, more emphasis will be placed on the sharing of medical information, and computer specialists trained at the graduate level in health informatics will be needed. Accordingly, as one chapter closes, another will open through the MS in Health Informatics and Information Management. The first class of students will enter in fall 2013.